Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31
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First and foremost, I’d like to give a nice shout to Andrew Ries for his review of (and links to) several other independent puzzle sites, including mine.
Two 14-letter entries form the backbone of this puzzle. 14s constrain the structure of a grid so much, one way or another; they force either a whole bunch of black squares or a significant crossing stack of at least seven letters. Fortunately, I found two 14s that were worth using enough that I didn’t really care what I had to do to make them work.
I had two other interlocking seeds at 7-Down and 27-Down — well, I started with something different at 27-Down, but, luckily, I was able to change the first four letters of that entry because the middle section just wasn’t working out with my original seed entry. Usually, it takes a crowbar and the world’s strongest man to pry constructors away from their seed entries, but I would have had to make some pretty bad not-worth-it (to me, anyways) sacrifices to make the middle work with my original seed.
On that same topic, the same decision of whether or not to use that crowbar came into play elsewhere in the puzzle. I discovered a dupe (a minor dupe to me, a three-letter word) in the puzzle, but removing it would necessitate removal of a really nice (to me) entry. Weighing my options, I decided to keep the dupe, because I like the corner I have quite a bit better than any alternative corner without that dupe. You’ll see when you solve it.
My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is in 42-Down, of course. I saw it in one source and I just didn’t believe it until I confirmed it by seeing it in several more sources.
As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?
As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Friday!