Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.54
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This grid started with 1-Across and 17-Across — but not in that configuration. My initial aim was to stack what’s now 17-Across on top of what’s now 1-Across in the 2nd and 3rd rows and see what would fit on top of them. I found several decent to good entries that stacked like that, but none of them that were good enough really panned out without making some serious compromises in my book. I did not even think about pairs of 11-letter entries (as in 20/57-Across) when I started working on the stack in the upper left, but, crazily enough, it actually worked out better — and I even got a seed list entry in there, at 57-Across. I had a rather different completed grid for this one at first, but it took until after I had started to even clue it that there were some head-slappingly obvious dupes thanks to the original upper right; one was a three-letter word (in 46-Down) and one was a 4-letter word (in 1-Down…!!!). I couldn’t believe it when I noticed them.
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