Puzzle 162: Freestyle 130. Time to get your hands dirty.

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 68
Mean word length: 5.56

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The first thing you’ll see when you open this grid, probably, is the stack in the middle (well, actually, it’ll almost certainly be the first thing, since I mentioned it), but the three 15-letter “spines” intersecting the stack were not originally planned. In fact, I was pretty far into the construction of this grid before I even considered any 15s, never mind three of them. Originally, I had two six-block “pyramids” on the left and right sides to block out any vertical 15s, until I considered the letter patterns to see if any 15s would fit. Luckily, there were a couple of good options (and you usually only need one) for each fifteen, and hence I opened it up. That’s why it’s a 68 — with the stack in the middle and the three fifteens running down the grid, 68 was pretty much the highest I could go.

As always, I’d like to know, folks… comment is welcome! Come say hello! What did you like? What could I do better?

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4 thoughts on “Puzzle 162: Freestyle 130. Time to get your hands dirty.”

  1. That answer I agree was a mislead, and the lower-left was just brutal (41-A and 53-A were too vague/misdirective, with all of the new terms floating in that area). Other than that, the long fill here was immensely cool.


  2. I did nooooo like this one atall (as my Irish relatives would say). No knock on the cruciverbalism in making it, but even after getting everything, I don’t get everything. 8A, 20A, 22A, 23A*, 25A, 42A, 46A and 21D still don’t work for me for the most part even though I see what the correct answer is.

    * I get what you mean, but I don’t recall ever seeing that abbreviation in film noir or the novels associated with the genre. TEK, yes, but not that.


    1. Just meant that that’s a character typically seen in that genre, and that’s an abbreviation for it. I didn’t mean to imply that that’s an abbreviation typically found in that genre. Sorry you had that experience.


      1. It’s all good. I love the puzzles but just had a rough solver’s experience on this one. I’d wager a good amount of money that my failings are the reason this one didn’t work for me rather than your cluing.


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