Category Archives: Crosswords

Puzzle 512: Freestyle 460. Time to take your medicine.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.22


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11-letter entries, as I’ve said before, are best double-stacked instead of triple because you get a lot less unsavory stuff. This is no exception. Despite that, I had to, as quarterbacks say, call an audible after I’d done the whole thing. I had the nagging feeling that something could be better in the lower left. Believe me, I don’t like to settle, but I felt like I was settling; I couldn’t figure out how to change it easily, though, until I was a quarter of the way through cluing the grid.


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Puzzle 511: Freestyle 459. Show some compassion.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.36


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The thing about symmetry in these grids is that, sure, it looks nice, but sometimes you have to do things in one part of the grid to make it work out and hope and pray that they also work on the other side. That’s what happened here. I built the two stacks of nine first, but I really had to open up the upper stack to make it work. I crossed my fingers that it would work for the bottom, which wasn’t a good feeling, but it fit together. I don’t usually have that many long entries going in one direction (10) in one grid, but it somehow worked.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Tuesday!

Puzzle 510: Freestyle 458. You’re a tricky one!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.36


Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!


I don’t know why I don’t do this more often, but I built this grid with a “framework” of interlocking seed entries. It’s easier to get more entries you want in a grid that way than to build everything around stacks. You only need to have a couple of crossing letters work instead of having 9, 10, 11 triplets of letters all having to work together.


Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.


Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Friday!

Puzzle 509: Freestyle 457. The plot thickens.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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Know that when nearby clues have a similar or the same wording, it’s not usually planned. It happened a couple of times in this grid, including with one of the seed entries. I don’t do it if it’s a stretch for either or both of the entries… it actually has to fit. It’s just a happy accident this time.


Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.


Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Tuesday!

Puzzle 508: Freestyle 456. A staggering achievement.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.34


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I’m not one to brag, so the title of this post may seem a little weird. But I’m not bragging… it literally is staggering. As in the staggered stack in the middle of the grid. I had a really hard time making things fit. Every time it seemed to me like a block arrangement would work, either one little letter pair wouldn’t work or I’d find that it was 74 words (and 72 is a pretty sacrosanct number around these parts). If only I could free myself from the bonds of symmetry. Well, I could, couldn’t I? It just wouldn’t be too elegant though.


Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.


Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Friday!

Puzzle 507: Freestyle 455. There are two sides to every story.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31


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Not that I obsess about being the first to put something in a crossword, but I almost never check to see if a seed entry I’ve put in my list has been used before. I’m always kinda disappointed when I discover that it has after I’ve used it as a seed (like one of the two in this grid), but I get over it. I don’t generally care, if it’s a good entry.


Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.


Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Tuesday!

Puzzle 506: Freestyle 454. This is worth the risk.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.33


Have something you wanna say? Got a question? Want to do a guest freestyle? Want to collaborate on a freestyle? Want to just say hello? Hit me up by email!


I don’t know about triple stacks of 11s from now on. This is the second time in recent times that I’ve done double stacks of 11 and I don’t think I’m going back to triples. Put it this way, the most trouble I had with this grid was with the seven-stacks in the upper right and lower left.


Thanks so much to all who’ve left a tip! It’s much appreciated, believe me.


Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


As always, share this link! Pass it around! New puzzle on Friday!