Category Archives: Crosswords

Puzzle 441, Themed Puzzle 7: “You’re Pushing It!” Don’t push your luck!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 85 (17×14)
Mean word length: 4.56


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You’ll need to indulge me… I came up with an idea for a theme, so I’m switching it up a bit today and giving you a themed grid. It’s hard to explain here, but it’s sort-of a meta. You’ll see when you solve it, I guess. I admit that I clue my themed offerings at a bit easier level than my freestyle grids, and this is no exception. After you solve it, there’s sort-of a spoiler alert (it doesn’t really give anything away, but I felt like I should include it here) that may be necessary, so I’ll include it in white-colored text here (highlight this space to reveal it):

There’s an “Easter egg” message in the clues. I admit, it’s not the most original way to hide a message, but I’m not going to actually tell you how to find it… so I’m going to at least make you work a little bit to find the message.


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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!

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Puzzle 440: Freestyle 399. Solve with reckless abandon.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31


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!


Not often I get to use a “Seinfeld” entry as a seed (I think I’ve only done that once before… don’t want to do it too often and get the “Seinfeld again” eyerolls), but, after my central entries were in, I saw the opportunity and seized it.


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 439: Freestyle 398. Don’t raise a stink.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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!


Three pairs of helper squares for all you fans of those. I couldn’t resist the siren song of the stack of 11, though the detriment is a lot of short fill. After all, there are only so many white squares the way I operate. But short fill doesn’t have to be bad fill… no random unfamiliar abbreviations whose clue might as well be [Three random letters… have at it].


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 438: Freestyle 397. I’m not moving anytime soon.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31


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’m continuing the motif of intersecting central answers this week, though this is a bit of a funky shape, thanks in no small part to the “hip pockets” I drew up in the upper left/lower right. Sometimes those make for defining a grid as separate mini-grids, but I managed to keep the flow relatively open.


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 437: Freestyle 396. Get into the groove.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.51


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!


In case you missed this in the last post, there’s an odd appearance to the PDFs this week. Don’t be alarmed by it, it’ll be back to normal on Tuesday.

I like the long central answers intersecting with each other. It’s one of my go-to designs. The two answers define the grid without confining the construction. Well, that’s sorta true in this case. I started in the lower right, and I had to move blocks around to get the stack I liked to work. Of course, because symmetry, the same thing happens in another spot in the grid… and that made it a bit of a pain in the upper left. Not to mention the first fill I got contained an egregious dupe that I couldn’t leave in.


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 436: Freestyle 395. I need the truth.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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!


Don’t be alarmed by the odd appearance of the PDFs this week. It’s a long story, but I’m not going to have access to my usual PDF-making capabilities for this week, though I’m not on vacation. I’m sure you paper solvers will cope.

I didn’t really plan it that way, but there’s a real conversational vibe to this grid. Astute observers will note that that’s the kind of long entry I prefer to use — phrases that people use in conversation much more than in the written word — but there’s one stack that’s made up entirely of them and another in which two out of three entries are like that. So this grid certainly has a lot to say.


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 435: Freestyle 394. Do it for the children!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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!


This grid was pretty easy to build because it’s essentially four mini-grids linked together by a center section. It isn’t too bad for flow, in my view… it just happened to materialize that way. I had to add a pair of helper squares that isolated the bottom right section, which is where I started, from the upper right. Plus it made it easier for me to unload some 10-letter seed entries in a way that I could fit them 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 Tuesday!