Puzzle 237: Freestyle 202. Good luck finding a parking spot.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40

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!

It’s funny how just two answers can alter the pattern of a whole grid. Believe it or not, when this grid was born, the block pattern had your standard long diagonals of black squares going from northwest to southeast and southwest to northeast. But, as you know, all I care about is that the entries fit… I don’t care how (within the basic constraints, of course). As I’ve said in a post before, just like nature has its forces of wind and water that shape the land, crossword grids have their natural forces of letter combinations that shape the swath of white squares.

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 Tuesday!

Puzzle 236: Freestyle 201. It’s hot on the street.

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.66

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. I double-stacked 15s in this grid… and, for some reason, it came out surprisingly smooth to construct even though I dropped it to 70 entries. The long diagonal of black squares always helps, though. No matter how you build it, though, there’s always one obstacle to constructing a 70- or 72-word grid — there’s always one relatively wide-open section or significant stack to deal with — and, since it’s not so painful to find two good fifteens that stack, the obstacle this time was that I had to deal with a stack of 8s intersecting the double stack of 15s. Luckily, I dealt with what initially looked like an impossible letter pairing in the southeast, and it worked out after that resolution.

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!

Puzzle 235: Freestyle 200. Good for the soul.

Last Friday’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!

The construction of the upper left necessitates that wide-openness of the upper right and lower left corners. I generally don’t like to leave four-box-wide swaths more than five letters wide in any corner, but I pretty much had to extend 29-Across like that in order to make everything work. I worked very hard on that upper right corner, and, given 21- and 29-Across extending into that section, I’m pretty sure I found the only fill that worked with my list and my restrictions. It had to have been. I was pretty lucky that it worked out like that, because there aren’t any stinkers in that corner.

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 Tuesday!

Puzzle 234: Freestyle 199. Give me a hand here!

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!

The top two answers in the upper right stack, where I started, were originally in the second and third rows. (It’s nice to find two good entries that stack so well that you can do that.) I worked for a little while with the stack like that until I realized that it’d work even better with those two entries where you see them now.

In the upper left, the stack I started with (and, in fact, the one I had when I started to do the cluing) was a little different than the one you’ll solve. But I came up with a better idea for fill at the worst time to think of a good idea — in bed just before I was about to fall asleep. I usually keep a pen on my nightstand for such a purpose, but, for some reason, it wasn’t there. So I reconstructed it in my head to make sure it would work, then shuffled out of bed to put it into the grid. I couldn’t let it go, because it was a big improvement over what I’d had at that point. I still think it is.

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!

Puzzle 233: Freestyle 198. Catch some fresh powder.

Last Friday’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!

You know how when you really like somebody, so much so that you’re willing to change anything to keep them in your life or get them in your life? Even do some things that you’re not normally willing to do? That’s what happened with this grid for the upper right stack. (“Boy, that guy must be a real nerd if he’s comparing crosswords with girlfriends!”, spoken in the silly Jim Gaffigan imitative audience voice…) I don’t usually form a “pocket” like I did in that upper right, but I liked the way that upper right stack came together so much that I was willing to do that.

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 Tuesday!

Puzzle 232: Freestyle 197. A likely story…

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19

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!

Another grid at the max number of black squares that I’d reasonably want in a grid, but it’s for good reason — a staggered 13-stack in the middle. My ability to run two 12-letter entries crossing this stack allowed me to be a little more flexible in the corners, to run double stacks there instead of forced triple stacks that might not have come out as well. 33-Across was the proto-seed for the grid, but 37-Across was a seed list entry that stacked well with it and allowed me lots of flexibility with the bottom 13 of the stack.

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!

Puzzle 231: Freestyle 196. Drop the gloves!

Last Friday’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!

Usually, when you see a grid spanner in the center of a grid of mine, you see another one intersecting it going the other direction. Not so today. I wanted to make this one stand out. As I alluded to in my previous post, this seed answer was the product of a real-life experience — namely, I signed off social media for good. I wasn’t exactly a Facebook or Twitter addict by any means, but it was having a very negative net effect. No one needs things in their lives that end up affecting them negatively, especially things that they choose to do. That’s the reason I keep on doing this site — it is a way, way positive net effect, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime close to soon.

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 Tuesday!