Puzzle 583: Freestyle 526. If you want something done, do it yourself.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.22


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!


Way off-topic, but I feel like I have to say this. Father’s Day was this past Sunday, and it’s been on my mind.

I saw an ad for diapers that showed a dad on the box. My first innate reaction was surprise. It wasn’t surprise that a dad was changing a diaper, it was surprise that an ad was showing a dad changing a diaper. In 2020, surprise should not be the innate reaction in a scenario like that. Advertisers, I know it seems like it’s so hard — you have to hit Ctrl-F to find-and-replace in your scripts, and I know that’s so much effort — but there is no reason that you cannot change “mom” to “parent” in your ads. It is not required that you are a female parent to know what diaper, what cereal, what juice, what frozen premade chicken dinner, what peanut butter, whatever, is best for your kids. All you hear in ads is “moms agree”, “moms know”, “as a mom”, “mom-approved”, “hard-working moms”, but substitute “parent” for “mom” and all those phrases are just as applicable, yes? Dads can do all those things, shockingly enough.

Good dads know just as well as good moms what’s best for their children. Dads can have it all too. Dads’ opinions matter just as much as moms’. It doesn’t make you feel too good when your opinions are disregarded, does it? So why do you do it to millions of good dads everywhere in one fell swoop time after time?

When you deliberately exclude dads from the conversation for anything but “get your dad a drill!” ads around Father’s Day, you are displaying nothing but ignorance. You are making good, conscientious dads like us tune out of your ads immediately. And you are further shaping the untrue but widely held public opinion that dads are the afterthought in raising their own children. You don’t see how that might be frustrating to us?

Sorry I don’t have anything crossword-related 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 Tuesday!

Puzzle 582: Freestyle 525. Wipe the slate clean.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

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!


It’s no secret that I miss sports. Well, it may have been a secret to you, but if it was, it isn’t anymore. They’re coming back slowly and slowly, thank goodness. I may not have entirely meant from the start to include three sports-related entries among the longest answers in this grid, but they probably slipped into the grid somehow through my subconscious anyway.


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 581: Freestyle 524. Don’t get testy with me.


Last Friday’s Wordominoes solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.39


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 not often that my seed isn’t a single answer, but a stack of two answers. To my great delight, I worked it out in my head that 1-Across and 14-Across stacked pretty well… and that pretty much shaped the whole grid. Not that this would give anything away, but I did, during construction of the grid, get another seed, 13-Down, from an episode of “Bob’s Burgers” that I was watching. Knowing the show won’t give you a leg up on knowing the answer, so that’s why I’m telling you here.


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 580: Freestyle 523. It’s just what I do.


Last week’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.42


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!


First thing I have to do is to beg for forgiveness here. I lost track of days somehow, and that’s why you don’t see a big staggered stack in the middle even though it’s Tuesday. I hope you’ll forgive me just this once. All these days are blending together anyhow.

I might say that it feels exponentially easier to do a construction when the longest stack is reduced to a double from a triple, like it is here. I say every time that I don’t know why I don’t do it like this every time, but I don’t think it’s really that simple. It’s more like a case-by-case basis.


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 579: Wordominoes 9. Give it a whirl!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!


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’ve said it more than once before, and I’ll say it again. These are really fun to construct. They organically develop from a seed entry (cage #2 in this case) more naturally than a regular crossword because there’s nowhere for answers to hide — there are no black squares and each letter, in each square, is a part of three answers. It’s a veritable tapestry made of letters.

If you’re relatively new here, and you like what you solve, you can follow this link here to get all my previous Wordominoes grids.


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 578: Freestyle 522. Absolutely fascinating!


Last Tuesday’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!


I’m learning to love the 13-15-13 stack in the middle, now that I’m not afraid of the long intersecting down answer. Much as I usually don’t care about aesthetics in my grids, I really don’t want the Utah-shaped (three on top of two) or the stairstep chunks of blocks (3/2/1) in these grids. Well, actually, it’s less for aesthetic reasons and more that it takes up a big chunk of my block count in a small space. I’m not going over 39 blocks in a 72-word grid — it may seem like an arbitrary number, but I have to draw the line somewhere. 40 blocks and 72 entries, to me, is where it starts to seem like you’re making too much of a sacrifice.


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 577: Freestyle 521. Let’s see what happens.


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!


Sure, those long diagonal blocks may look nicer, but they allow for fewer block count with the same word count. That means more white squares, and thus more longer words, which makes it harder to construct. “Why do you do it that way, then?”, you, being of supreme common sense,  may ask of me, not being of any sort of common sense. Well, the long stacks govern everything, and that’s pretty much the only way the blocks worked with the stacks I built.


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 576: Freestyle 520. You dropped this…


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 68
Mean word length: 5.56


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 worry — I didn’t go political with this grid, but this is the closest I’ll ever come to it. One thing you don’t ever have to worry about in any of my grids is a political slant one way or another.  You and I come to solve these grids to escape from politics, not to engage in them; we see enough of them outside this grid. The seed entry refers to a much-debated political topic, but the clue itself takes a very factual angle, believe me.


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 575: Freestyle 519. Here’s my opening statement…


Last Friday’s Split Decisions Two Ways solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.22


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 have no real rhyme or reason to when I throw in a variety puzzle on a Friday… I just do it when I get an idea or when I feel like it. This time, though, back to your regularly scheduled freestyle. This would have been another fun one to put a time-lapse camera on. The evolution of the black squares in the grid would have looked like a rudimentary Pixar movie.


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 574: Freestyle 518. I had you going…


Last Tuesday’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!


The construction of this grid, for a long time, felt like one big game of Whack-a-Mole. I laid out the central stack, but it seemed like there was always one slot where no entry would work. I would fix that spot so that something would fit there, and it would cause another area not to work. What saved me, what broke that maddening cycle, was the entry at 23-Down. It hadn’t been in my word list; it wasn’t in any online dictionary, though it’s definitely a thing. It just washed over me in what felt like a biblical revelation. If that entry hadn’t worked, I have no idea what I would have done.


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!