Puzzle 287: Freestyle 252. That’s not gonna fly!

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.46

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I had as much of a moral dilemma as a crossword constructor could have (which is to say, not much of one) when I noticed a three-letter dupe in an entry that made up, to me, a beautiful corner. Do I break up this really nice corner to erase the dupe, or keep it and deal with a constant nagging insecurity that it isn’t right? Well, I decided to break up the corner, and I’m still OK with how the corner came out. (You may still see some archaeological evidence of the dupe in the finished product.)

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

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 286: Freestyle 251. Give me a boost.

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72 (16×14)
Mean word length: 5.33

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16-letter entries need some love too every now and again, don’t you agree? They burn a hole in my seed list, and I’d like to get them out into the spotlight once in a while. Whenever I expand the width to 16, I like to squash the height to 14, since it’s more convenient to maintain the 72-word limit. Whenever you change the shape, of course, you change the effect of symmetry, and weird things happen to the shape of the white squares more often than not. This time, it was that I stacked a 10-letter entry with each of the 16s across, and had a vertical stack of three 9s intersecting them both. Long stacks intersecting long stacks aren’t my thing, as you know, but I dealt with it easily enough.

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

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

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

Puzzle 285: Freestyle 250. Take a little off the top.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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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, this is the space for me to go on and on about the crossword for today, so pardon me for the somber tone. I visited Barcelona three years ago on a vacation with family, and I became enamored with the city. I would go back in a heartbeat. I loved the whole atmosphere of the city… especially that of La Rambla. We walked down and up La Rambla several times during our week there — it captures the vibe of that great city beautifully, with its street vendors and performers, its bars and cafes, its hustle and bustle.

Much love to the city of Barcelona in this difficult time.

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

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

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

Puzzle 284: Freestyle 249. Here comes trouble!

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
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 think I’ve made more of these 12-13-14 and 13-14-15 stacks than triple 15s for this site, though I think the latter is much more frequently made, I want to say. I wonder why, because obviously triple 15s are harder to make. Maybe constructors don’t like the look of a chunk of black squares in the corners? I don’t know. Plus a stairstep design makes “turning the corner” from the horizontal stacks to the vertical while constructing much easier. Many a time have I built a long stack that I love, only to find that the mini-stack intersecting it can’t be filled — the old fly in the ointment.

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

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

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

Puzzle 283: Freestyle 248. Welcome to the main event!

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28

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I always have my ear open for seed ideas… always. The seed entry, 15-Across, for this grid came to me from a meeting I was in on at work. I couldn’t believe I’d never heard that term before. Don’t worry, my mind didn’t go blank the rest of the meeting trying to remember it (it was a portion of the meeting that wasn’t even remotely relevant to my department’s interests)… I confess that I bring a Post-It pad to every meeting not only to write down relevant points from the meeting but also to write down a seed entry juuuust in case one comes to me or someone says something eminently crossworthy.

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

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

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

Puzzle 282: Freestyle 247. Show us how it’s done!

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.46

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!

Of course the grid started with the intersecting spanners across and down the center, but in no way was I planning to have bonus ten-letter entries like I put at 19- and 56-Across. That is, if you believe me… because I just happened to be able to fit in a seed-list entry at 56-Across that I didn’t see coming. That’s why it’s 70 words instead of 72 — I totally had what’s now 19- and 56-Across as separate 3- and 6-letter entries split by a black square, but it worked out better, after I built the upper right, to extend that entry all the way to the edge. Actually, it’d be more accurate to say that it worked out, period… because there weren’t any good options with a 6-letter entry having those last four letters. There were, however, plenty more 10s with that ending, strange as it may sound. So I opened it up a little bit.

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

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

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

Puzzle 281: Freestyle 246. You’re not serious, are you?

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 may remember that I described in an earlier post how a grid that was originally slated for a particular day was pushed back here. Well, here’s that grid I was talking about. The concern was a very similar entry to a previous grid, and I think we’re far enough apart timewise that it isn’t an issue anymore.

The upper left corner was changed thanks to test-solvers’ comments — I originally had an entry at 1-Down that was a nice, gnarly letter combination, but it was a proper noun that, it turns out, probably wasn’t well-known enough to occupy the corner of a grid. It was in my seed list, too. Oh well. That’s partly what test-solvers are for, and they put that entry in its rightful place in cruciverbal purgatory.

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

Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.

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