Puzzle 382: Freestyle 342. Come on, take a bow!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.60


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I really opened up the upper left/lower right sections of this grid more than I usually do for a corner section. I don’t know why I made it a little harder on myself than I really had to — I don’t usually include 6×5 swaths of white space in my grids. But I was feeling a little ambitious the day I constructed that grid… and so there you have it.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 381: Freestyle 341. I didn’t expect that…


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.36


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10-Across was inspired by science fiction. I don’t know why, because I’m not much of a sci-fi fan — OK, I’m not a sci-fi fan in the least . Even though I know it’s fiction, I can never help but to say, “Well, that isn’t physically possible…” 150 times per movie. (That’s why no one invites me to movies anymore…)


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 380: Freestyle 340. Don’t rest on your laurels.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.44


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 not gonna lie here, the block structure made this grid not so bad at all to construct. Those long diagonal lines of black squares allow the constructor to use an economy of them while still keeping the word count reasonable and keeping the grid from having any wide swaths of wide-open white space. Not counting the pair of helper squares, this is, I think, the fewest number of blocks one can have in a 72-entry grid — 27 if you don’t count the two helpers.


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 379: Freestyle 339. This one’s going viral.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.57


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, this grid was build all starting from that center stack, but that center stack was started with something unusual for me: a seed entry that was seeded because of its clue, not strictly because of the entry itself. I just couldn’t resist once I came up with the clue for that phrase.


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 378: Freestyle 338. Out with it!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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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!


I like the central staggered stack. You and I know that. It’s a way to cluster long entries together without needing to align every single letter to make it work. In this case, instead of stacking, say, three elevens one on top of the other, needing to match three columns of eleven letters, the stagger lets me stack a 12, 13, and 12 and I only need to match three columns of nine letters. Maybe I’ve said too much… I’m giving away all of my secrets…


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 377: Freestyle 337. I know what’s what.


Last Friday’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!


Usually, my stacks either start at an edge or are one row or column off the edge, but I pinched them in a bit further for this grid. I don’t know why I did it — it would have been just as easy to move the stacks one row farther from the center, considering the grid spanner — but sometimes I need to change it up a little bit.


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 376: Freestyle 336. I’ve got eyes in the back of my head.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.44


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!


 

Like a favorite blanket, like your childhood teddy bear, the 8×6 pattern is what I always go back to. It’s my comfort zone. In these days of crazy shapes and big stacks and wide-open swaths (take that as a metaphor, or take it literally) this is the macaroni and cheese of crossword grids for me. It never fails to turn out a good grid for 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!