Puzzle 73: Anagram Crossword 4. Add letters and stir.

Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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In case you missed my first three Anagram Crosswords, they can all be found right here. The hardest part of constructing these was building up the database. That’s still going on. After that, constructing it is the same as constructing any other crossword for me, but with a much narrower word list… except, when cluing, sometimes I catch myself thinking of a clue for the actual entry instead of the anagram for that entry. (Don’t worry, I checked them all… there aren’t any “regular” clues here.)

I’ll be back with another freestyle crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle 46 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

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

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Puzzle 72: Freestyle 46. Good things come in small packages.

Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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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!

Thirteen of my indie crossword friends and I are in a BuzzFeed listicle thanks to crossword maven Caleb Madison! Check it out and see how well you do (if you haven’t seen most of these clues already anyway)!

As I’ve said before, you know when I felt like a challenge whenever you see a 7×7 puzzle like this one. Only two 8s are in the grid due to placement of helper squares. These 7x7s can get really boring if you’re not careful, so I was careful… plus, I enjoy finding the fresh entries in the shorter lengths because that’s not where the solver is expecting the really nice entries. I know that’s how I feel myself as a solver.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle was in 38-Across. Now, I’m not a big film fan at all, but this was awesome to encounter.

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 71: Freestyle 45. You heard me right.

Last Friday’s Word and Variations solution

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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!

A high number of seed entries survived until the end of this one: 17-, 37-, and 52-Across and 3- and 9-Down. This is an older construction that I came back to, and I’m glad that I did; this even predates the website by a long, long while. But I still feel like it encapsulates the vibe of this website, so I went back through it and redid some of the clues. Some of the long entries (say, 32-, 37- and 52-Across and 9-Down) may have you think that I was in a sad, bitter, and sarcastic mood when I constructed the puzzle — maybe I was, I don’t know.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle was that the 45-Across drink was not only a favorite of LBJ’s, but also did he even install a tap for it in the White House so he could have it whenever he wanted.

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 70: Freestyle 44. We have reached cruising altitude.

Last week’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!

For some reason, I was in a mood to put my major stacks in the upper right and lower left instead of the usual opposite. It was a new way to approach things, if nothing else. The two main seeds were 16-Across and 60-Across, with 27- and 44-Across manifesting themselves over the process of construction. It’s different putting the stacks on the opposite side of the grid as usual, because the intersecting stacks are in different places than I’m used to doing — in the top stack, the intersecting 7-stack was at the end, as opposed to the beginning with how I usually have done it. I’d hazard a guess that most freestyle stack puzzles begin with the stack in the upper left/lower right; I think this is because the marquee answer tends to be at the top of the stack and many constructors like to put the marquee answer at 1-Across.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle was all about 27-Across. Without giving too much away, this football club is pretty interesting to learn about, and I recommend you read up about it (after you solve the puzzle, of course).

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 freestyle puzzle on Friday!

Puzzle 69: Word and Variations. Your chance to play “word detective”.

Last Friday’s Freestyle 42 solution

Get the “easier version” PDF here!

Get the “harder version” 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!

Did you ever have one of those “déjà vu” moments where you come up with an idea, but you swear you’ve seen something like that before and yet you just can’t place it or even find it on Google? Anyway… whatever it is, wherever the idea came from, I’ve got what I think is an interesting puzzle for you. The crux of the puzzle is this: I’ve thought of 25 “mystery words”, each one of which has an anagram, a synonym, and a rhyme. I’ve given the anagram, synonym, and rhyme of each of the 25 individual words (not in sequence, of course) and your goal is to figure out each of the 25 mystery words.

There are two versions, an “easier” and a “harder” version. In the “easier” version, 75 words are split off into three columns, with each column arranged in alphabetical order. Using your linguistic logic, pick the one word from each column — one of them is the anagram, one the rhyme, and one the synonym, whose order is for you to determine — that leads to each “mystery word”. In the “harder” version, the same 75 words are all arranged in alphabetical order, not with any particular columnar arrangement. That is, instead of picking one word from each column as in the easier version, you’ll have to find the three words for each “mystery word” somewhere in the list, in no particular order. In both cases, each word listed will be used exactly once. The directions for each will explain in more detail… I just want you to know what you’re getting into before you choose “easier” or “harder”.

I’ll be back with another crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle Puzzle 43 will appear there too. But I hope this will tide you over until then.

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 68: Freestyle 43. I don’t mean to be upfront.

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!

The seed answers for this grid were 21-Across, 49-Across, and 3-Down. This was a little bit more difficult to construct not because there are two fewer words than usual, but because there are more three-letter words than usual. I had to be very careful that there weren’t too many, if any, clunkers in the threes. It had been a 72-word puzzle, but then I happened to discover that I could take out a pair of black squares (where 18-Across and 56-Across are now) and make perfectly good 15-letter entries from the 8s that were already in place! I don’t usually willingly reduce the word count, but this made the vocabulary in the puzzle definitely more interesting… so why not?

Oh, and I couldn’t resist… I live in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, so I just had to namecheck Berkshire County, England with the clue at 50-Down.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is in 35-Across. I was looking at a map and happened to notice this town, and my foreign language classes from way back kicked in.

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 67: Freestyle 42. It just got real up in here…

Last week’s Double and Nothing solution

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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!

The original seed for this puzzle is at 17-Across (believe it or not, it wasn’t 1-Across, though that was one of the seeds).  You probably know what they are, you’ve seen them all over the place, you’re probably familiar with the concept, but you may or may not know that they had a name.

The night before this post, I actually saw a (very well-acted) “Shakespeare in the Park” version of “Romeo and Juliet”. When I heard the line at 16-Across, the light bulb went off in my head because I remembered that I used that line in the clue. What’s more is that this wasn’t even the reason that I picked that puzzle for this post. It’s always whatever grid I have in my queue that strikes me the most at that particular moment, unless I have a more time-sensitive topic. So it really was pure coincidence.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is at 6-Down. Well, it wasn’t from this puzzle, it was from a feature I watched a while ago on one of those science stations with the high channel numbers. That fact I included in the clue isn’t the only fascinating thing about that parrot by far.

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!