Puzzle 58: Freestyle 36. Put this on your schedule.

Last week’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Average word length: 5.25

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The construction of this grid came very quickly for me. As you can see by the unusual black square configuration, I built the puzzle around several seeds that were there from the start. Those were 8-Down, 17-Across, 23-Across, 47-Across, and 30-Down. Those were all in my seed list, so it was pretty fortunate that I could interlock four of them like that. It’s sorta unusual that none of the answers in the main stacks were seeds, because that’s where they usually are.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is the parenthetical fact in the clue at 58-Across. At first I thought it was the band name, then I learned it was his name… then I learned that it wasn’t a stage name.

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

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Puzzle 57: Freestyle 35. Give this the once-over, will you?

Last week’s Wordominoes solution

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Word count: 70
Average word length: 5.57

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The main impetus that drove the construction of this puzzle was obviously 6-Down. Believe it or not, I was inspired to use that phrase in this grid by RuPaul (remember RuPaul?), who uttered this phrase in a promo clip for a show about body painting on the Game Show Network. (You can’t make this stuff up!) Other seeds include 3-Down, 11-Down, and 57-Across.

The northwest was an adventure to construct in and of itself; it wasn’t that it was a particularly hard corner to build, but I think it was cursed. No less than three separate times did I construct that corner, go on to another part of the puzzle (or to cluing), and then discover that there was an egregious dupe. I ran this final version through Crossword Compiler just to make sure there were no bad dupes. (Besides, I realize I had one in my last puzzle that I really should have noticed.)

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is the word in the clue for 4-Down. I looked into it to make sure, and learned that it was an actual thing that people really said.

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 56: Freestyle 34. Going to great lengths.

 

Last week’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Average word length: 5.14

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20-, 35-, and 51-Across and 16-Down were the impetus for this puzzle. This has more blocks in it than I’d like — 40 is the absolute highest I’d probably ever go for a 15×15 freestyle — but it was all thanks to the 11-letter word down the middle that forced the infamous 6-block triangles. It was amazing the amount of different block arrangements I tried before settling on this one — I even briefly considered breaking my word and going 66 words before gravitating all the way back down to 72. As you can see from the grid, there were plenty of opportunities to go to 68 or 70 words, but I settled on this one because it gave me the best opportunity for good fill. I am nothing if I am not a man of my word!

You may also note that I have a few more question-mark clues than normal. What does that say about me as a person? I don’t know, I guess I was just in a punny mood (I swear, I get in these punny moods sometimes and I just can’t help myself! Just ask my wife and my coworkers.)

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is the fact in the clue at 35-Across. In my metaphorical travels as an engineer, I became familiar with this. Seriously, when you’re done with the puzzle, look this thing up… it’s incredible.

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 55: Wordominoes 3. Time to employ some circular logic.

Last Friday’s Anagram Crossword solution

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The triply-checked grid strikes again! In case you missed it, my first two Wordominoes puzzles are here and here. Each letter in this grid goes in an answer across, down, and around. As with a regular crossword, I started with the longest answer (16 letters, in this case), and also just like a regular crossword (but unlike my first two of these grids), I didn’t finish with the same cage configuration that I started with. It’s a little harder to change around the lines after you’ve constructed much of this kind of puzzle, but it worked out very smoothly for me this time and I didn’t have to tear out much of the grid at all. (For the record, it was in the upper right.)

I’ll be back with another freestyle crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to Freestyle 33 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?

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

 

Puzzle 54: Freestyle 33. Have a ball!

Last week’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.54

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 entire puzzle took its shape from four entries: the two stacked at 14-Across and 17-Across and their symmetric opposites at 60-Across and 63-Across. The first stack I started with was the one at the bottom — once 25-Down fell into place from that stack, that pretty much dictated the structure of the whole grid. That’s the way I’ve been operating lately: I find two entries from the seed list that stack, lay them out in the grid, and let it all develop from there.

Before I started this site, I admit that I didn’t really like writing clues. I never mailed it in when cluing a grid, for sure, but it was much more of a slog than building the grid itself. Now, I actually enjoy the process… I hope that shows through in the solve. I think it may be because I know I’m self-editing through the entire process; also, I’m more familiar of my specific audience. I don’t have to tame anything down, either.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is the word at 32-Across. I sheepishly admit that I’d never heard that term until now.

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 53: Anagram Crossword 3. It’s a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up grid.

Last Friday’s meta puzzle solution and explanation

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The Anagram Crossword has been the most popular of the variety puzzles I’ve posted on this site. Here are the first one and the second one in case you’ve missed them. Hey, give the people what they want, right? It’s been fun and a lot of time cultivating the word list I use to make these grids, and I’m going to keep adding to the list for future puzzles like this.

I’ll be back with another freestyle crossword puzzle, of course, on Tuesday. The answer to  Freestyle 32 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?

As always, share this link! Pass it around!

Puzzle 52: Freestyle 32. We could be heroes.

Last week’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!

Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.51

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 rare occurrence with this puzzle. You’ll see the grid spanner at 35-Across, and you’d be safe to assume that it was a seed entry. Well, it wasn’t! The construction started in the upper left, and, as the process went along, the middle row had to be opened up completely. I’m glad to have that entry in the middle, though. 1-Down got me out of a little jam in the northwest; I was about to make a serious compromise in that corner when I had that forehead-slapping moment. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t thought of that as an entry before.

The seeds in this one were 14-Across and 17-Across; mini-seeds included 35-Across (obviously), 11-Down, and 12-Down. It’s rare that I can stack two pairs of seed entries in the same puzzle, but I’m glad I was able to do it.

My favorite thing that I learned from this puzzle is at 49-Across; I have seen said History Channel program and am still amazed that this airport could even possibly have been built.

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!