Tag Archives: freestyle

Puzzle 593: Freestyle 537. Just my two cents here.


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!


It’s really interesting how I come across entries for my seed list. It would read as a completely random, disparate list of sources. There’s one from the list in each of these four corners — one came from a Twitter exchange back from before I quit social media, one came from a Reddit thread, one came from an email I got at work, and one came from a TV show about the incredible story about a crash of a helicopter all of whose occupants miraculously survived. (I don’t usually watch anything on TV besides sports, game shows, “Shark Tank”, and animated sitcoms, but on occasion, I’ll watch something about air disasters. Go figure…)


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 592: Freestyle 536. There’s a method to my madness.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

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!


It’s fun when you find two entries that stack so well (33 and 36-Across) that you have so, so many options for the bottom of the stack. They pretty much have to stack really well, because 13-15-13 stacks pretty much force you to have a lot of long intersecting answers (unless you do those big stairstep-shaped chunks of black, which I don’t want because it takes up a lot of my precious maximum block count in two small places). Lots more options means lots more fun options, of course, and I do say that it’s a rather fun stack…


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 591: Freestyle 535. Opening the floodgates.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.43


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!


This grid, obviously, was totally all about the grid art. It was meant to be eye-catching from the start. Plus it was meant for me to have a little easier time constructing, though it definitely didn’t turn out that way. My plan was to choose the two 15s and it would be easy from there to knock out each of the four corners. Let me tell you, 7x7s with three letters already fixed, which I did four times, isn’t as easy as it might seem.


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 590: Freestyle 534. I’ve got the world on a string.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


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!


If only people who worked with me knew that their emails have provided me with seed answers like the one across the center of this grid. I mean, I don’t just trawl work emails for seed answers for my grids and nothing else — there are other important things in there sometimes. I don’t know whether I want those people to know they’re doing that — do you know how often I get “You should put that in one of your crosswords!” as it is?


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 589: Freestyle 531. If you say so…


Last Friday’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!


You’ll see quite a few musical references in the grid today. I do like my music, but I didn’t mean for this many references around the grid (except for 1-Across, which was one of my secondary seed entries). At least they cover a wide range of eras and styles. Also, yes, I play poker, hence 13-Down was another secondary seed. I had another poker-related entry, but I decided to take it out because more than one poker reference in long entries of the grid is a bit much to me. I don’t even remember what that other one was 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 588: Freestyle 530. Hold my messages.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.34


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 know well that, when you’re stuck solving, putting it down and coming back to it often leads to a light bulb. Heck, I’d wager that many of you have done that with some of my grids here. But the same is true when constructing, and I had to use that technique twice with this. It almost always goes like this: I have a fill that works just fine. There’s a so-so entry, though, that keeps nagging at me to the point where I say “There has to be a better way to fill this.” I struggle to think of something right away. I shower, go run an errand, play with my son, something like that, then I come back to it. Then something clicks. The first was in the left center in the big stack, and the second was in the upper right.


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 587: Freestyle 529. I really appreciate it.


Last Friday’s Double Shifts solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19


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 know that I don’t generally care about block placement and how it looks, but this one was all about the block placement and the visual effect from it. The only time I changed any blocks was the pair of singlets in the 4th and 12th row. I moved it back and forth among three spots depending on how the stack I was working on in the upper left was working. The hardest parts to construct by far were the upper right/lower left, which was a byproduct of my not wanting to have a whole boatload of 3-letter entries.


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 586: Freestyle 528. Lovely day for a stroll.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.40


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!


Funny how the tiniest tweaks can make me feel so much better about a grid. There were two entries in this grid that I didn’t have in the original completed grid. Admittedly, they weren’t even in my word list (though they should have been), so I didn’t even think about them. I was ok with the original entries, but changing them was SO much better.


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 584: Freestyle 527. Let’s see some action.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

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!


Outside of the central stack, one of the seed entries is seeing the light of day after being in my seed list for almost as long as I’ve had this site — 59-Across. I’ve probably had opportunity to use it before, but passed over it for some reason or another. I mean, it was in my list because I really liked it, and I obviously still like it enough. Things happen sometimes, I guess.


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 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!