Tag Archives: freestyle

Puzzle 406: Freestyle 365. You’ve got to accept change.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.49


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Semi-closed off corners make it quite a bit easier to construct a freestyle grid, and this was no exception. This was another one of those 70-word grids that felt like 72 after I finished constructing. The seed for this one was obviously 1-Down, and this one was a long time in the making — I remember a few-years-old crossword in the New York Sun that had the clue “(1-Down answer), e.g.”, and that word has stuck with me so much through these years that I would take it from that clue and put it as an entry.


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Puzzle 405: Freestyle 364. Take it wherever you can get it.


Last Friday’s Wordominoes solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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It isn’t often that a seed entry in one of my grids is a proper name, but it certainly was here. It was motivated by a public incident, shall we say, that overshadowed another’s accomplishment. My motivation in including this name is not to let this person’s achievement, which was very well-earned, slip out of public consciousness. (Vague enough for you?)


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 404: Freestyle 363. Time to lower the boom.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.54


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So the arrangement of the black squares in this grid was intentional. I wasn’t going to move any of them. The reason for the arrangement is that it’s the same block arrangement as my second published New York Times crossword. Why my second? Well, I took a little heat for that one on the blogs (whether deserved or not, I will leave that open-ended) and thought what new grid I could come up with using that same shape. Something’s telling me I don’t think I’ll take the same heat for this one as I did for that one.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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

Puzzle 402: Freestyle 362. Plans have changed…


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.31


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There are a couple of answers in the grid that may look like seed entries, but they’re not. It’s always nice to have a few bonus entries that you don’t plan on fitting into a grid but still find their ways in there. It’s always a good sign when that happens. There were four seeds, but I’m going to leave it a mystery as to which ones they are…


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 401: Freestyle 361. Let’s play it close to the vest.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.39


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This grid design allowed me to put some flourish all around the grid. I interlocked eight long marquee answers with each other, and put stacks in each of the four corners, but only one of the long entries intersected with each stack. Thus I could still operate in the corners to make the stacks without too many constraints.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 400: Freestyle 360. Stop and smell the roses.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 70
Mean word length: 5.34


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If you open this grid and your first thought is something about Tetris, I wouldn’t blame you. (They’re not all tetrominoes, yeah, but you get the picture.) But know that each one of those squares was put in or moved in the effort of preserving entries that I was attached with. I have said it many times and I’ll say it again — I will sacrifice aesthetics ten times out of ten for content.


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.


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Puzzle 399: Freestyle 359. That’s just not okay.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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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!


I was met with the slightest disappointment in a grid that otherwise I was totally happy with. (Way to come out hard selling this one, Tim!) My seed for this grid was a clue/entry pairing that I thought was a home run. But I had to change the entry ever so slightly to make the grid work, so, alas, the clue had to go by the wayside. I won’t give away which one 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 Tuesday!