Tag Archives: freestyle

Puzzle 616: Freestyle 557. Take that back!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.19


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You don’t really have to look at anything other than the block arrangement to see how my general stubbornness obviously shows through in this grid. The Utah-shaped block chunks are the dead giveaway. If this were an actual construction project instead of a crossword construction project, I would have had to get two or three people on a crowbar to make everything fit without having to put in some weird jog in a pipe or cutout in a wall.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 615: Freestyle 556. You hit the bullseye!


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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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!


17-Across. I grew up with that song. My wife grew up with that song. I have a 20-month-old son who loves that song. So I have no idea on God’s green earth that it took me this long to put it in one of my grids. Needless to say, this entry was the entire reason for this grid’s genesis.


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 614: Freestyle 555. Now it’s getting personal.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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!


Don’t worry, no crazy diamond shapes or unchecked squares here. Nothing much else to say about this one, except the seed entry here was such a no-brainer for me that I even built the central stack for this grid before I was done with the clues for the last one. And I never start a new grid after I’m completely done with the previous one. I could hardly wait.


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 613: Freestyle 554. Diamonds are a cruciverbalist’s best friend.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72 (diamond-shaped; diagonally 21×21)
Mean word length: 5.81


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Please accept my sincerest apologies… this format just cannot work as a PUZ format. I decided to switch it up pretty radically — it’s still your standard crossword, but I turned it 45 degrees so it’s shaped like a diamond. (Well, maybe not TOO radically… the first ever crossword from 1913 was shaped like a diamond.) A diamond with 21 squares across and down has almost the same amount of space as a normal 15×15, so I turned the crossword onto its corner. Since a diamond has unchecked squares, I solved that by making each unchecked square, reading clockwise, form a word with its own clue. (I indicated this in the grid, don’t worry.) My crossword formatting and displaying software just didn’t like that I had some squares that were unchecked in the grid, and garbled the clues when I tried to format it. So it has to be PDF only this week.


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 612: Freestyle 553. Victory is yours!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 71 (16×15)
Mean word length: 5.75


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I had a few 16s burning a hole in my seed list, so I figured now is that time for another 16×15. With that comes a whole different set of challenges — it’s a whole other column, so it’s 16 more squares, but I have to keep it at 72 or under still. Since it’s impossible (I’m pretty sure?) to have an even number of entries with this shape, the max has to be 71. So 16 more squares and one less entry makes for a pretty wide open grid by necessity, though it doesn’t sound like much. It isn’t one I’d like to take on every week, but it’s a fun challenge for me once in a while.


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 611: Freestyle 552. The plot thickens…


Last Tuesday’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!


I decided to go the classic route of four corners and four stacks and I’m very proud of the way this one turned out. Not much to say about this one, other than that the most tricky part, and the only real hiccup, was making sure that the long answers at 31- and 39-Across worked with the middle section.


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 610: Freestyle 551. It’s out of my hands.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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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!


When I really like an entry enough to put it in my seed list, sometimes I don’t think about just how difficult or awkward it would be to write an actual clue for it. I guess the right maneuver is to put it in first, and work it out later; that’s obviously what I did here. The seed entry for this one was one of the last three clues I wrote. It was really hard to write a clue that didn’t repeat a word in the entry.


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 609: Freestyle 550. That doesn’t change anything.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.25


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!


What was I saying about turning triple stacks into double stacks recently? I’m definitely making a habit of this. It requires a little more work to get the center sections to work every time, but that’s nothing compared to the easier time I have stacking two instead of wrangling three entries together to fit in those two corners.


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 608: Freestyle 549. You’re gonna flip out.


Last Tuesday’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!


Well, I finally did it. All three entries in this main stack are entries from my seed list. Usually what happens is that I get a 15 from my seeds and try to find another 12 from the list that stacks well, then leave it at that and find any old good-looking entry that works for the other 12. This time, I put the 15 in, then I put the 12 in below it, and it stacked so well that I thought, “What the hell?” So I went down the list of 12s again and, lo and behold, I came across one that actually worked on the top. That got me many magnitudes more excited than a normal person should get.


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 607: Freestyle 548. Don’t lose sleep over it.


Last Friday’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!


Forgive me that I like to talk shop in a lot of these posts, but I nerd out about crossword construction sometimes! I think this is what I’m going to do from now on when I have 10- or 11-stacks intersected by the grid spanner. Breaking up the corner into doubles instead of triples spreads the impact a little around the grid instead of having three fixed letters in a long stack. Not that any of these constructions are a breeze, but that made those corners so much easier and didn’t really make the rest of the grid any harder to construct.


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!