Tag Archives: freestyle

Puzzle 525: Freestyle 473. On the rebound.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.36


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A sleep regression phase has hit for our son, which means, naturally, that it’s also a sleep regression phase for Mama and Daddy. I cannot explain this, but I am incredibly productive writing clues that I’m happy with when I’m sitting up late at night overtired trying to get Nathan to sleep. I swear to you that I wrote about 50 clues the other night between midnight and 2:00 am, when he went to sleep for the night. I have trouble constructing an actual grid when I’m overtired, but the clues I can fly through. Go figure. It seems paradoxical, because usually you can’t really function as well when you’re overtired. I have no idea what’s going on.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 524: Freestyle 472. Sleep like a baby.


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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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!


Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of my first posted grid here on this site. I’m proud to say that. I’m also proud to say that I’ve had a new original grid or other kind of puzzle every Tuesday and Friday, without fail, since that first one. And that ain’t gonna change anytime soon. In honor of that, every clue in today’s grid starts with the letter V! (Kidding… I wouldn’t do that to you.) Hopefully it’ll even last long enough for Nathan to get a co-writing credit on one of these things. That’d make me one proud daddy.

Write what you know. A central tenet for writers, and an almost-central tenet for this grid (the seed answer is one above the center row). We have had a baby for over 9½ months now, so we certainly know about that. The clue is ironic given that none of us have slept like a baby the last few nights. At least I got a crossword grid out of our state of near-delirium.


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Thanks as always to the test solvers for their input.


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Puzzle 523: Freestyle 471. It must be you.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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 do a lot of browsing on Reddit. Not, like, an obsessive “you should get a hobby” lot of browsing, but a good amount. Consequently, some of the entries on my seed list are from things people bring up on Reddit. The seed entry this whole entry was based on, at 63-Across, is one of those seeds. It didn’t originate on Reddit, but I’ve seen it enough that it got imprinted into my head. (Don’t worry, it’s not a meme thing.)


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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 522: Freestyle 470. Reach for the stars!


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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You’re probably going to be seeing more staggered stacks than aligned stacks from me from now on, because I’ve found that they tend to produce more interesting formations. When the longer entries get more “interactive” with each other than independent of each other, I find it a bit more elegant. They may make for slightly more restrictive construction, but that doesn’t mean the fill will get drecky.


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 521: Freestyle 469. I’m not playing around.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

Get the PDF here!

Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 72
Mean word length: 5.28


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 don’t draw from my clue list as often as I should for a seed entry. Overwhelmingly, I draw from my seed list (imagine that, seed lists are sources for seeds) and think of a clue for it after I fill. Sometimes I don’t know why I even have a clue list, as I think coming up with a new clue that wasn’t premeditated is usually more interesting and yields a better result, but this one I couldn’t pass up.


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 520: Freestyle 468. I could just eat you up!


Last Tuesday’s freestyle solution

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Get the PUZ here!


Word count: 68
Mean word length: 5.50


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 I use a proper name as a seed, which I did here, it’s gotta be one of two things for me: either (a) it’s an extremely well-known name that hasn’t been used in a grid before (which is hard to find) or (b) it’s a name that’s just enough on the fringes of consciousness that many people won’t immediately remember it but will go “oh yeah, I’ve heard of that from somewhere!” when they see it. I much prefer to use the latter, and 33-Across I think will fit into that category. For my other seed, I used an entry that fits into one of my other favorite categories of seed entries: something you do or hear about all the time but didn’t know there was a term for.


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 519: Freestyle 467. Excellent choice.


Last Friday’s freestyle solution

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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!


One of the things I really don’t like happening during a grid construction is being forced into using a 15-letter entry that I wasn’t really planning on using. 15s are usually the marquee entries… they’re the seed entries. The longest entries in a grid are generally the ones you want to put in first, because those are the biggest constraints. You don’t want to be limited by a couple of letters that already have to be in place. But (you know the common refrain, say it with me) it worked out in the end.


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!