Puzzle #46: Freestyle 15

Puzzle #46: “Freestyle 15”

Difficulty: Pretty tough

Good morning, puzzlers!

C’mon, we all knew I couldn’t go much longer without creating/posting another freestyle! Let’s do a quick rundown in bullet form:

• This one’s a 68-worder I made by actually designing the grid first; usually I begin by filling one corner, placing blocks around it so that the symmetrically opposite corner can also be filled without trouble, and then making lots of fill/block tweaks as I go along.
• Okay, I lied slightly: originally, there were blocks placed at the 27 square and its counterpart, and the symmetric pair of cheaters (next to the 33 square & diagonally near the 40 square) didn’t exist. However, as soon as I filled in the first five letters of what would be 4D, I knew I could extend that answer to its current 11-letter state by removing the aforementioned 27 square block.
• While I reeeeeeally didn’t wanna put those two cheaters there (OMG THEY ARE SO UGLY!), I was satisfied enough with how the fill was shaping up in the top-left and bottom-left sections. Win some, lose some, I guess.
• The seed entries were 1A, 17A, and 40A. Yup, that’s it. 4D, 24A, 26D, 59A, and even 51A were all lucky bonuses.
• I apologize profusely for 50A. As soon as I filled in 26D, I knew the letter at which those two entries met would present an obstacle, in the location it was in. However, I’d like to think it was a lone blemish…happy enough that 59A made it in that section, because that was such a last-minute thought, even though I know I’ve wanted to use it in other puzzles before. Have any of you constructors out there come across something like this too? The triumph was too real.

See y’all at Lollapuzzocho this weekend!

Sincerely,

The Grid Kid