Puzzle #32: “Freestyle 10”
Difficulty: A fun challenge
Good afternoon, solvers–
Thank you all for waiting so patiently, and I hope what I have today is worth the multi-hour delay:
This week, I bring to you my first-ever 66-word themeless! This thing took practically forever to make, especially since I do not use any kind of autofill when I construct…I may have reworked the grid over 17,000,000 times. Initially, I had a stack of four 7-letter answers crossing the triple 8s…then I tried making 7-Down and its counterpart into 12-letter answers…whew! Lots of room to work with, surprisingly, which is why this took so goddamn long.
The seed entry was actually 1-Across, and not 62-Across, which was quite the added bonus! In fact, so much of this puzzle’s good fill comes from luck, where I just said, “I wonder if I can fit all of these entries in the same quadrant and still allow for high-quality fill!” It worked out over half the time…which is a LOT for this manually-constructing cruciverbalist. Great examples include experimenting with 42-Across, crossing 62-Across with 36-Down, and crossing 20-Across with 14-Down (that top-right was miraculously smooth!).
Anyway, in case you haven’t figured it out, this might just be one of my favorite themelesses I have ever constructed. Even made the cluing a heckuva lot harder than normal, just to parallel the formidable-looking grid that I set out to fill with the smoothest and zippiest answers possible. I hope for more success like this in the future, and that you enjoy the final product!
The Grid Kid