Puzzle #37: Freestyle 12

Puzzle #37: “Freestyle 12”

Difficulty: Very hard

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Week’s Solution


UPDATE @ 5/26/15, 10:41 AM: My apologies to those that tried to download the PUZ file, and were faced with a broken link! It should be fixed now though, so have at it. Thanks to Tyler Hinman for pointing this out!

Good morning, all–

Hope you’re having a marvelous Memorial Day Monday thus far, and that the temperature isn’t too high where you are (it certainly is here, but I’ll take 90-degree weather over 40-degree weather any day of the week)! Glad that pools are open, grills are fired up, and parks are full of Little League games and wonderful scenery. Gotta love this time of year!

Quick announcement: Don’t forget that the Indie 500 tournament is THIS SATURDAY in D.C.! Guess who has two thumbs and is super excited for it? THIS GUY. Come say hi to me there…I promise I don’t bite!

Anyway, you may recall that last week’s puzzle was a meta contest, so let’s review! For Puzzle #36, entitled “There’s Gotta Be A Shortcut,” I asked you all to figure out a Rascal Flatts song that would make an excellent theme entry.


From looking at the solution grid above, solvers assumed that the five longest answers, all Across, were thematic and related:

[Eschew a three-mile car ride on weekdays, say] = BIKE TO WORK

[Common soda fountain beverage] = BARQ’S ROOT BEER

[Multiplayer battle arena video game with a limited-time Hexakill game mode] = LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

[1997 rap album with the hit “Triumph”] = WU-TANG FOREVER

[Wrestler who once used another stage name, Akeem, to re-embrace his African roots] = ONE MAN GANG

And indeed they were, as each was a phrase that could be aptly “abbreviated” by a common three-letter texting shortcut: BIKE TO WORK = BTW (“By the way”), BARQ’S ROOT BEER = BRB (“Be right back”), LEAGUE OF LEGENDS = LOL (“Laughing out loud”), WU-TANG FOREVER = WTF (“What the f***”), ONE MAN GANG = OMG (“Oh my god/gosh”). So what Rascal Flatts song could have made for an additional theme entry, yet didn’t make it into the grid? Well, 67 solvers came across I’m Movin’ On,” one of the band’s biggest hits, which can be abbreviated to IMO (“In my opinion”).

There you have it! I received some cool feedback too:

  • Sean notes that my selection of this week’s meta answer was “interesting, given … your previous puzzle title, ‘Moving Van’.” Completely coincidental…I didn’t even notice this!
  • Joel recognizes that I “could have used the Hank Thompson song of the same name if Rascal Flatts isn’t to your taste.” Very true; there were also others by BB King (R.I.P.) and crossword-friendly Yoko Ono, but I figured this selection was by far the most popular and hence the easiest to come across if Google was necessary.
  • Mark writes, after explaining his answer: “So that’s that! Q.E.D.: Quite Easily Done.” Clever.
  • Lawrence also sent me a play on an acronym: “Objectively, Meta Gold.” 🙂

Congrats to those who submitted a correct answer, and a huge thanks to everyone who tried the puzzle out! The winner of the contest, as selected at random through a number generator, is Howard Barkin. Howard will be receiving a pair of The Grid Kid beverage coasters, as promised!

With all that said and done, let’s move onto today’s puzzle. This is another freestyle that happens to be a milestone for me as a constructor: my first-ever “successful” triple stack of 15s! My goal was to find a 15-letter triumvirate that was as smooth and zippy as could be–no A LOT ON ONE’S PLATE, SALES ASSISTANTS, or ADELAIDE’S LAMENT to be found 🙂 Also, with only 66 words and lots of longer fill, I was able to enter a few mini-seeds in 1D and 30D, as well as go all Broda-esque with interesting, wacky, yet inferable longer fill (22D, 32D, 44A). And for those of you that regularly do zillions of puzzles a week, I hope that seeing 2D in a grid is a treat! Regardless, hit me up with feedback in the comments or via email! Thanks, y’all.


The Grid Kid


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