Puzzle #60: Freestyle 20

Puzzle #60: “Freestyle 20”

Difficulty: Hardest freestyle yet, imho

Downloads:     PUZ      PDF     Last Fortnight’s Solution


Happy New Year, solvers!

Winter break has been underway, which means that this constructor has been hibernating for weeks while the tasks he needs to complete continue to pile up around him. Class registration? Don’t even get me started. Internship offer acceptance? I hope they don’t retract it at this point. NGOTB posts? Yeah, yeah, I know, I know. Sigh. My bad, Chris and Kam. You guys got the short stick. (But seriously, they’ll be up soon!)

In other news, I’m pleased to announce that the GridKidMobile is now a thing! S/O to Mom for hitting me with the vanity plate as a Christmas Day surprise. Yes, it is so amazingly cheesy, but, I mean, COME ON. Keep your eyes peeled for this baby at the upcoming ACPT, which you can register for here!


Alright. Today’s puz. I swear I’ve said this like 10 times, but I spent an incredibly long time on this thing. Maybe it’s because 20 is my lucky number and I wanted Freestyle 20 to be my best yet. But holy crap, this was so satisfying to finish. Is it my best work? I can never be the judge of that…totally your call, especially when some answers that I think are “super cool” may be giant question marks for others. But I can say that this is at least tied for my favorite freestyle I’ve ever made.

I spent hours and hours on each section of the grid trying my best to make it perfect. And by “perfect,” I didn’t just want a super smooth puzzle with lively entries, like I normally say. I wanted a puzzle that could really appeal to a wide variety of solvers. There’s some sports stuff. And some music stuff. And modern stuff. And random scholarly stuff. And some oddball stuff. And X-rated stuff…cuz I mean, I’m an indie puzzlemaker that gives no fucks.

The catch to this diversity is that I felt compelled to make it all a CHALLENGE, which really came with the clues. My goal was to match my cluing to that of a B-level ACPT finals…a good deal of trivia and misdirect, but not so that it’d be too veiled or simply impossible. Then again, you guys should know by now that I straight-up SUCK at gauging how hard my puzzles are! Like, I really don’t know why I still specify a difficulty level within each post. Thus, anyone wanna volunteer to give me feedback on how much I’ve missed the mark today…? Thanks in advance 🙂

I hope I don’t come off as some cocky bastard regarding this puzzle, btw. I think it’s exemplary work based on my capabilities, but who knows how this thing is. There’s only one way to find out, though: try it! Rate using the widget! Comment below! Drop me a line using the Contact page! And share this post! Here’s hoping you enjoy solving this puzzle as I did constructing it!


The Grid Kid


6 thoughts on “Puzzle #60: Freestyle 20

  1. You were right, this was hard, but fair. Had to go away and come back a few times, but finished (with one error) without googling or checking for wrong entries. Would have been perfect except I had the name of the Angry Birds developer wrong. The crossing at 18A makes more sense now. Lots of good stuff here. Keep up the good work.


  2. DNF with twelve blank squares. Sam is the hardest puzzle I do all week. I kinda wish he would dial it back like 5%. It’s fun, but a lot of work when it doesn’t jell.


  3. A really fantastic puzzle. The trivia is placed in such a fashion that it isn’t an impediment to the solve if you’re unfamiliar with it and the wordplay clues are just brilliant–every bit the match for the devilish Bob Klahn. A thoroughly enjoyable and rewarding crossword. Thanks and bravo.


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