Puzzles #75-81, A Week-Long Meta Suite, Will Begin September 1

The header says it all. Seven puzzles coming soon also explains why I didn’t have a puzzle ready for last week. See y’all Thursday 🙂


Puzzle #74: Freestyle 24

Puzzle #74: “Freestyle 24”

Difficulty: Normal AKA Hard

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Good evening, puzzlers!

This might be the quickest I’ve ever posted a new puzzle in relation to the previous offering, with less than four days elapsed since Puzzle #73’s release. However, it’s still pretty late on a Monday, so I’m sure many of you won’t get to this until at least tomorrow. Why? Part of this was because I wanted to allow solvers that hadn’t seen my blog in a week to try Puzzle #73 first…the other part, as I’m sure you’ll guess, was me taking my sweet-ass time with the cluing of this grid. I’d had the fill completed for a while, and was actually strongly considering sending it off to the NYT…but entries like 8A, 31D, and 63A ultimately had me thinking it was best suited for the indie world. So I hope you enjoy it here! If I may say, the clue/answer combo at 2D may be one of my all-time favorites–it was the seed entry, after all.


The Grid Kid

Puzzle #73: Skyfall

Puzzle #73: “Skyfall”

Difficulty: One of the hardest puzzles I will ever put on this blog. I think.

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Good…morning? Evening? Puzzlers?

I’m in the wee hours typing this post, and on a Thursday night/Friday morning…so what’s going on? Well, I’ll have you know that this week’s delay was entirely intentional–in a manner for you to discover! However, as you may note from the blurb above, this one is H-A-R-D. I actually had to scale a bunch of the clues back to even Monday-level difficulty, because this puzzle is a tough nut to crack, at least in my analysis. Then again, I don’t employ test solvers other than, uh, myself mimicking various skill levels, so I could’ve missed the mark big time here. Here’s hoping for an enjoyable solve–as always, I appreciate your feedback. Oh, and I apologize profusely for a few answers in this puzzle…this was about the cleanest I could get after many, many iterations!

(Side note: I also apologize profusely for the WHORE HOUSE cluing angle used last week. I figured it be better to go “current event-y” over “gross pun” or “stale, factual clue,” but yeah, now that I look back, it was still pretty tasteless. I mean no disrespect to Lamar Odom or anything like that…hell, I grew up in a Lakers household, so I loved watching the guy!)


The Grid Kid

Puzzle #72: Backing Down From Getting Things Done

Puzzle #72: “Backing Down From Getting Things Done”

Difficulty: Pretty tough. Lots of oddball clues.

Downloads:     PUZ     PDF     Last Week’s Solution


Good afternoon, solvers!

For starters, I just want to say that I’m just getting around to looking at a bunch of unread email; if you’ve been waiting on a response from me, I sincerely apologize! I do truly appreciate each and every time someone reaches out to me directly, and I’m doing a terrible job at conveying that. I look to have everything tied up by tonight, but I sure don’t want to rush any responses…quality over quantity, y’know.

On to what we’ve got here. I actually had this puzzle’s theme (and all its answers) locked in for a while now…but it took forever to find a grid to house them all successfully. And when that finally worked out, the fills I was generating were horrendous to my standards. So this is a great example of a puzzle that sat on the back burner for good bit, then finally made a resurgence to the top of my archives! Hope you appreciate the result; it took a LOT of tweaking to iron out!

I’m also just gonna say that, FWIW, 5-Down is one of my all-time favorite answers I’ve used in an indie puzzle… [laughs maniacally]


The Grid Kid