Welcome to 2014. Hope your NYE celebrations were life-altering, or at least fun. Mine were good, but somewhat bittersweet. Played with one of my bands, Ink Road, for our final show after four or so years together (well, sort of. I'm one of only two original members). The gig went really well and there was a healthy crowd, but I am going to miss playing those tunes. Plus, those fellas were some of the finest musicians I've ever had the pleasure of jamming with. Oh well, at least it ended amicably and for a nonridiculous reason. Our singer/songwriter is off to seek his fortune in medicine, so I guess I can accept that.
Also, just tonight I received my signed copy of Ben Tausig's new book, The Curious History of the Crossword (I won it randomly when I renewed my AV subscription). I've only read a few chapters but I like it already. Ben's writing is insightful and lucid, the book itself looks gorgeous, and it's packed with fine puzzles by a host of top-shelf constructors. Check it out!
Today's puzzle is a regular freestyle once again, and is kind of shaped like an onion. I don't know how that happened, but the stacks in the center and the blocked out corners were intentional. I came up with the symmetrical stacks and played around with them in various conventional freestyle arrangements, bottom stack on the top and top on the bottom. Got curious about what would happen if I moved them on top of another in the center of the grid, and then filled out from there. The blocked-out corners came about because I didn't want more than 100 entries to clue.
More words, crossed and otherwise, next Tuesday.
Puzzle: Freestyle #26
Difficulty: Do you really need to keep asking? (i.e. hard)