Grid patterns aren’t the most important aspect of a crossword, but it's nice when they have a nice look to them. "Grid art" is also a thing in puzzles, where the black square pattern makes some identifiable formation that relates to the puzzle's theme. A noteworthy recent example is this grid from January , where the black squares form the new year 2020. Here's another example, where the writer put SWISS ROLL in the grid at 16-Down, and then the black square pattern forms the shape of one in the grid.
My favorite grid pattern for a 10x10 puzzle, hands down, is the one I used for Sunday's puzzle. You get the two 9-letter entries across the middle, then a pair of 7-letter entries off of those , and then a ton of 6-letter entries as well. The grid can really sing with all those long words. Sorry to geek out, but it's energizing to come up with a grid like this.
I don't get to use this pattern very often because the two 9-letter entries have to fit very nicely with each other (since they touch the whole way across the grid). If one pair of letters don’t work together, thenthe whole thing has to be abandoned. The only tricky part in the Sunday grid was needing a 6-letter entry ending in DT, but political philosopher Hannah ARENDT did the trick.
Solve a pretty grid somewhere? Tweet it out at #beastxword and share the black-and-white beauty.
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