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The open vocabulary of themeless/freestyle crosswords takes new shape with the use of barred grids!  25 brand-new barred crosswords.
The open vocabulary of themeless/freestyle crosswords takes new shape with the use of barred grids! 25 brand-new barred crosswords.
239 backers pledged $3,674 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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So...what are these crosswords about?

No Holds Barred Crosswords are daily-sized (15x15) crossword puzzles that follow all the standard crossword rules (180-degree rotational symmetry, three letter word minimum, every square is used by two entries, etc.).  These are all themeless/freestyle puzzles, much like the kind you would see as a Friday or Saturday New York Times crossword.

The big difference is that instead of black squares, all of the grid entries are separated by black bars.  That means every square in the grid will be used.  Also, due to the unique patterns in a barred grid, you can accomplish many things that you can't get away with in standard black-square crosswords.

Who are you, anyways?

As a lover of all things wordy, I've been writing crosswords, word puzzles and other word and trivia games for almost 20 years. Over half of that time has been as the constructor of the syndicate Jonesin' Crosswords, a weekly crossword in over 50 alternative newsweeklies across the country. My work has also been featured in the New York Times, Games, Yahoo! Crosswords with Hints, The Onion A/V Club, Halftime, CrosSynergy Syndicate, Stagebill and Wired.

Stretch Goals

For every $500 over the projected $2000 goal, I will add a special No Holds Barred puzzle to the Bonus Brawler Pack!  The Bonus Brawler Pack consists of themeless puzzles with different grid sizes (17x17, 21x21, 23x23, etc.)  Before the first stretch goal begins, there will be 5 puzzles in the Bonus Brawler Pack.

BONUS BRAWLER PACK TOTAL TO DATE:  8 PUZZLES (as of 11/9/13)

Risks and challenges

Once the project is funded, the biggest challenge is to construct the puzzles and to get them test-solved, so that the finished product is looking great. Time is likely to be an issue--with 25 puzzles I want to make sure there aren't any entries with repeated clues, and that everything has been looked over and fact-checked. The good thing is that I've been tinkering with the grids and have a sizable number of filled grids ready to go.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    GRIDLOCK
    You'll receive a copy of "No Holds Barred Crosswords" in PDF format.

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    SUPLEXICON
    You'll receive an autographed printed packet of "No Holds Barred Crosswords," mailed directly to you!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    COMPILEDRIVER
    In addition to the autographed printed packet of "No Holds Barred Crosswords," you'll also receive the exclusive Bonus Brawler Pack in PDF format, sent directly to you!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    COMPILEDRIVER
    ***OUTSIDE OF THE U.S.***
    For those of you outside the U.S. who want the "No Holds Barred Crosswords" and the Bonus Brawler Pack, I can send both to you in PDF format!

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Funding period

- (60 days)