Default – 332716 Words


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Dictionary definitions of GUYFRIDAY and MANFRIDAY are fairly close. MANFRIDAY appears to be the more general term for a male assistant while GUYFRIDAY, the counterpart of GALFRIDAY, is more suggestive of a male assistant in an office environment. The terms are all alike in defying natural sounding plurals, which I discussed in a previous post.


In describing a lack of dexterity, do you use HAMHANDED or HAMFISTED? Or neither?



I read about this odd cocktail fad shortly before seeing it parodied on Parks and Recreation. I used it to seed Unthemely 35, initially placing it in the lower-right. The entry OXYGENBAR came up as a possible parallel entry. I thought the entries could form a quasi-mini-theme, but I couldn’t coax the connection in the clues, so I moved VAPORTINI to the upper left and replaced OXYGENBAR with HOOKAHBAR, also on my seed list. I was happy to get a number of newish entries into the final grid, including TWIBE, OBAMACARE, and BROSTACHE.



Default – 332617 Words


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I had never considered this variant of G-string before, though it does appear in unabridged dictionaries. It’s difficult to think of a context in which the GEESTRING spelling would feel natural. Spelling G as GEE strikes me as quaint and a bit unsophisticated, qualities I don’t associate with professionals who would wear a such a garment. If I had to clue it, I’d be tempted to indicate the spelling variant through parallelism, e.g. {Stripper’s sole remaining garment after ripping off a tee shirt, perhaps}.


I can imagine that many constructors would consider these entries perfectly fine, but I’m not sold on them. They invite consideration of similar phrases — GOHUNTING, GOSKIING, GOROCKCLIMBING — and I’d rather not worry about drawing the line of in-the-language legitimacy. I do have GONEFISHING in Default, which is a stereotypical “shingle” phrase. Any thought on GOCAMPING and GOFISHING?



I suppose I could add all the Nehi soft drink flavors into Default, though GRAPENEHI is especially resonant because of its association with Radar O’Reilly. Speaking of M*A*S*H, I read that Allan Arbus, who played Dr. Sidney Friedman, passed away this week at the age of 95. My friend Adam Cohen posted the appropriate quotation on my Facebook timeline: “Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice: pull down your pants and slide on the ice.”





Welcome to the new Autofill Project blog hosted by WordPress. I’m very  excited by the amenities offered by this new host, such as the user-friendly page for archiving downloadable crossword puzzles.

For newcomers to the Project, the “About” page offers a summary of the blog’s purpose. Blog posts open with the number of word entries in my “Default” crossword database at the time of publication. If a post is about a subset of current Default entries, the name of that subset will be included. I am currently working on a subset of nine-letter entries given to me by Patrick Berry; the subset is titled “PB 9L Filtered.” Other posts concern “New Additions” to Default taken from solved crossword puzzles or from an electronic Notepad of entries that I jot down. I choose a few entries from the given Default range/additions to comment on. A chosen entry may interest me based on meaning, etymology, structure, fill score, clue options, or maybe just a personal memory. I often ask the readers for feedback when I have questions about an entry.

The downloadable puzzles are crosswords that I construct in my spare time, often to test software or try out a newly found seed entry. Puzzles are not posted on any set schedule, but I average one a month.

Check out the old site if you want to read some previous posts and get a sense of the format.