Crossword grids and clues. They're just like peanut butter and jelly or Eric B. and Rakim. Forever joined at the hip. Inseparable. You can't have one without the other. If you didn't, then it's not a puzzle/sandwich/rap act/etc. I think it's safe to say I'm stating the obvious, here.
I go back and forth with how I make the Themeless Monday grids. If the word counts a bit high (70/72 words), it typically meant there were more seed entries I wanted to fit into a grid. When you see a grid like today's, i.e. ones with a lot less entries, it typically meant I felt like writing fewer clues that week. It's interesting to note that the difficulty level in making both of these grids balance out. With higher word count freestyles, I'll probably have a lot more tired three- and four-letter repeater answers holding it together. And those are capital T Tough when it comes to writing new clues. So the grids are "easier" and the cluing "harder." With lower word count freestyles, I'm more likely to have answers that aren't as common and therefore the cluing, while still hard, is not as demanding on my end. However, these grids are substantially more difficult to fill in.
Share the puzzle. New one on Thursday.