Solving Music: Eve - As You Like It
The title has absolutely nothing to do with any entries in the puzzle. It's more representative of what the puzzle is: a 21x Cruzzles themeless, a big chonker of a grid crammed with gaming references and memes. It is the Big Chungus of puzzles. I'm so sorry.
This was a very fun one to construct; I took a similar strategy to what Byron Walden did for his themeless for the Couchword tournament. The puzzle was seeded with the four 14-letter words pinwheeling in the center: 52A/73A/10D/48D (the second half of 48D actually changed to improve fill, but it's all the same). All four were taken from the 14s section of my wordlist, which is the sad place where entries that are *almost* 15s go to die. I figured a chonky themeless would be the perfect place to finally use some of those 14s, and it definitely worked out. This is gonna play way harder if you aren't up on your pop culture; the center-right chunk in particular is filled to the brim with games/cartoons/comics stuff. Hopefully it's not all too niche.
Gonna use this space here to plug Grids For Good (let's be honest though, if you're following this blog, you've probably seen it shared around already). It's a collection of 42 puzzles from 44 constructors, available by forwarding them a receipt for a donation of $10+ to a COVID-related or racial justice organization (they have recommendations for orgs on the site). It's a great cause, so I'd highly recommend getting in on that soon (especially since some of those puzzles are metas with a contest deadline of the 18th).