I happened to be reading about the constellation Cassiopeia (as you do, if you subscribe to Sky at Night magazine) and was, as usual, reminded of its W-ness. That bridged the gap from image to crossword grid. Also, the image confirmed that, dimensionally, Cassiopeia is quite compact, and would fit neatly into a rectangular grid with sides of reasonably similar lengths. I spent a bit of time overlaying pictures of the constellation with squares to ensure the stars were all correctly placed.
And the star names were quite compact too – nothing like Zubenelgenubi (so I won’t be offering anything on Libra, you can be sure – though I’m impressed to see that my spellchecker actually has Zubenelgenubi in it). There too was the Pacman nebula, nestling comfortably below the W (you mean you didn’t spot it without help from the solution note?).
After that, it really didn’t take very long – this is one of those puzzles where the structure means that creating it is pretty direct. I did wonder how many answers I would get that were capable of being anagrammed + W to another word (e.g. DRONE, SNARES, LOUD, REE, ROD just using the current sentence). There weren’t (ENTER – no, must stop…) too many, so there was some rejigging of corners to up that quota.
And, well, there you are: there are some puzzles that are just well-behaved!
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