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Puzzle #152 January 2014  "Proof"

Parentheses around a clue mean that a letter must be omitted from the answer before it will fit in the grid. Numbers in parentheses indicate lengths of answers, and an asterisk * indicates a capitalized word.


Across

  1. *Mystery entry (6)
  2. ("Wicked fun" is mangled Latin) (6)
  3. (Former gladiator's head in carved ebony) (6)
  4. Talk English or burn (5)
  5. *(Financier's minute instrument) (6)
  6. Zesty insect turned back before day's end (5)
  7. Poise of bachelor making a clean break (7)
  8. (Orderly retained about 1000) (5)
  9. Burden is our treat (4)
  10. (Pain of one about to leave) (5)
  11. A porter arranged to divide things proportionally (7)
  12. Ended with a dish of spaghetti, maybe (5)
  13. Hang around end of rigging in ship (6)
  14. *(A true shelter for a community inVirginia) (5)
  15. (Small slab or step) (5)
  16. (Salt is processed in these French chateaus) (7)
  17. Party skinflint gets ten for a shilling (5)
  18. Formerly in concert (4)
  19. One in playful sport has energy for a quick counterthrust (7)
  20. Commencement features leading tenor (5)
  21. Take refuge in someone's tent (4)
  22. Bobbin's coils spun around (5)
  23. (Scantier trade after time runs out) (5)
  24. *Mystery entry (5)

Down

  1. (Saul to be made perfect) (8)
  2. *Brilliant onyx covers Cleopatra's lover (6)
  3. (Secretion begins in great upset stomach) (6)
  4. Some cartons and loaded drums started to burn (5)
  5. Joke about new group (4)
  6. Father's head beginning to roll (5)
  7. Wild-bornColoradopony, perhaps (6)
  8. Dealer tries to keep attentive (5)
  9. Let run (4)
  10. (Tango dancing seen as high-strung) (5)
  11. Strength of blended wines (5)
  12. (Chaise carrying king is unreliable) (5)
  13. Ancient emperor's composure (6)
  14. (River fish) (5)
  15. Father and uncle in Spanish courtyard (5)
  16. Talk about women in jazz (5)
  17. (Wordy ace beginning to lecture before 9) (6)
  18. (Son trying absurdly to become wiry) (7)
  19. John's fuel in the new year (6)
  20. Turn of legislative leader in court (4)
  21. Stupid Ben has gold carried (5)
  22. Stagger around end of ramp and push off (5)
  23. (Guy has time to run) (6)
  24. (Speaks lovingly about southern male system that's harmonious and orderly) (6)