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Guest Puzzle September 2014  "Three in a Row" by Gail Findlay

Square brackets around a clue mean that two of the answer's letters must be compacted into one cell. Parentheses around a clue mean that one of the answer's letters must be omitted before it will fit in the grid. Numbers in parentheses indicate lengths of answers. An asterisk * indicates a capitalized word, and a hash mark # a foreign word. 


Across

  1. [If origin of universe becomes nothing, my sunny disposition will supply an alternative] (7)
  2. Reed's old lover speaking (4)
  3. [Female studies swarming eggy colony] (10)
  4. (Fill from simmering teas) (4)
  5.  Mystery entry (11)
  6. Tipsy MD's funky at heart (5)
  7. (Lo-cal diet modified, reducing 500 to 50) (4)
  8. *Fey ain't crazy (4)
  9. A toothed whale recoiled from macrodontia (4)
  10. (Satisfied with an expression of disgust) (3)
  11. Mystery entry (7)
  12. [A catalyst scattered enemy around Nazis' center] (6)
  13. Soros endlessly agitated for boomers (4)
  14. #Erté flips to be in Paris (4)
  15. Reptilian armor (5)
  16. Secure simple assignments for everyone at the beginning (4)
  17. Crushed bone for a poet's pitch (4)
  18. Power has to have obligations (3)
  19. Evaluator drops $1000 to gain treasury for broker (6)
  20. Mystery entry (7)
  21. *Sitar player Shankar's audio-video in Rhode Island (4)
  22. Tragic king dismisses leader to get attention (3)
  23. (Shop too darn long, finally, for an arcade game) (4)
  24. [Surprising mystery surrounding magician's initial equilibrium] (8) 
  25. *[Bess's love for Spanish guy eliminating you at the end] (5)

Down

  1. [Council is silly, not ill, OK?] (5)
  2. (Rests evenly on campus) (4)
  3. [Raunchy satyr is pretentious] (5)
  4. Ruin encores and die (7)
  5. Loudly provision with weapons for plantation (4)
  6. Take place of villain after company returns (5)
  7. (Limit of flesh to the ear) (4)
  8. Manmade setback contains a curse (4)
  9. Weight gained from onetime consumption of hamburger's middle (5)
  10. Old city manager was about the night before (5)
  11. (Half-jaundiced pediatric patient's protest, maybe) (4)
  12. *Ask an elder about Hawaiian god (4)
  13. English chap briefly slowing down behind brother (4)
  14. Abrupt method of operation fit inverted pattern (5)
  15. [Izzy got energy to incubate fertilized egg] (6)
  16. *Repetitive practice around Georgia leads to the name of a village in England (6)
  17. *Legion takes in Royal Academy artist (3, 3)
  18. Shabby techie supports data unit (4)
  19. *(Teen returns old brand-name depilatory) (4)
  20. Paddle and fly topless (3)
  21. Assume mail includes author (5)
  22. Head north after boast (5)
  23. River alien is a versifier (4)
  24. (Transporting lead and oil is hard work) (4)
  25. Bauxite and galena, for instance, or einsteinium (4)
  26. [Bacchanal of gory dancing] (4)
  27. *Morricone mixes nine and nothing (5)
  28. [Mean and lean without resistance] (6)