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Puzzle #77 October 2007  "Polly Voo"

Instructions: Guess the words defined by the cryptic clues (answers vary in length from four to eleven letters, and six are capitalized) then enter them in the grid one after another in the same order as their clues, starting in the upper left corner. Across words that don't end at the right continue on the next row, and down words that don't end at the bottom continue in the next column. Eleven across words and ten down words won't fit in the grid unless one of their letters is omitted. Those twenty-one letters, taken in order as they occur in across and down words, spell a seven-word message related to the mystery entry. Thanks to Kevin Wald for test-solving and editing this puzzle. (If you are having trouble printing these puzzles, you can download an Adobe Acrobat version of the puzzle and grid). [Want to see some hints?]

Across

  1. Change number in secret
  2. Inventor, after making a penny, is primarily a financier
  3. Union nurse uncharacteristically in doubt
  4. Mom embraced by Tai magician
  5. Mystery word
  6. Vehicle to keep moving
  7. Rebel embankments surrounding Brazilian port
  8. Matter with impulse to rise again
  9. Manic affectation about Roman ristretto, maybe
  10. Best at everything, including pomp
  11. Fatal avalanche carries molten rock
  12. Make merry without beginning to tell
  13. Cherry unit made over
  14. More than one dimension of masculine nature seems outlandish
  15. Mystery word
  16. Extend the Mexican working pass
  17. Sinful lass has time for pickles
  18. Flier starting again by way of hill
  19. A closure disrupted a conveyor belt
  20. Mystery word

Down

  1. Help to arrive mostly by post
  2. Extract bone that's been turned around by error
  3. Fruit order sounded excellent
  4. Negation of bargain involving nickel
  5. No one called for sister
  6. Take time to have a place
  7. Testament contains an expression of assent
  8. Rope cannot encircle a hickory tree
  9. Mongolian in front at a retreat
  10. Too bad about morning's greetings
  11. Pain-wracked rotter gets up
  12. Sensory organ of fish held by iron rod
  13. Discriminating about theatrical cloth
  14. Strips and moves, not quietly at first, but with volume
  15. Asteroid sequence is reported
  16. Think rationally about a descendant
  17. Raise wild ram
  18. Left in Howe's tavern
  19. Deranged nut, ancient beyond description
  20. Pure calculation begun with speed
  21. Rustle busily for effect
  22. It's drunk by Nicaraguans
  23. Real estate-rent free