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Puzzle #85 June 2008  "Shall We Dance?"

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. Wow! It seems to have intelligence
  2. Change involving core of boiler causes damage
  3. First-rate packaging at the center critically matters
  4. According to hearsay, girl gets seduced
  5. Sharp-pointed projection keeps unit inactive
  6. Goal of integration backed
  7. Singer goes back after degree and title
  8. Walk with energy for tranquility
  9. Nothing melted frozen innards
  10. Get used to not having milk blended anew
  11. Waltzes or tangos with class
  12. Mystery entry
  13. Running in a cast is fiendish
  14. Siamese, for example, is a cat with one failing
  15. One car assigned to carry Arab around
  16. Lead in number and quantity
  17. Endless story has no starch
  18. Dude, embarrassed, has to think
  19. Display average score before end of game
  20. Overseer eats quiet meal
  21. Sailor started with cheers for fish
  22. Stunt man wrecked boat and car

Down

  1. Mystery entry
  2. fLouis XIV, e.g., initiated rules of interest
  3. Underground root treatment started over in Germany
  4. Earn a salary muffling speech sound
  5. Bird to strike back
  6. Harangue one in exchange
  7. Looks around end of bar and shoots
  8. Start counting periods and pounds
  9. Big house has one for a subordinate
  10. Follow a course around a town in Texas
  11. Hard liquor cues a blowout
  12. Sound ending down river
  13. Couple gets 100 for electron tube
  14. Taste wine with a ragout
  15. Number equal to two-thirds of six
  16. Bishop in seclusion has moment for vice
  17. Take a good look at end of long copy
  18. President's first oral error is pivotal
  19. I'm covered with glue for entertainment
  20. Nag with no tail mark
  21. Nothing holds a pin
  22. Momentum and speed figure in talk
  23. Mystery entry