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Guest Puzzle February 2009  "Word of the Year" by Arthur Schless

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. New Oxford American Dictionary's Word of the Year 2008
  2. August as ere, nevertheless, uncloaked
  3. Nat took part of trip to educational institution
  4. Corrupted Kennedy embraced Tina in disarray
  5. Part of unfinished manufacturing facility
  6. French night-sky goddess
  7. Axed floor nurse as hopeless
  8. Methodical Cobb bore passport, e.g.
  9. Unprepared ICU coped with no available space
  10. Music has LA swinging in retrospect
  11. Native American oddly ignored just her
  12. Basket initially contained spool
  13. Key part of this letter
  14. Complain about rodent's head in taxi
  15. Also traveling a country in Indochina
  16. Fork part of set in eatery
  17. Very unpleasant hill she hiked
  18. Teed off about the French strike
  19. Hint: not 100 but 1000 stick
  20. Advisor better have dessert
  21. Spokesperson for, perhaps, emergency room
  22. Computer memory has no space available
  23. One boy gets one poem

Down

  1. Mountainous surrounds of rocky RI coast in the past
  2. Young primary money maker is one who has desires
  3. Adjust, lube, and get down
  4. Impress with fast run after shaking off slow start
  5. Hand over and get scolded in return
  6. Feeling of dissatisfaction from lichen nuisance
  7. Understands waters roaring
  8. Angry God rebelled
  9. Boy comes back with it alternately rising and falling
  10. Go away when film doesn't end
  11. Half my toe I stubbed
  12. Measure of illiteracy
  13. Softhearted doctor takes in nearly all ill
  14. Antique ship held in check
  15. Clinton to submit charges
  16. Main horse eats head of cabbage
  17. Indication of surname is almost a necessity
  18. I learn unraveling one thing after another
  19. Stick signal
  20. Securing one inside new tent with guards at either end
  21. Controls broods of chicks
  22. Period of mismanagement
  23. Alcoholic best man gives up quietly
  24. Renegade's euphemistic exclamation