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Puzzle #102 November 2009  "Terra Firma"

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. Edith, upset, started rocking and trembling
  2. Proficient at short division
  3. It's too late to get a seat
  4. Money covers a dog and a container
  5. Darwin's troubled secret
  6. Odd reverie about Papa's getting relief
  7. Actor going back for computer
  8. Ladies going back for scoria
  9. Pick right one for Orestes's sister
  10. Fiddles and candles––about 1000
  11. Tokyo mistaken for another city
  12. Filmed a cetacean eating fish
  13. Heartless automaton gets implant
  14. A cultural item of prime meaning
  15. Paul's getting not as much
  16. Observer has new look of scorn
  17. Chalcedony, silver and astatine fused with energy
  18. College degree in laundry
  19. River city getting rain aplenty
  20. He's Irene's father
  21. Implement for piercing small fruit
  22. Moving tartly like a noisy snake
  23. Moon, Earth keep in close proximity
  24. A prophet in India and South America will get one a hotel

Down

  1. Case of sedatives
  2. A string of beads? A sorry mess!
  3. Prions containing a charged particle
  4. Gas inundates long ship's hold
  5. Determined to finish a meal
  6. Small task ending in 168 hours
  7. Harry's true comfort
  8. Daniel shot, dropping one ruminant
  9. Advance of democracy to the left
  10. Pole talks back
  11. Announcer embraces head of two-ton animal
  12. The lady's lad dances for a royal messenger
  13. Scent arising from marjoram or arrowroot
  14. Penny to help getting settled
  15. Read nonsense about California gallery
  16. Al grabs small shrub
  17. Shaking a belt is barbarous
  18. Château Rauzan-Ségla has a distinctive character
  19. Standard cut, in a manner of speaking
  20. Series has Troy in place of new character
  21. I see Sam struggling to get connected
  22. Hide and head of tiger wrapped in ribbon
  23. Keen to get guinea for a caterpillar
  24. Quickly drop 100 in change