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Puzzle #103 December 2009  "The World's Biggest Atoll"

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. A dime could get cut to a twelfth
  2. Mandarin has a point about rage
  3. Minor fracas about English wool
  4. Number of children in Eden
  5. Author returned boy's badge
  6. Keen to get new class of chemical compound
  7. Massachusetts in 1620, eg: end of story
  8. Modification turned louder around 5
  9. Never goes back after Republican leaves flat
  10. Revised dates for glacial time period
  11. Evidence Peter started to drift
  12. Beginning to read badly scored documents
  13. Examination inside was cancelled
  14. Small, pale bird
  15. Starting another list of edible African succulent plants
  16. Idle, broken-down toiler
  17. Muffler license renewed before start of race
  18. Kind of music Harry plays in company
  19. Unlikely result for an overcoat
  20. Finally seeing girl in mirror
  21. Priest, fulminating about love, gets sharp retort

Down

  1. Sick lady swallows one every 24 hours
  2. One welder encloses a vertical support
  3. Messenger getting $1000 for rabbi and warrant officer
  4. Frightening wound you opened
  5. Google essentially redesigned trademark
  6. Dakota Indian put nothing in damaged tent
  7. Small living quarters and initially empty digs require this
  8. Savonarola's rising star
  9. Reviles birds
  10. A passerine among passerines
  11. Mean swindle gets 1000 for 500
  12. A songbird is so nice in flight
  13. Water's on for a period of time
  14. Ruin debris and eastern waste
  15. A thicket of fuzz and earth
  16. Carbon & calx produce weather conditions
  17. My uncle in Paris drops new eye piece
  18. Sent back mugs and junk mail
  19. Lift to reveal disorder
  20. Fuss about the French blade
  21. Italian port from very English city in France
  22. Southern instructor's stretcher
  23. Look small when gaining weight