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Guest Puzzle February 2010  "Draw A Blank" by Unknown

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).

Across

  1. Circus performer is unlikely Reno Red Cap
  2. Noble went from club to club periodically
  3. Notable departure from Bible
  4. Hydrocarbon in front of instrument
  5. Nearly stab outlaw's belly
  6. Implied anti Catholic bloc backlash
  7. South African's robe in disarray
  8. Ambushed GI with ton of metal mass
  9. Harsh in sound, like a stallion
  10. Small pictures are fashionable
  11. Old-fashioned tin cane eroded
  12. Artist of Schubert era
  13. Evaluate container after opening
  14. Flattery nearly spoiled bishop at the beginning
  15. Rabbi sick in valley
  16. Redistribute loose toppings
  17. Unfortunately espies 0 poems
  18. City within Panama control
  19. Type of TB that's essentially spotty
  20. Oracle was a late Pharisee rabbi
  21. Promise a hot whirlpool
  22. Compassion and godliness without error
  23. Athlete unlawfully takes Ritalin primarily
  24. Zone in most western part of county has metallic element

Down

  1. Portion laity divided for good reason
  2. Long ago end of causeway had mineral deposit
  3. Try at first to behave without being rude
  4. Disease of Tripoli oldsters
  5. Sugar making Boris move with energy
  6. Economist beats musically
  7. Train next to large building extension
  8. General having drink with enemy chief
  9. Region has new stadium
  10. Fruiting spike of spearmint
  11. Demand the premier tool
  12. Club is troubled about cafe
  13. Movie director once edited
  14. Approval comes up from tutor
  15. Lists of women users
  16. Noise from right paddle
  17. End retreat in Kentucky
  18. Regal high jinks stand out inappropriately
  19. Measure of deep interest
  20. Glaze stirred with relish
  21. Tennis point for Cobb
  22. Cop hired to guard a source of gold
  23. Mall attendees get coffee drink
  24. I left pioneer excited to start again
  25. One Roman cue circulated about Jesus having a ritual