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Guest Puzzle March 2012  "Covert" 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. Mystery entry
  2. Pass carrying a hot chunk of fuel
  3. Film in German about a Chinese dynasty
  4. Hester got this in Madrid
  5. Sphere of mass and energy
  6. American carries Clapton
  7. Therefore, add nothing to energy unit
  8. Class is all about fiber
  9. Lima beef as bagel topper
  10. Saw and heard referred to
  11. Car Wiki redefined in refresher
  12. Liza, Vic, Toni and I reformed society
  13. Idiosyncratic Nero, in sum, gets embellished
  14. Southeastern river is nearing the end of an erosion cycle
  15. Snake, deadly, hiding uncovered
  16. Class raged out of control
  17. Colors on vessel
  18. Stagger back for a look
  19. Not many with loads at first took to the air
  20. Wimbledon champion's slow progress
  21. Rescue five in turbulent sea
  22. Concept of wide applicability
  23. Pony's gait
  24. Mystery entry

Down

  1. Mystery entry
  2. Gelatinous stuff from a fish
  3. Dissolved slide with English fuel oil
  4. Managed fashionable comeback undirected
  5. Dean's mad for golfer Sam
  6. Mark the French yarn
  7. Big cat beginning to growl in row
  8. Renewed zeal to remain idle
  9. Covet man Sandra has
  10. I laid out an opus of Homer
  11. Understand novelist isn't finished
  12. Date wearing corset
  13. Mark from miscarriage
  14. Clever Texan gets corner
  15. High and extraordinarily weird
  16. Free traveling around state for swordsman
  17. Southern, once-baked quick bread
  18. Sloshed and beginning to enjoy lo-cal
  19. Go back, Joe, today in Rome
  20. King fine after getting cut with weapon
  21. Press 64 for conversation
  22. Summon everyone after class starts
  23. Serving liquor starting Wednesday and every Thursday
  24. Local osteopaths have gone astray
  25. Mystery entry