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Puzzle #135 August 2012  "Off to the Races"

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. One lump of lymphoid tissue is not to be returned before the end of April
  2. Turf around Long Island is firm
  3. Running in race following Virginia makes a difference
  4. One of mixed origins fits in among relatives
  5. Cut length about 1" to reduce weight
  6. Friendly mixture of ale and gin
  7. Not private, and pricey at first, unorthodox club takes yours truly in
  8. Start to discipline baby cat
  9. A remarkable object is male organ whose weight has become 500
  10. Honolulu detective holds one string
  11. Name of sister eating egg
  12. Angry bees upsetting me are appropriate in an old-fashioned way
  13. Memory device doesn't encompass large watch
  14. Scrape frantically to form a steep slope
  15. Dancing in street will get attention
  16. A stratagem that has nothing to excite
  17. Fuss about love
  18. Trouble maker's stirring up most of territory's interior
  19. Dummy ingesting innards of crab and fish
  20. Feast is oddly rich
  21. Washington is beginning to try for the middle
  22. Rising dissonance becomes chaotic after loss of leader

Down

  1. Endless banality riled militant group
  2. Suppose Louis XV, par exemple, turned up with subordinate
  3. Skin and female sexual intercourse
  4. Concoct a display about a series of eight
  5. Gastropod's claw
  6. Fool holds kopeck instead of penny in fist
  7. Fond of spot in Germany
  8. Playwright is sadly prone to imbibe one
  9. Track bird
  10. Yokel clan leader having fling
  11. Insect gets tip of stinger in brew
  12. Claim, without right, an item of value
  13. Bishop with not as much education is favored
  14. Charlie taking Henry's place changes plain to good-looking
  15. Mark of serous carcinoma
  16. Wife longingly embraces criminal
  17. Millicent is concealing methamphetamine
  18. One tune coming back, and another
  19. Talk of wickedness and golf
  20. Entertainer also coming back for a cigar
  21. Middle offspring is very small
  22. Attribute of mischievous child and Native American
  23. Men abandoning women for variety at first getting enmeshed
  24. Not for or against cooking without gas
  25. Danse Macabre as a vehicle