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Puzzle #154 March 2014  "Straight"

Instructions: Guess the words defined by the cryptic clues (answers vary in length from three to eleven letters, and one is 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. Nine down words won't fit in the grid unless one of their letters is omitted. Taken in order, they spell a two-word phrase related to five across words hidden in the grid.  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. Fidel talking about a letter
  2. Hub of recent reorganization
  3. To be late is initially taxing
  4. Pleased about facility
  5. A sailor going back for a set of maps
  6. Monarch loses great grandfather, maybe
  7. Seed of resistance set in stone
  8. Mary Jane and male member of parliament
  9. Stain knits with a colored liquid
  10. Damage or mar protective covering
  11. Drink and fall, having gotten one for nothing
  12. Odd quote: "something worn on the head"
  13. Inside of pelt has label for coat
  14. Remove English instrument
  15. Leave, having walked back around end of dam
  16. Back edge making mark on screen
  17. Herb's mature
  18. Carol isAlice's middle name
  19. Sign, fold, and strike
  20. Rule of regular army judge
  21. Admit current kicker now has large advantage
  22. Understood part of obscure address
  23. Choice western brew
  24. Actively oppose sister's flying
  25. Resentment about love for messenger

Down

  1. Used up and taken out without pressure
  2. Intense heat of hard organ
  3. Look at Maxine flirting with Earl
  4. Challenge of morning agenda
  5. Back talk about southern speech defect
  6. Peter has to get a top grade for speed
  7. Prank started initially in plane
  8. Runner beginning to pop and hop
  9. Disease seen inIowaafter false alarm
  10. Child, in delight, made new sound
  11. Comic enterprise captivates Mickey et al.
  12. Sound observed in clip from movie
  13. Seaweed and head of lettuce substituted for last of kale in hold
  14. Takes off to glide
  15. An entrance in marble
  16. Prohibition covers rare husks of grain
  17. Thick part of wooden seat
  18. A list of names in part called aloud
  19. Reveals howNeptune's brought into view
  20. Meter maid has period
  21. As hasIllinoisbird
  22. Women hail swell
  23. Sum of money order held by mother's sister
  24. Lack of color red in room is dull ultimately
  25. There's dancing between 2 and 4
  26. Fast, small, well guarded running back gaining yards