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Puzzle #90 November 2008  "Getting on your nerves"

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?]


  1. Spruce: Darwin's conifer
  2. Glass section of vessel with matte finish
  3. Change nomenclature to include any organism's complement of DNA
  4. Mostly hot pepper, e.g., found in shelter
  5. Turned to ice, hitting zero after start of February
  6. Maybe dad's conspicuous when making time run
  7. Secure or insecure means
  8. Force energy out of grain in the gut
  9. Train running with no allotment
  10. A vehicle can fit inside it backwards
  11. Mystery entry
  12. Run in shift for new thrill
  13. Escape through steel opening
  14. The netherworld's troubled shade
  15. Small payment went essentially for sweet cake
  16. Current energy decree originally passed easily
  17. One who fails has nothing and is freer
  18. Wine making town's entourage is fantastic
  19. Fool beginning to charge into sand pile
  20. Remnants of a stew recycled
  21. Negligent about girl
  22. Secure strip encircling city


  1. Sing rude tune for pirate
  2. Colt's start speed is unaffected
  3. Low note, hard money
  4. Did break date with cheerleader
  5. Jewish prophet of period encompassing Zion's origin
  6. Crazy Gershwin drinks the last of the wine
  7. Get bullied out of fixing the decor
  8. Animal dealer is heartless
  9. O writer stirred gin to get a start
  10. Subsidence of liquid originally found in pit
  11. Tell about very old region of Europe
  12. A note is trashed by one of Russia's western neighbors
  13. Cost includes new title
  14. Sounded poison alarm
  15. Last of wooden blocks is proudly put into place
  16. Southeastern Celt worked with pick
  17. Coax sweetheart wearing flimsy lace
  18. New age rejects taking risk
  19. Irritate former spouse with separate arrangement
  20. Filter, improved by engineering, is productive
  21. Give up 100 in coin for new car