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Guest Puzzle December 2010  "Finger Crosser" 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).


  1. I followed vehicle to cape for work
  2. Apparent tag in match
  3. Wistful memory of a gain lost unreasonably
  4. Hard coating of carbon, hydrogen, iodine, titanium, and nitrogen
  5. Constellation with zero iron dispersal
  6. Close inside portal at church
  7. Bird woman touching Fleming's sea cow
  8. Cheap brie, for instance, with a touch of yeast for English
  9. Mangled bugle at battle site
  10. Mystery entry
  11. Head of Hellene disappears in smoke
  12. Stomach material in wren nets
  13. Squirming eels temporarily close the eyes of a hawk
  14. Satiate clamoring Phil
  15. Mischievous cat pose
  16. Naval onslaught captures legendary island
  17. Heart replacement part in rival versions
  18. Journal about nucleic acid
  19. Popular Kaiser has something done for fun
  20. Rationalize a law with fervor
  21. Motivate adherent with mixed gin first
  22. Summer escapades around pond
  23. The French surrounding first lady at reception


  1. World organization has success getting children set free
  2. True to nature, liars cite inaccurately
  3. Uncover who telephoned residence
  4. Disconcerted Italian doesn't have one article in a Roman language
  5. Heard their four because of that
  6. Edison, without initiating device, jumbled sound
  7. Lizard relative in Kansas returned
  8. Men had thus charged particle
  9. Part of stair in tower is eroded
  10. Lounge in blazer
  11. Mystery entry
  12. Nears sneaky trap
  13. Created in arbor nursery
  14. Actress with a primarily Viennese accent
  15. Game in disheveled loge
  16. Subtlety involved in continuances
  17. The wine of France is for the Michigan senator
  18. Mark of lentil decay
  19. Case involving Latin four is not significant
  20. Era of pageantry
  21. Agent mixed drinks at first with strong flavor
  22. Beaters from North East in automobiles
  23. Device of Virginia Northeast