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Guest Puzzle September 2011  "Mount Doom" by Dexter Senft

Instructions: : Each number in the grid is surrounded by 12 letters. These letters form two words, whose cryptic clues are below. Each of the two words may read either clockwise or counterclockwise, and they may or may not overlap. Their starting points, orientations and overlaps are for you to determine. Words vary in length from four to eleven letters. Seven of the words will not fit in the grid unless one of their letters is removed; in some cases, you will have multiple choices. These seven letters, taken in order as they occur in the clues, spell a two-word phrase related to the title of the puzzle, and to another word hidden in the puzzle. Thanks to Dave and Harris for test solving this puzzle, and as always to John for his helpful suggestions. (If you are having trouble printing these puzzles, you can download an Adobe Acrobat version of the puzzle and grid).


1. Noble unfortunately bears no son
    Cranshaw and Galia, among others, are surprisingly solemn

2. Half of adults getting perfect scores are posing a threat
    Endless hormone treatment for feeble-minded person

3. I gaze on bizarre torture
    Dissemble motives about design

4. Start fourth segment of play at end of applause
    District has the ability to negotiate at first

5. Insipid lumberman painfully embraces love and marriage at last
    Most adept at eating toasted bagels, except for Georgia

6. California protects former labor leader's hide
    Tailored a long coat with eight sides

7. I myself not crazy to get souvenir
    Come to moralize less softly

8. Rock moved out of place and ruined car tire
    A minor taking part in experiment is most docile

9. Menachem is taken with London apothecary
    Frank perfects craft, finally


10. Tame burro wandering in tree farm
     Make a new arrangement for each dumb person

11. Sexy courtier cavorting without pure heart
     Abstract art on nice box

12. Injured father in Delaware coming back
     Drape a chest with some fruits

13. Workshop for a conservative after childbirth
     Masses left small island at start of year

14. Marines off base for graduate course
     Artist's prize returned

15. Think hard about baby's first shower
     Lotion starts to burn and leaves mottling

16. Celibacy is what's new without women in city
     Food plant is ingenious, incorporating bits of earth and rock

17. Beggar denies having cultivated plot
     Setting forth from army post, general is lacking nothing

18. Fast company
     Saw missing park license

19. GE leaves negotiator dazed and spinning
    Lacquer finish takes rough filing to produce grooves