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Puzzle #183 August 2016  "Countdown"

Instructions: Guess the words defined by the cryptic clues (answers vary in length from three to nine letters, and five 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. Four across words and four down words won't fit in the grid unless one of their letters is omitted. Those eight letters, taken in order as they occur in across and down words, spell a two-word phrase related to three words hidden in the correctly completed 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?]


  1. Non-stick material left on railing
  2. To include and let Rod in became unworkable
  3. Shelter drunkard whose son is hot
  4. Maradona to expire and leave
  5. User gets to hold cloth
  6. Fad is about new orbit
  7. Kate's playing generates interest
  8. Brother holds one in error
  9. Leading player let Dotty get scared
  10. Start off up near master level
  11. One who raises glass to flower
  12. Bone mover messed up
  13. Voice of normal tone
  14. Now her eyes will take in which place
  15. At some point restructured loan involving 500
  16. Hot inside valve or wedge
  17. Dead spirits make a lot of noise
  18. Bird loses head and heel
  19. Peter's place in game is taken by French clown
  20. I sell spun fabric
  21. Summon children, every one of them
  22. Rain falls for a princess in India
  23. Soaked and deepest in misery
  24. A pest getting harried and hit


  1. Authentication of bogus statement
  2. Writer covers liturgy
  3. Deer has energy and courage
  4. Wake of leaderless bird
  5. Branch of Alf or Kwai
  6. Little boy holds old bufo
  7. Morning cheer for spy
  8. Carry empty sled
  9. Tell a lad about Indian medal winner
  10. Lie about position
  11. Risk having small defeat
  12. Long master cord
  13. Roman emperor turns up in Florence
  14. Store drink in enclosure
  15. Poet badly wanted wife absent
  16. Give birth with help
  17. Note: northeastern Republican might be a collier
  18. Carhop holds onto a letter
  19. Blaze upset Alfred endlessly
  20. Somber death
  21. See silver inside center for a bouquet
  22. Pastor knowingly trapping a bird
  23. Wife out of habit to get father a stoup
  24. Mysterious code must/could be about getting dressed
  25. Duration is part of proliferation