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Puzzle #186 November 2016  "Ballot Box"

Instructions: Guess the words defined by the cryptic clues (answers vary in length from four to nine letters, nine are capitalized, one is foreign, and one is an acronym) 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. Six across words and seven down words won't fit in the grid unless one of their letters is omitted. Those thirteen letters, taken in order as they occur in across and down words, spell a four-word phrase related to the mystery entries. 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. Mystery entry
  2. Mixed set in circle taking it easy
  3. Creditor gets 50 in exchange for fixer's 1000
  4. Princess's flower's a calamity
  5. Prevent ruminants surrounding territory
  6. Repair roster incorrectly
  7. Make sense of Peter's butt
  8. A refuge or seaport
  9. A shape of no value
  10. Lower vehicle left position
  11. Odd detail: one missing letter
  12. Latin table of misspelled names
  13. Rub around large knot
  14. A Guinness of pale cast
  15. A fish turned to the sheltered side
  16. Unlikely eco-toy for a canine
  17. Fruit time
  18. Observe moon appear
  19. Mountains of natural scenery
  20. Hat dad found in southern city
  21. Amish translated into a Russian name
  22. Dame with land in the mideast
  23. Euphonious pair holding letter of credit
  24. Mystery entry


  1. Synthesize this one protein
  2. He'd be a bad guillotine
  3. Launch into crude falsification
  4. Add to letter: tell about goatfish
  5. Each night hide from Rudy
  6. Moth racer holds line
  7. Black cover or lack of color
  8. Child in slipper's a disgrace
  9. Pat a tart's breast
  10. Another derangement involving cattleman
  11. Put aside about fifty for balm
  12. Dame stretched out about dead
  13. Note added, mark subtracted and taken on again
  14. Short term weapon
  15. Instrument improperly made beer cold
  16. A character is to make amends
  17. Cleopatra's maid's dress turned around
  18. Not a working international body
  19. A stroke Don put together
  20. Misled about small land mass
  21. Island mass high in Italy
  22. Seated awkwardly but quiet
  23. Son to wait or pass