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Solution for Puzzle #16--September 2002 "On the Couch"

Answer words in caps are followed by their clues. Parentheses around a letter mean that it must be omitted before the word will fit in the grid. The fifteen omitted letters spell:

FREE ASSOCIATION

Across
IN (F) ERNAL Hellish plant invades (broken nail) RECTO (R) nuclear device, gets rid of a clergyman.
C (E) SIUM Element of dissonant music surrounding eastern LITHE Long Island with the supple
SHAMPOOS soaps. False heads of police officers! So, back RENAL for the kidneys, new in actual
VEIL cover. Live differently, VEAL young bovine within; have a life.
SHAV (E) Cut thin slices; preserve with hydrogen. SAGES Wise ones get time in ship,
SPEEDY fast, unkempt, keeping quiet, BL (A) ND without much character, starting back to country.
AHEAD Up front, a chief AGA (S) SI tennis star has a wild time. Yes, in Mexico,
HUSSAR horseman, turning reckless around us, PARSNIP scores. Bite root vegetable
TUTOR king. Or guide URIEL uncouth Eli past old city. Archangel, ARGON far gone with gas,
AR (S) ENAL learns a decayed place of arms, REAMED squeezed out (dear me!), distorted
CLEREST (O) RY in sound. Lucid tale of a wall with windows,

Down
I (C) OSAHEDRON solid, twenty-faced, one sad choir breaking up
ENCH (I) LADA crooked China deal for Mexican food.
P (A) RADE Display standard notice with electronic SAVVY know-how of two victories in, say,
GAUR bovine fish with first of undefined CRIMES offenses. Start of cold frosts
BARREL container of ale. Brr! Drunken NUP (T) IALS wedding (broken nail) puts
SINE curve of said gesture AMO I love in a dead language. In Samoan
L (I) GNIN part of wood, Long Island gin wins heart of one EARL titled Englishman, real, ruffled,
LOVED adored. No score at start of day, HILL incline after end of death, sick,
ERIS father returning for goddess of strife, ESAU biblical name in verses audibly
PARSE spare. Roughly break down into parts; TRASH throw away. Reckless after time,
STRETCH extend span of time, EL (O) PE run out of steel. Open, SUGAR sweetheart, tease us back,
TENSE strained indicator of time A (N) ATOMY structure, of body collection (male). End of story.

solution grid

The following people sent in solutions before the hints were posted:

  1. Judy Adamski
  2. Charlene Coates
  3. Bob Colonna
  4. David Durfee
  5. Matthew Field
  6. Dwight Freund
  7. Tony Greanias
  8. Vicki Homer
  9. Doug Hoylman
  10. William I. Johnston
  11. Eliot Kieval
  12. Stan Kurzban
  13. Mark Manasse
  14. Dan Milton
  15. Steve Ness
  16. Mary Lyndal Nyberg
  17. Roger Phillips
  18. Joe Rogers
  19. Carolyn Roosevelt
  20. Arthur Schless
  21. Robert M. Smith
  22. Becky Swan
  23. Claire Trazenfeld