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Puzzle #72 May 2007  "Mark My Word"

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). [Want to see some hints?]

Across

  1. Mystery entry
  2. One donated a century plant
  3. Horn blown with zero distinction
  4. Bird's false penis
  5. Kind of party person
  6. To strike back is crazy
  7. The biggest little city in the world is part of Yorkshire now
  8. Marine creature's pledge about last of water
  9. Novel about deputy surveyor's assistant
  10. Henry gets ring and nimbus
  11. Stingy player has to cheat
  12. Returning alien took in what wasn't used
  13. Mystery entry
  14. Fastest rusher wins heat
  15. Police trashed a drug
  16. Rods puzzled essentially every solver
  17. Excited ions' energy boom, for instance
  18. Food encompasses large spread
  19. Ring win is okay/not okay
  20. Unruly teen claims right to register
  21. Chief of staff married English person from Malmö, perhaps
  22. Needing to sleep with Penny as wife exhibits ailment
  23. Mystery entry

Down

  1. Process a crop to get coconut meat
  2. Mystery entry
  3. Someone almost embraces Shaq
  4. Ultimately you miss one exploit
  5. Morse translated end of Russian speech
  6. Express desire for habit
  7. Have no motive to swallow toxin
  8. Manage end of long crosspiece
  9. Get nothing in trade for a small farm
  10. Dad's essay for tarts and the like
  11. Freely tell about the core of our fine net
  12. Without a number inside ship
  13. Stirring soup is work
  14. Change nothing removed from gonad
  15. Wrap up in old rigging
  16. Tritium in fluid becomes, finally, big hazard
  17. Getaway doesn't start in shaft
  18. Time for nitrogen in fertilizer to ripen
  19. End of new roaster is braided
  20. A small island and a continent
  21. Kneels to cut up framework
  22. Rent commotion kicks up a storm
  23. Mystery entry
  24. You end in confusion after cutting up senior