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Puzzle #74 July 2007  "Flying Colors"

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. Procedural formalities baffle Ted in a case of criminal abuse
  2. Dad wearing torn cloth and large pearl
  3. Desire never consumes a Byzantine empress
  4. Friend ingests aluminum and ester of acid
  5. Penny starting on a literary patchwork
  6. Owns some of purchases
  7. Lime drink, with time, becomes unstable
  8. Deaf, addled, and dim
  9. A symbol to know
  10. Dress towards the rear in toilet
  11. Employer in trousers
  12. Bird cut with renewed energy
  13. We hit it off with English in formal attire
  14. Bass singer Abzug
  15. Lesion's cruel disfigurement
  16. Friendly refusal gets a thousand bucks instead of five hundred
  17. A fruit tree in appearance
  18. Origin of familiar Gardner bean
  19. Row around bay and river
  20. Yank turning up at lake lodge
  21. LHeaven's welcome
  22. Egyptian policeman ending beat
  23. Polished dude making up insurance claim amount
  24. Rascal misstated quantity
  25. Unwavering rule, but riddled with error

Down

  1. Note number put in floor for laborer
  2. The best of novel items
  3. Small heart patch
  4. Secular and at heart racially backward
  5. Lean crane flying with energy
  6. Spanish explorer's retriever shortly coming back with snake
  7. Loved one keeps note in a box, perhaps
  8. Winning stroke ended Rose Bowl
  9. Without a penalty adjustment, it's a lot
  10. More competent rule initiated following island revolution
  11. Caught a perch with a strip of cloth
  12. Hot wife crazy about loud color 3-5
  13. Watch pie getting creamed for a frothy top
  14. Leg has right weight
  15. Mad tea party guest not starting to crack
  16. Beyond the ordinary in careful training
  17. A name and superficially a tune
  18. Fluid of the mouth and of blossoms
  19. Seen dancing with a girl in an African country
  20. Uncle, wearing old clothes, brought back LSD
  21. Vessel with excellent TV set
  22. Vessel with excellent flower pot
  23. Nothing new is to be ultimately worthless
  24. Color of note varying by value