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Puzzle #78 November 2007  "Not!"

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. Pious, mute, flighty, and rash
  2. Intellectual servant takes time for me
  3. Check an acrobatic performance
  4. One finally valid note about esteem
  5. Spike holds small engine part
  6. Borodin's baton
  7. Space surrounding top of cedar tree
  8. Bosses held in check in England
  9. Tear in damaged light-detecting membrane
  10. Football player's in shape legwise
  11. Not violating propriety with love for English teacher
  12. Labeling error invalidated memoirs about Newton
  13. Realize I've broken down in pain
  14. Choose one-centimeter lens
  15. Watch maker loses time getting right agent
  16. Get in touch with color of wine in Spain
  17. Wind turning in circles
  18. Dance a rond de jambe, maybe
  19. Scope of action sounded excellent
  20. Jane's part of key rehearsal
  21. Fly around one wreck
  22. Sweat through sharp-looking top
  23. Clumsy writer turned around in it

Down

  1. One box held by escort may be different
  2. Element found in hair only
  3. Broken reel covered by long cape
  4. Intemperate gorgon coming back to embrace lexicographer
  5. Exhausted swan in street
  6. Competitor grabs head of poisonous snake
  7. Nautically barricades ancient city
  8. Seen back east to blow violently
  9. Truly America's composer
  10. Much about gold is bad
  11. Boat's run ended in place
  12. Messy unit, initially neat, held about a thousand
  13. Flower of Fair Isle
  14. Fabric of unfinished dress
  15. Row about metal stopwatch, perhaps
  16. Mark takes brother's place in line, in a way
  17. Have kids with relatives in bed holding middle of spread
  18. Crimson document ready for publication
  19. You enjoy embracing a French Archbishop
  20. Room rent 200, and nothing extra for leather
  21. A strong current pried it loose
  22. Knight planned to talk about Henry being cool