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Puzzle #83 April 2008  "Food Chain"

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. Insect feeding initiated complaint
  2. Truth about sexual activity
  3. Battered red pot held aslant
  4. George initially out of money for rent
  5. Changing Rialto fashion
  6. Duke takes king's place in secure urban district
  7. Finish one year with sweetie pie
  8. Rage held back in pregnancy
  9. Start to eat the Spanish fish
  10. Clean 500 for Nixon's head in miniature
  11. Kevin's ideal is keeping private
  12. Food for bon vivant, maybe
  13. Lunatic eating nothing but yuca
  14. Salinger character lives in one's memory
  15. Rap about author's propriety of behavior
  16. Division of land without resistance
  17. Fruit looks about right
  18. Crazy to hit back
  19. Small rate and volume
  20. Crust formed around one kind of tree
  21. Foolish to get up for one spot
  22. Vile Sue plays hard-to-get
  23. Homeric epic about grass
  24. Form in plaster
  25. Make-believe priest deceitfully enters error
  26. Run away from crowds in succession
  27. Eight from company left before holiday
  28. Flavor small pastry with bit of clove

Down

  1. Born dumb, forgets identity of organisms
  2. Greasy cooking has me heading off for a source of water
  3. Surf is humming with swimmers
  4. Distress voiced about royal split
  5. Fight ended with sorrow, in fact
  6. Bum a ride before line is put off track
  7. Stone tossed at bird
  8. Fancy a meal with root vegetable
  9. Ecstasy gets you finally for a break
  10. God's face
  11. Stir, simmer, add last of spice, and put in water
  12. Goes in cleaned up and polished
  13. Company nurse with old hat
  14. It's our unhappy plaintiff
  15. School work diminishes, by report
  16. Winner making one error in course
  17. I Musici's radio host
  18. Our group flipped over fish, dear
  19. Regret never having returned to sign up
  20. Find bliss in credence
  21. Super sick, died contracted
  22. The editor has to listen
  23. Start to tell everything? Not very likely
  24. For example, girls superficially get urges
  25. Mystery writer eats bun in tram
  26. City girl's style