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Puzzle #94 March 2009  "Animal Crackers"

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. One ode sung movingly from within
  2. Before day's end a pair breaks out in hives
  3. Travel around top of gorge and crest of hill
  4. They finally bring back copper, calcium, and an evergreen plant
  5. Legislature is apt to feel disheartened
  6. Inclined to walk with energy
  7. Show what makes cheese ripen in larder
  8. Heathen soldiers surrounding Attic city
  9. Here is pa playing a hypocrite
  10. Wife talks about cheese
  11. Independent firm started developing cleaner energy
  12. Behold! Ten salmon
  13. Time to muse
  14. To separate, wife leaves fast
  15. Subject is appealing having king banished
  16. A country in Europe: Russia
  17. Held a lot back, including bail
  18. A girl's dancing topless? Blimey!
  19. Adjust, reset, and start cleaning inside under cover
  20. Promise Penny a part
  21. Broadcast start of classes for Harvard during break
  22. It's a goody filled with starch
  23. Automatic pilot's on the fritz
  24. Train enough to walk heavily

Down

  1. Chuck happier about German inscription
  2. Dandy part of opera
  3. Fey contrariness
  4. Meager yard's end
  5. Move people at the Center to run
  6. End of Mother Earth
  7. Light reflected in myriad interiors
  8. Man's head cut out of drawing inside cover
  9. To introduce play is fun before event starts
  10. Bother going back after Sabbath for a drink
  11. Get free English school garment
  12. Talks with nothing up front and natters on
  13. Crashed but got a tower
  14. Discount value includes 1000 petabits
  15. Bill goes inside to get powdered sugar
  16. Photon blocker's electron yield reduced
  17. After run, Eli goes back to pass
  18. Secure the outskirts of Santa Fe
  19. Dealer tries to keep awake
  20. Club personnel started to talk
  21. Expose alien in pound
  22. One occupying room for a season
  23. Short story lacking originality
  24. Walk around the French chateau
  25. Crown prince had supper, maybe
  26. Mother's wise to give back rubs