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Guest Puzzle December 2009  "Hit or Miss" by Unknown

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).

Across

  1. Pence indeed never initially wasted to obtain freedom
  2. Combat is appropriate starting late
  3. Upset wild deer circling hapless nag
  4. Hope radio captures musical drama
  5. Provoked unhappy incident when knight left
  6. Red nag frolics in Eden, for one
  7. Speak timeless stuff
  8. Game company backing anti rat action within
  9. A lush and the German touring arena
  10. Counsel leader to keep plug
  11. Closely examine founding colony of Manila Bay
  12. Ravaged faces in saloons
  13. Voice vote against equine cry
  14. Coolidge took degree with intriguing group
  15. Passover without initial summer fruit
  16. Favored ones go back to dance
  17. Athlete looks around first of links
  18. Warn of disorder later
  19. Give up having nothing and relax
  20. Tape disfigured crown
  21. Brad's a bluenose
  22. Slim boy undressed for dance
  23. Dawn – gold in aspect
  24. Boast about outfit
  25. Bring back too much French wine

Down

  1. Wrought iron plane has no equal
  2. The urologist has currency
  3. Mineral mixture of iron and agate
  4. Unusual need for garden
  5. Root is hard, gnarled
  6. Gold in barn can be kept
  7. Tips of cane added to actual grain
  8. Impishly I fit pear into alcoholic drink
  9. Poise handling lab mop
  10. Desire returns with increase in intensity
  11. Tree of urban Yankee
  12. Result of Mendelism
  13. Skid-free phonograph record
  14. America’s employees have a cause for legal action
  15. Flower, or lose interest
  16. Shove mischievous child onto railway
  17. Insect meeting let out
  18. Destitution of one editorial
  19. More unusual apple variety
  20. Damaged part gets covering
  21. Choose to hide in helicopter
  22. Astronaut and Spanish pilot start to race
  23. Dude running around court gets channeled
  24. Audacity of finally eating everything
  25. Bureau of Rochester