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Guest Puzzle March 2010  "Annual Convention" 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. Cursed pharaoh fated to end Egypt on short notice

    9. Famous ship strangely has a steel bilge but lacks sails

    10. Highly moral initially, newly ordained bishop lacks ethics

    11. English lime mixed with resin

    13. Rows of fasteners with pewter finish

    14. Slow traveler holds back a couple

    15. Tough problem to reassemble a hot car and truck

    18. Ignore badly lit buoy and enter

    19. Even bolded characters are peculiar

    20. Neighbors begin aterations, however, with last of funds

    21. Place with news agency is eye-opening

    23. Red Oreo center has returned; eat

    24. Change diet -- dread being exhausted

    26. English epic poem is free rhyme, heathen, quite confused, and without rhythm


Down

    1. The ten metal atoms, lacking energy, recombined with no time to spare

    2. I follow him after conclusion of first essay

    3. Lengthen tail of Lion Dog

    4. Just left before strange railroad dude made course change

    5. Produce evidence for curing teen's acne sores with phosphorus

    6. Discovers five-dollar bill and begins downloading songs

    7. Acclimate to strange tuba I hate

    8. Weekend golfer to destroy original garden plant

    12. Bush's cat lives in northern part of Quayle's state

    16. Heard legatee was bound to ancient capital for landing spot

    17. Algonquin people quietly inch forward

    20. Field hosts finale of Cotton Bowl

    22. Clean ultimate warp drive

    25. Copper follows thief to Ft. Worth campus