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Puzzle #115 December 2010  "Kris Kringle"

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. Miserable Midas wasted fifty
  2. Pope nervously holding church key
  3. Minicar used to secure fallen flyer
  4. Gets ready to publish new diets
  5. Guard of southern gate
  6. Go astray in Ossining
  7. Author's Rhus shrub brought back
  8. Report on Kennedy back trouble
  9. Angry about start of noisy wheeze
  10. Rare mineral at museum center
  11. Mark of current coin
  12. Mystery entry
  13. Children with Bible and cross
  14. Describe a Russian capturing an animal
  15. Alarums about covering a wall painting
  16. Born and died in want
  17. Jack leaving vehicle for Victor's deputy
  18. Galen's brew
  19. Great new name for a film star
  20. Manage to keep right course
  21. Fish goes after fluid in young tree
  22. Good French fabric for a hood
  23. Woman eating crushed lime and pineapple, maybe

Down

  1. Talk about field event starting soon
  2. Boy initially managed to get grain husks
  3. Hidden at first in fine cranny
  4. Helical pairs realigned at left
  5. Damned unusual request
  6. One cheer for a lizard
  7. Beginning to serve more sour tasting appetizer
  8. Indian carriage in hoist on gangway
  9. Become unfocused starting to ejaculate
  10. Ailing elders eschewing large feast
  11. Quiet, cheerful, and dull
  12. A bee or ape is an organism requiring oxygen
  13. Slip out through tunnel opening
  14. Small body of water had finally changed chemically
  15. Age has got Mark in a bind
  16. Sid turned up with Charlie's record
  17. Dotty gave Al a bath
  18. Woman in Oaxaca has adopted a Spanish boy
  19. Concern about large Irish county
  20. Battle-scarred plaque
  21. Pitcher's line drive after getting the first out
  22. Some ran off with rowers
  23. Essentially presumed to shell out cash in bar