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Guest Puzzle January 2011  "Banana" 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. Ralph doesn't begin to encourage characters
  2. All revert illegally to journeyer
  3. I'd boil uncontrollably with passion
  4. Burning calcium, uranium, sulfur, titanium, and carbon
  5. Traffic in returned used articles
  6. Clark fortunate, but not the first, in state
  7. Go in and out and up and down without energy
  8. Small car's blemish
  9. Lone Ranger's song
  10. Reformer gets energy for electric current at the lowest point
  11. Cobb, after repairing chair, gets handout
  12. Smooth, large supporting frame
  13. Girdled woman student has troubled rest
  14. Pete keeps it small
  15. Walker in town with textbook
  16. Display standard score before end of game
  17. Real unruly king
  18. Male touches flighty lady with passion
  19. Accost on road to the French gymnasium
  20. Too much English metaphor
  21. Reveal gamble by Rachael
  22. Hera's beheaded and quartered son
  23. Policeman eating insects
  24. Ran with explosive speed and energy

Down

  1. Every second sailor joins with outstanding performers
  2. Rare flowers form a screen pattern
  3. Dad has odd iTune about flower
  4. Essentially her role for Flynn
  5. Bean or hard fruit from which first of pits has been removed
  6. Rates of system pistons
  7. Susan, for instance, wearing mascara, perhaps
  8. New edict about energy is a fraud
  9. Maya learning about a university
  10. Sell molten lead
  11. Encourage a wager
  12. Strength of brown bristle
  13. Jet's raspy commotion
  14. Direction of each street
  15. Lupino's got excellent conception
  16. Wader Pete, unfathomably, caused an oil spill
  17. Demon existed on the way down
  18. Attempt to hold a salver
  19. Endlessly love having approval for annuller
  20. Sourly concealed by placid lying
  21. After phys ed, expert will have quiet
  22. Neckwear for a Celt, perhaps
  23. They remember to include an old English circuit court
  24. Meal held around a motorboat
  25. Told of trader returning with bit of treasure