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Puzzle #128 January 2012  "The Strait"

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. Mystery entry
  2. Loosen noose around Zeke's head for sleep
  3. Discover a dartboard concealing a detection system
  4. Commercial flue coming
  5. Nothing and everything sent back in pot
  6. Boy covering range with fat
  7. Hide/replace nail in fissure with tip of drill
  8. See about King getting time for Olympic event
  9. Deny creativity about poetry
  10. Swell in the avenue
  11. Fabled garment covering a character in King Lear
  12. Gambler cried in distress
  13. Lead one is out of step
  14. Strange surrealistic painter
  15. Fuel weight for a Chevrolet
  16. Saw about King getting nailed
  17. Wound up cobra died in closet
  18. Singer's false note initially recorded
  19. Security officer trashed a drug
  20. The scales used in calibrating
  21. Mystery entry

Down

  1. Pretty woman is all right in funny role
  2. Turf auctioned without land
  3. Arizona: a meadow and a flower
  4. Stem's shadow
  5. Lift to reveal movement
  6. Insect biting rodent in rebuke
  7. Arabian dromedary carries man up front
  8. Frontal garment is hard to change
  9. Camouflaged darts and banner
  10. Grain's protective covering
  11. ?Mystery entry
  12. In Alaska, radar ranging encompasses venerable burrowing animal
  13. Good god! A vegetable
  14. Clever Gertrude collars usher in church
  15. Duck disturbed deer eating wapiti's tail
  16. Doctor having advantage with coat
  17. Provisions will include sheep
  18. Assume section of bone is made right
  19. Choice of course lectures
  20. Spain threatens to impound oil, for instance
  21. She has a tree
  22. Block eastern strip