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Puzzle #136 September 2012  "Face Card"

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. Yes, German up front cows thousands with unusually fine dive
  2. Senator playing with energy and sound
  3. One in dance gets a grip
  4. Humanoid holding grinding stone
  5. Laborious book about eroded soil
  6. Ivan excitedly grabbing blade
  7. Pony's endless loyalty
  8. Had a life of power experiences
  9. Crowd in front of ship
  10. How Henry has won at the time
  11. The French in plot fork over a lot of money
  12. Rich Jake foiled a thief
  13. Mate gives up penny for pickle
  14. Tell one referee to let in solo player
  15. Leftover end of meat in cesspool
  16. Source of nut mixture
  17. Precedent restrains former prime minister
  18. Damned bishop went on forever
  19. A moral failing involving love, say
  20. Wife has left Disney change
  21. Student doesn't start to become a bread winner
  22. New York embraces eccentric simpleton
  23. Need judge in rear for card game

Down

  1. Mischievous child just started on a mess of pancakes
  2. Prepare 1000-2000 lbs seafood
  3. Free unfurled part of sail that's tied down
  4. No ale brewed without accompaniment
  5. Got ready to drive a Kennedy around end
  6. Missing son is in class
  7. Poet overturned terrain's first piece of sod
  8. Cried out in shed
  9. Pretty good talent, but lacking skill, finally
  10. Rogue vocalist has number for start of games
  11. Wasp baked two jelly cakes before the end
  12. Bride's jumbled litter
  13. Let her enjoy embracing yonder
  14. Glen and Victor having beverage
  15. Some farmers or small debtors
  16. Explorer girl is in bed or asleep
  17. Seed money initially used to replace five out of seven
  18. Gertrude's mug
  19. Tailless celestial body next to red one that rapidly progresses
  20. Recoil from bachelor with weight
  21. King and knight welcome fool
  22. Logger Juliet, wearing new amber, is in luck