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Puzzle #160 September 2014  "Pianoforte"

Instructions: Guess the words defined by the cryptic  clues  (answers  vary  in  length from four  to  eight  letters,  two  are  capitalized,  and one is hyphenated) 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. Two across words and two down words won't fit in the grid unless their letters are compacted in a certain  way,  solvers  must  determine  how.  In addition,  eight  across  words  and  eight  down words won't fit in the grid unless one of their letters is omitted. In each case, the eight letters spell  a  two-word  phrase  related  to  the compacted letters. 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. Small group acquires navy transport
  2. Satellite's ring is beginning to radiate in the early part of the day
  3. Calm position about Austria
  4. Deny Ben wrongly penetrates a barrier
  5. Island has a tax
  6. Carter, converted, holds out for God
  7. Name of milk supplier is ultimately Hoot Gibson, perhaps
  8. Part of Eddy Arnold's story
  9. Air conditioned unit has energy for one
  10. Dress is part of love story
  11. Note: son returned as King of Crete
  12. Cried anew for fruit juice
  13. Best eastern drink
  14. Starting to read hurt business
  15. Enlarge a lot
  16. Idiot embracing town salt maker
  17. District includes new theater
  18. Deceive with bad bluff holding ace and zilch
  19. Eric enjoys eating cereal grains
  20. Pain of love repelled
  21. Picasso's mother gets rid of dead horse
  22. Core of undervalued Gaelic poetry
  23. Doctor Gibbon, perhaps, in cloth covering
  24. Get ready to fly, starting from shelf
  25. German ace's métier is flying

Down

  1. Underground hollow in state inside China
  2. Concept of Mideast
  3. Tell about Ocean City move
  4. Travel around end to get from a source
  5. Uninitiated deviant upset indigene
  6. Withdraw improper decree
  7. Hat or head of plug being removed
  8. Green, clumsy youth initiated activity
  9. Celebrity-laden Sally's heart's with sailor
  10. Having the means to hold disorder back and put things together
  11. Hoyden polished my boot
  12. Little monkey grabbing fruit
  13. Effeminate behavior of topless rascal
  14. Inspired rumors about returning to kill
  15. East Ireland turned strange
  16. Foreign confusion about Finland's first contribution
  17. Woman one embraces at another time
  18. Shock at rum being drunk before one
  19. Shellfish spawn ejected
  20. To run and to finish last would be wrong
  21. Papa replaces back of tag for coat part
  22. Incorrect count includes a tropical bird
  23. Command of color derivatives