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Please begin with an informative title:

Welcome to Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up -- a chance to have a little fun on a Saturday night and to get your brain warmed up for Sunday evening's puzzle party.

On tap tonight:

   * a new JulieCrostic
   * and a riddle (from the gremlins!)

There were 3 puzzles in last week's warm-up diary: a JulieCrostic, a Crypto-Gremlin, and a bonus puzzle. Some of them went unsolved in the comments, so let's start with the answers to last week's puzzles and then we'll move on to this week's puzzles...


You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

Item # 1: Last week's JulieCrostic

 1. eat
 2. excavated
 3. unmarried woman
 4. what cats do, especially in warm weather
 5. leads
 6. blocked the light
 7. employs
 8. tricks
 9. caretakers
10. change direction
11. section of a song
12. dire
13. stuff
14. parade
15. bewitches
16. jump
17. wilson's wife
18. ex-trump
If you're new to Sunday Puzzle and aren't familiar with JulieCrostics, here's a quick rundown of how they work. What you do is solve the clues and write the answers in rows. Each word in a row contains all the letters of the previous word, plus one new letter. Write the added letters in the space between the word which doesn't have it and the word which does. The vertical columns created by the added letters will spell out a word or phrase.

Here are the answers to last week's, filled into a handy chart:

dine  M  mined  A  maiden
shed  A  heads  D  shaded
uses  R  ruses  N  nurses
veer  S  verse  E  severe
cram  H  march  S  charms
leap  M  Plame  S  Maples
The verticals read MARSHM  ADNESS -- which, when properly spaced, spells out marsh madness...

Item # 2: last week's bonus puzzle

Mar.S.h madness??? Shouldn't that be Mar.C.h Madness?

Normally, yes. But as I warned a couple weeks ago, this is gremlin month. The gremlins who often play tricks over in Sunday Puzzle have invaded Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up, and they changed a letter in the verticals to make March into marsh.

But at least they were kind enough to tell you they were doing that. They left a message last week in the form of a bonus puzzle:

 1. ache
 2. rays
 3. eat
 4. I'm
 5. beak
 6. hum
 7. sake
 8. raze
 9. eel
10. oak
11. hay
12. shun
To read the message, just say it out loud: Ache rays eat I'm beak hum sake raze eel oak hay shun.

If that doesn't make sense to you, what is says is: a crazy time becomes a crazy location.

Item # 3: last week's Crypto-Gremlin

As is their habit, the gremlins bunched the words of their message into groups of three. I was afraid this might mislead folks into thinking the message was a JulieCrostic, so I included a helpful hint. And to appease the gremlins, so they wouldn't erase my message, I wrote it as a Crypto-Gremlin:

Getlit snot oulod Gm amas'on bleep out knsdim gdffet xl HdemtBzniombt. Oulo'id ktbldit ymon rmis'on.
That's pretty easy to solve.

     1. The letters which appear at ends of words, and hence are the vowels are T, D, M, N, P and L.

     2. The two-letter word Gm is capitalized -- so it must be the word I. Plug in M=I.

     3. There's a 3-letter word OUT which is likely the; plug in O=T, U=H, T=E.

     4. OULO'ID must be that's. Plug in L=A and I=S.

     5. Looking at AMAS'ON, the S must be an N. (And since the vowel is an I, the word must be didn't.) Plug in S=N and A=D

At this point it's pretty easy to fill in the whole thing: Please note that I didn't call the bonus puzzle a JulieCrostic. That's because it isn't.

All right, that does it for last week's puzzles. Ready for this week's?

Puzzle # 1: a riddle from the gremlins!

The gremlins have a riddle for you, and they insisted I post it first. (In return, they promised not to fiddle with the clues to tonight's JulieCrostic, so I agreed.) Here it is:

What do you call a parade featuring Judi Dench, Helen Mirren, and Diana Rigg?
And while you're pondering that, here's...

Puzzle # 2: tonight's JulieCrostic.

 1. single
 2. letter
 3. something you have to keep adding to copy machines
 4. rat

 5. down
 6. hurry
 7. punch-outs
 8. country houses

 9. common word for Rush Limbaugh
10. bodies of water
11. remains of a fire
12. disgraces

13. allow
14. thaw
15. place to stay the night
16. egg dish

17. star
18. another common word for Rush Limbaugh
19. mythical creatures
20. major mistakes

Extended (Optional)

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