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Please begin with an informative title:

Welcome to Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up, a weekly opportunity to have a little fun and to get your brain in gear for the regular Sunday Puzzle (which posts Sunday evenings at 8 pm Eastern time).

For the past couple months we've been having a Summer Songfest. Each week the answer to the puzzle is the title of a song I've chosen to spotlight. Last week's answer was Headshots by Suzanne Vega, which you can listen to in the clip posted above. (And here's a link to the somewhat cryptic lyrics, inspired by a poster Vega saw on the street from a photographer looking for work.)

These warm-up puzzles are intended to be new-puzzler-friendly. So if you've never tried Sunday Puzzle before, and are scared to dive in the deep end, come on and dip your toes in here.

I'll be starting the bus trip back to Tennessee when this diary posts so won't be able to take part, but I don't think you'll have any trouble solving tonight's puzzle even without any help from me. The verticals spell out the title of a catchy little song (which I bet most of you have never heard before) from a well-known and popular group (which I bet most of you have never heard of). Have fun!

PS: Here's a bonus Peter, Paul and Mary musical clip to enjoy before (or while) you tackle tonight's puzzle. The gremlins featured this song in a Summer Songfest puzzle they provided last week in the regular Sunday Puzzle diary.

Intro

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).

Tonight's puzzle is a JulieCrostic.  If you're not familiar with this kind of puzzle, don't panic; I'm about to provide you full instructions. (If you already know how JulieCrostics work you can skip directly to the clues for tonight's diary, at the bottom of tonight's diary)

First, to show you what a finished puzzle looks like, here's the completed grid for last week's  puzzle

airs  H  hairs  D  radish    O  hairdos
slab  E  bales  S  sables    T  stables
sole  A  aloes  H  haloes    S  asshole
The verticals read HEA   DSH   OTS.  With proper spacing and capitalization that spells out Headshots.
How JulieCrostics Work:
To solve the puzzle, figure out the answers to the clues and enter them into a grid of rows and columns. For the warm-up puzzles on Saturday I generally tell you how many rows and columns there are in the grid; for the regular puzzles on Sunday that's usually left to the solvers to figure out.

All the rows in the grid will be the same length (i.e. have the same number of answers). All the answers in a column will be the same length (i.e. have the same number of letters).  And the words in each column are one letter longer than the words in the column to its left. That's because...

Each word in a row has all the letters of the word before it plus one new letter.  For instance, if the clues for a row were (1) Alaska governor, (2) mountainous, and (3) clarify, the answers would be PALIN, ALPINE ( = PALIN + E), and EXPLAIN ( = ALPINE + X).

Write the added letter in the space between the word which doesn't have it and the word which does.  For the row in the example you'd write:

PALIN  E  ALPINE  X  EXPLAIN

When you have solved all the clues and written down all the added letters, the added letters will form columns that spell out a message of some sort. It might be a person's name, it might be the title of a book, it might be a familiar phrase, or it might be a series of related words. Your challenge is to solve all the clues, fill in the vertical columns, and figure out what the vertical columns mean.

Think you've got the idea? Then here's a brand-new puzzle all set for you to solve!

Tonight's puzzle has 5 rows, with 4 answers per row, for a total of 20 clues. Here they are. Hope you like the puzzle -- and hope you enjoy the featured song once you figure out what it is. This is another song which I bet most of you have never heard before. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it (during an apple season) -- but had no idea how I'd be able to hear it again after I got home, until I mentioned how much I loved this song to a friend and she told me her daughter loved it too and had it on a CD (and sent me a copy, along with some other great music from the same group)!

Today this song is easily available on YouTube. I've left the embed code with pucklady so that she can post it in a comment tonight once you folks have solved the puzzle in case you don't want to wait until next week to enjoy hearing it. Have fun, and I'll be back next week with another Summer Songfest entry.

 1. lion's lair
 2. take care of
 3. having prongs
 4. colored

 5. owns
 6. famous tennis player
 7. speed
 8. condom

 9. tax collectors
10. word for a king
11. increase
12. simpler

13. popular vegetable
14. something you can see through
15. type of velvet
16. a person who writes

17. forbid
18. San Francisco public transit
19. Dennis and 18, for example
20. most lacking in clothing

PS: If you enjoyed tonight's puzzle, we'd love to have you join us tomorrow night, same posting time, same Daily Kos location, for the regular Sunday Puzzle!

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to Nova Land on Sat Oct 12, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Sunday Puzzle.

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