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Welcome to the last Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up of 2012!

Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up is a light and casual Saturday night puzzle party to have some fun and to get the brains in gear for Sunday. It's also intended as a welcoming series for new folks, to let them get a feel for how the  puzzles in the regular Sunday Puzzle series work and to play around with some introductory puzzles.

This weekend is not only the last weekend of the year, it's also the last weekend of the month. Which means that next weekend will be potluck puzzle party time at Sunday Puzzle. So if you like puzzles and have any you'd like to share, mark your calendar for January 6, 2012 (8:30 EST / 5:30 PST) and bring your puzzle along to post in a comment. (Or you can message it to pucklady or me before then, and we'll paste it into the diary.)

But that's the future. Back to the present, there's a new 25-clue JulieCrostic waiting for you right below the orange whatsit.

Plus, for those who find the JulieCrostic too easy and would like an additional challenge to tide you over until tomorrow night, there's a new Crypto-Gremlin waiting for you as well.

Come on down and join the party!

Here's your new Crypto-Gremlin. (If you don't know how Crypto-Gremlins differ from regular cryptograms, click here for full instructions.)

"... Picku vmied bitdxel titular?"
"Titular?"
"Axnl. Kdc'el rdx viced titular?"
Enxeml vuax, Yu viai snleer missr vuemd hi migaelnx.

     Oiclei Olyicdyuzml, Agdbucu' Alylcellcd

The passage in bold is a short conversation between two people; the unbolded text identifies the author and the title of the book the passage is from.

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Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party /
SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE /

And here, for your Saturday night enjoyment, is tonight's JulieCrostic.  

NOTE: If you're not familiar with JulieCrostics, don't panic!  An explanation of how they work and an example of a solved puzzle are provided directly below tonight's puzzle.
The theme of these puzzles this month is foods everyone loves. With all the pie fights this year in other diaries, I thought it would be nice to have something fun and non-controversial for these holiday season puzzles. And what's more fun and non-controversial than food?

So far we've had broccoli, okra,  grapefruit. and black beans. What will be spotlighted in the verticals tonight? Will it be Mushrooms? Asparagus? Avocado? Rhubarb? Fried potatoes? Or something else? Solve the puzzle and find out!

 1. 2012 follower
 2. magazine which turned 60 earlier this year
 3. Union follower
 4. revved
 5. made a diagram

 6. Tar Heel State
 7. bathroom
 8. give a quick look
 9. Minor or Major constellation
10. becomes hysterical

11. part of psyche
12. noise
13. Ms. Fossey
14. do not, in Scotland
15. away from the coast

16. word of agreement
17. soldiers
18. communicate with the hands
19. scorch
20. viewing

21. courteous expression when texting
22. plaything
23. rotten or decayed
24. sycophant
25. present times

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Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party /
SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE /

How to solve JulieCrostics

For those of you unfamiliar with this kind of puzzle, what you do is solve the clues and write the answers in rows. In tonight's puzzle there are 5 rows with 5 answers per row.

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.

An example of how this looks is provided below.

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Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party /
SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Puzzle Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE /

last week's puzzle:

 1. control
 2. foreign coin
 3. Betty or Barney

 4. news agency
 5. pair of arms treaties
 6. something seen on a graduate's head

 7. minuscule quantity of blueberries or ice cream
 8. create a picture
 9. this gets stuffed with toys and candy

10. Superboy's mother
11. Ms. Barton
12. kind of knowledge

13. part of a necklace
14. made bread and cookies
15. enjoyed the sun

the answer  to last week's puzzle:
rule  B  ruble  B  rubble  
Tass  L  SALTS  E  tassel
pint  A  paint  A  pinata
Lara  C  Clara  N  carnal
bead  K  baked  S  basked
The verticals spell out BLACK  BEANS.

[I actually wanted to use black bean soup, but that has 13 letters -- and 13 is prime, so there'd no way to have the equally long vertical columns which I prefer to use. Black beans worked out very nicely as two 5-letter columns, one word in each, so I went with that instead.]

Poll

Puzzle themes this year have included great comic book series, Hell to Pay candidates, wouldn't-it-be-nice ideas, and foods everyone loves. What themes, if any, would you enjoy seeing for 2013 puzzles?

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