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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.

I continue to be swamped so once again the gremlins were kind enough to provide tonight's puzzle. (And they'll be providing a special puzzle tomorrow night as well.)

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.

PS: You'll find an explanation for tonight's diary title in the tip jar. And don't forget to vote in tonight's poll!

Here are the clues for tonight's JulieCrostic.

If you're familiar with how JulieCrostics work, have at it! If you're new and don't yet know how JulieCrostics work, you can find complete instructions in the bottom part of the diary.

Tonight's puzzle has 7 rows, with 3 answers per row.

1. yearns
2. change we can believe in
3. wine holders

4. piece of cake
5. graft
6. keeps in order

7. caught sight of
8. dignified and self-assured
9. ...

10. issues a challenge
11. some trees and bushes

13. tunnels
14. energetic activity
15. southern and southwestern US

13. beer container
14. wordless
15. spoon

16. evaluated
17. rant
18. dressed

19. hill
21. wander

IMPORTANT NOTE: The gremlins tell me that when we finish solving tonight's puzzle we may still be a little puzzled. Apparently the meaning of the verticals is a little cryptic. So they've provided a poll at the end of the diary. The options listed are possibilities for what the verticals refer to, and the gremlins assure me that one of the listed options actually is the correct answer.
For the benefit of anyone new to Sunday Puzzle, here are instructions for solving JulieCrostics.

In JulieCrostics you are given a set of clues, such as these:

To solve the puzzle, figure out the answers to the clues and enter them into a grid of rows and columns, like so:
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. say what's not so
2. resting
3. concede
then the answers might be LIE, IDLE (= LIE + D), and YIELD (= IDLE + Y)

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:

1. LIE  D  2. IDLE  Y  3. YIELD

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.

In the example given, the verticals read DAIL   YKOS.  With proper spacing and capitalization that spells out Daily Kos!

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