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1. Remove my first two letters & you have a subject taught in many schools. A character in a children's story both lacked & sought me. What am I?

2. I am the opposite of despair. If you change one letter in my name, I am a religous leader. What am I?

3. Remove my last three letters and I am a group of ships. I do not last very long. What am I?

For the past few weeks both Sunday Puzzle and Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up have featured the Julie Waters Memorial Puzzle Challenge -- a challenge which Julie herself created 10 years ago, and which no one (yet!) has successfully completed. In Julie's honor, we're going to be the first to do so.

Last week we began the third and final phase of the challenge -- and this week there's a good chance we could finish it. If I'm right, we have 4 puzzles left to solve (and possibly a kicker at the end).

Tomorrow morning we'll see if our collective brain-power is enough to crack the final (and likely hardest) JulieChallenges.

Meanwhile you can see a sampling of Phase III puzzles in tonight's diary (such as the trio of riddles above). You'll find more a little farther down. Plus, of course, there's the regular Saturday evening warm-up puzzle. It's all waiting for you right below the nurple...

First, here's a real tough puzzle:

0.000   1.000   2.000   3.000   4.000   5.000
1.000   1.000   0.500  -0.167  -0.917  -1.717
2.000   1.000  -1.000   2.000   1.818   1.284
3.000   1.000   2.000   2.500   ?????  -0.016
4.000   1.000   0.500  -0.300  -2.086  86.480
5.000   1.000  -1.000   0.667   0.523   0.547
6.000   1.000   2.000   3.500   2.225   1.269

What goes in place of the ????

I don't know! But if you're in the mood for a mental workout, give it a shot -- or come back tomorrow morning to cheer our resident math whizzes on as they come up with the answer.

There's another hard math puzzle I'll be posting tomorrow. But for tonight, let's stick mainly with word puzzles. Like this one:

JulieChallenge III-12

What's the longest word you can make from this grid? (each cell can only be used once, and you can only move to an adjacent cell. You may start at any point.)

Even if you don't know the word Julie had in mind for that -- and you probably don't; it's not in the online dictionaries I checked -- you can still probably guess the answer.

And if you can't here's one with an answer you will be familiar with:

Take the words: DISHONEST, DRUGGED & CALLOW. Rearrange them to form the real name of a well-known author. What is this author's better-known name?
Here's another fun one. In this puzzle, The 3 lines you are given provide the name of a well-known person. One line gives the person's initials; one gives the pattern of vowels and consonants in the name; and one line consists of an anagram of the letters in the name. You'll need to figure out which line is which.
Want another?
How about one more?
Complete the following from the choices given

adverb, flying, quarter, detente, cribbed...?

[your choices: joker, junk, jackal, june, jab, jungle, january, jupiter, jainism]

bru-ha-ha, entered, hanging, crib, false...?

[your choices: moon, mile, maneuver, monday, more, meaning, mantis, morsel, mined]
acres, surface, egg, proof, moment...?
[your choices: circular, cellular, colander, criminal, clandestine, choosing, craters, calling, culling]

And now, our regular Saturday night feature: tonight's JulieCrostic.

(If you've never seen or done this type of acrostic puzzle before, don't panic. Full instructions, and an example of a completed puzzle, can be found just below the puzzle.)

 1.            [ ]  2.              [ ]   3.              
 4.            [ ]  5.              [ ]   6.              
 7.            [ ]  8.              [ ]   9.              
10.            [ ] 11.              [ ]  12.                

 1. street
 2. hidden stash
 3. duck or university

 4. sprightly
 5. 43 year old principle
 6. do over

 7.  acquire
 8. once more
 9. subject of monologues

10. give a damn
11. give someone what they desire
12. bring about


how to solve JulieCrostics

Read the clues provided, then fill in answers to match the clues in the appropriately numbered spaces in the diagram.  

Each word in a row has all the letters of the previous word in that row, plus one new letter.

Write the new letter in the space between the answers.  For example, if the answers in a row were CRAG, CARGO and COUGAR, you'd place an "O" in the space between CRAG and CARGO, a "U" in the space between CARGO and COUGAR.

When you have filled in all the spaces correctly, the columns formed by the added letters should spell out related words.  It might be a person's name, such as CHARLES DICKENS (spelled out in two columns).  It might be the title of a book or movie, such as GONEW ITHTH EWIND (spelled out in three columns).  It might be almost anything.  Your challenge is to figure out what the verticals say and what they mean.

1. yes
2. something Paul Krugman, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have in common
3. premature

4. limb
5. delight
6. big bird

7. before
8. swerve
9. brink

10. American Crossroads, for a noxious example
11. superhero accessory
12. noteworthy movement

 1. aye  L  2. Yale  R  3. early
 4. leg  E  5. glee  A  6. eagle
 7. ere  V  8. veer  G  9. verge
10. PAC  E 11. cape  E 12. peace

The verticals read LEVE  RAGE -- which, properly spaced, spell out "Leverage" .

Enjoy the puzzles -- and don't forget to drop by Sunday Puzzle tomorrow as we try to solve the remaining puzzles in the JulieChallenge.
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