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Welcome to the third Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up of 2013!

Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up is a light and casual Saturday night puzzle party -- a way to have some fun together and to get the brains in gear for Sunday night when the regular Sunday Puzzle, with more difficult puzzles, goes up.

Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up posts Saturday nights at 8:30 pm EST / 5:30 pm PST.

Sunday Puzzle posts Sunday nights at 8:30 pm EST / 5:30 pm PST.

On tap tonight: a quick JulieCrostic, plus a Sunday Puzzle workshop...

First up, a Sunday Puzzle workshop, demonstrating how to solve Crypto-Gremlins.

Last week I posted this Crypto-Gremlin:

“Gut stage bed gp fitzolgo gut hygyit moay gp wormtrge nogo.”

     Nevery Wed

UnionMade solved it easily. But for those of you who look at that and have no idea how to proceed, here's a quick walk-through.

First, if you don't know how what Crypto-Gremlins are and how they differ from regular cryptograms, please read this.

Second, open this handy tool which the American Cryptogram Association provides and open up OneLook dictionary search (another handy tool).

Okay. Ready to proceed. Let's see what the vowels are: T, E, D, P, O, and Y. So those are (in some order) a, e, i, o, u and y.

We've got two 3-letter words: GUT and BED. Since BED has two vowels, it can't be the -- but GUT could be. So let's try that out. (In Crypto-Gremlins, 3-letter words are almost always genuine -- i.e. no added letters are start or finish -- and chances are good that a 3-letter word which has 2 consonants followed by a vowel is the.)

Aha: we've got a 2-letter word, GP. First letter is T, so either it's a 1-letter word with fake T at start (i.e. a or I, but it can't be I because it's not capitalized) or it's an O for to.. And we've also got the 3-letter word BED, in which both E and D are vowels. That means D is unlikely to be either I or U. It can't be E because that's already taken, so it could be an A following an E or, more likely a Y following an A, O, or U. Try D=Y, P=O, E=A.

That means O and Y are must be the remaining two vowels, u and i.

Now look at HYGYIT. Go to OneLook and test to see whether it's an I or a U.

First let's test for I. Enter as a search #iti#e (searches for consonant-i-t-i-consonant-e). No common words. Okay, let's try without the final e: seach for #iti#e. Again, nope. Okay, try genuine final e but false beginning: iti#e. Again, no common words. Last chance: iti# (false start and finish). No! So Y must be a u instead of an i. Let's see...

Yep! right away, #utu#e gives us future. (and suture, but that seems less likely...). Plug in Y=U, O=I -- and I=R for good measure.

Now look at FITZOLGO. The final O is obviously an add-on, so we have either #re#i#t or re#i#t. The latter could give us regift, resift, or relict [but not resist, since that would mean both Z and L would be s...) None of those seem particularly common, so let's try #re#i#t...

Aha! It's predict -- which goes well with future.

Now let's look at WORMTRGE: #i##e#ta. The final vowel is obviously an add-on, so the word is either #i##e#t or i##e#t. The key here is the R, which appears twice in the word. We need a letter which can go between E and T and appear in both places in the word. Consonants which could go between E and T are mainly C, F, L, N, R, and S. But in this case only N works: invent.

At this point it's easy to fill in that STAGE BED = best way. Quote is done; all that remains it to Google for the quote and see that the person it's credited to is Alan Kay.

“The besta way to predicti the future visu to -inventa -iti.”

    -alanu -ay

"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." -- Alan Kay

(A lot easier to actually solve than to type out this demo of how to solve!)

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

And now, here's 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 verticals to this puzzle were nearly the answer to a Sunday Puzzle clue a couple of weeks ago. I was doing long rows -- 5 answers per row that night -- so finding good word sets for a row was a fun challenge.

Usually I start with the longest word in a row and work from right to left, seeing if with each removed letter I can make something good out of the remaining letters. That hadn't been working for one row, so I started from the other end instead. I had a good 4-letter word, good 5-letter word, good 6-letter word, and good 7-letter word. But I could tell, looking at the set of 8 letters I had for the final word, that there was no single word those letters would anagram out to.

And there wasn't. But perhaps there was a good 2-word phrase?

Well, it turned out there were two good phrases! I looked this one up in Wikipedia, thinking it might be a place name, and discovered it's actually ... well, you can Google it yourselves after you solve the puzzle.

In the end I went with the other phrase for that puzzle, as something people would be more familiar with and which would be easier to clue fairly. But I was sorry not to be able to use this answer then -- so I'm pleased to be able to use it tonight!

 1. move along slowly
 2. piece of cake
 3. settle decisively

 4. Ms. Myerson
 5. first, second and third
 6. prejudices

 7. sit
 8. Catholic leaders
 9. work against

10. animal sound
11. shatter
12. money-lender

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

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 4 rows with 3 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.

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

last week's puzzle:

1. peace activist and co-founder of 80-year-old movement
2. funny Kaufman
3. convenient

4. posed
5. oven
6. tiny bits

7. without exception
8. kind of tale
9. delay

10. pretend
11. converse
12. competition

13. encountered
14. abound
15. dramatize

16. mature
17. wizard
18. skin rash

19. in thing
20. dim
21. destined

22. likewise
23. bender
24. canine

the answer  to last week's puzzle:
Day N  Andy  H  handy  
sat O  oast  I  iotas  
all T  tall  S  stall  
act H  chat  M  match  
met E  teem  O  emote  
age M  mage  N  mange  
fad E  fade  T  fated  
too T  toot  H  tooth  
The verticals read NOTHEMET  HISMONTH -- which properly spaced spells out no theme this month.
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