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Welcome to Sunday Puzzle.

Last week we had an especially challenging JulieCrostic -- so challenging the solving team hasn't completely solved it yet, although they've figured out a lot of it. I think some of the remaining clues (and the verticals) are really good, so I didn't want to spoil the puzzle by providing too many hints in the comments. I've managed to keep my mouth mostly shut. Instead I've created a new JulieCrostic for tonight which should help folks complete last week's puzzle. So hop on down and see if you can solve it!

PS: It's the last Sunday of February -- which means next week will be the first Sunday of March and time for our monthly potluck puzzle party. If you've got a puzzle you'd like to share, bring it along next week and we'll add it to the diary.

Here's today's JulieCrostic.

As usual the gremlins were around working their mischief, but for a second week in a row they were rather restrained. They removed the capitalization in the clues (so you'll need to provide your own) and they bunched the clues together in groups of 3 regardless of how many answers are actually in the rows (so you'll need to figure out for yourselves how long the rows are). And it looks like they altered the punctuation of two of the clues, and removed the italics from one. But I think that's all they did. Ha! They can't deceive you folks with petty tricks like that!

Remember that part of the challenge of these puzzles is to figure out not simply what the verticals but also what the verticals mean. That won't be quite as hard with this week's puzzle as with last week's, but it will still take a bit of thinking. So to help you figure it out a little help:

   

(a) The verticals (last week and this week) are not anagrammed; what you see is what they are.

(b) The vertical columns are self-contained (both last week and this week); all the vertical words end in the same column that they begin.

(c) The verticals in today's puzzle contain 7 words.

If you need more help, there are a couple of hints in last night's Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up. There were two words in its verticals. Taken together they provide a hint to the meaning of today's verticals; and one of the words provides a hint to the relationship between today's JulieCrostic and last week's.

Okay, enough help! I'll shut up now and let you folks enjoy solving the puzzle.

 1. well-known santa
 2. capital city
 3. anna whom donovan sang about
 4. flying kangaroo
 5. μμ
 6. place where unpleasant liquid gathers
 7. limbaugh roast variety
 8. brouhaha
 9.  legal promise not to tell
10. mystery curse
11. what the democratic party and unions have in common
12. have this and still be clueless
13. unpleasant liquid
14. stimulus
15. small loops
16. makes irritating noise during a meal
17. kind of snake
18. kind of sheet
19. paying attention
20. hesitate awkwardly when introducing someone whose name you've forgotten
21. what large will m. might go after
22. musical domino
23. noteworthy achievements
24. moveable babettes
25. before a son or after a bum
26. tiny opening
27. cordoned
28. send away
29. cut
30. sleep on the floor while naked and drunk
31. mean lady
32. flat ring
33. kind of pal
34. kind of metal or rock
35. not too little, not too much -- just right
36. frolic
37. the day after tomorrow
38. look
39. touch lightly
40. one who works with pottery or pastry
41. group whose members try to persuade people to believe in fantasies
42. hitch
43. black flies
44. secret ticket
45. ... and lastly, dumb darrell (a republican hack)

[NOTE regarding clue 41: group technically no longer exists, having merged with another group in 2012]

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