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
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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#### Comment Preferences

• ##### relationship tips(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

As I type this, last week's JulieCrostic is still not fully solved (although the solving team is very close to finishing it).

Rather than provide direct hints to the clue answers in that diary's comments, I thought it would be fun to construct a new puzzle which will provide the help you need. That's tonight's puzzle.

Ah, but first you'll need to solve tonight's puzzle. And, like last week's puzzle, it's got some pretty challenging clues. So I provided a little help last night in the Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up diary.

There are two words in the verticals of last night's puzzle. If you look at both, you'll get a hint at the meaning of tonight's vertical words. And if you look at just one of the words, you'll see the relationship between last week's JulieCrostic and tonight's JulieCrostic.

I'm typing up this tip jar now (Saturday afternoon) because a last minute change of plans means I'll be away until Tuesday so may not be able to take active part in tonight's diary. But I should have some computer access over the next few days so I'll be here to read comments (and to answer questions, provide hints, or explain some of the clue references) as soon as I can.

There are still 5 unsolved Crypto-Gremlins from several weeks ago. I'd intended to provide a walk-through in tonight's diary of how to solve the first one of these, but it looks like that will have to wait another week. Sorry about that -- there's just too little time in a day.

Have fun! (And don't forget the potluck puzzle party next week. I hope to see you there!)

• ##### I'm here with a bonus tip: 4 of 14(2+ / 0-)
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Hi! Sorry I couldn't be present for Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up last night, but I've got computer access tonight so can be here for at least part of the party. I had an enjoyable time today pruning some nice old apple and pear trees. Daylight ran out too quickly (as often happens) but I should have another good day for pruning tomorrow, and then I'll bike home Tuesday morning.

Very excited to read in last night's Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up comments that pucklady will be a mother soon! I'll try to send a gift soon to mark the occasion.

Meanwhile, here's a small gift for the Sunday Puzzle crew, a bonus hint regarding last week's verticals: "4 of 14". Once y'all solve the puzzle that should make sense -- and if it doesn't I'll provide a link which will.

• ##### Don't rush the occasion.(2+ / 0-)
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sny, Nova Land

I've been here before.

I changed my sig because I don't want to jinx it.

My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

[ Parent ]

• ##### 5-8(3+ / 0-)
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5 mus
6 sump
7 rumps
8 rumpus

• ##### 26, 27(4+ / 0-)
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pore, roped

Will wait on 25 to see if it's even part of the group.

• ##### although it could be (25, that is)(4+ / 0-)
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per, since that'd make per-son and bum-per

• ##### beat me by 35 seconds!(4+ / 0-)
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but 28 is DEPORT

• ##### no, you beat me by 28 seconds! nt(3+ / 0-)
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• ##### then 28 would be....(3+ / 0-)
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deport.

Thanks, science, for the 3-4-5-6 tip

• ##### 25(4+ / 0-)
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per  (person, bumper).   Nice start...

• ##### 1,3(3+ / 0-)
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1 anna
3 banana

I cant think of a capital that fits for 2.

• ##### doesn't fit the lengths(3+ / 0-)
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1 is ana
2 is sana

• ##### Scratch that(3+ / 0-)
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Science's answers for 5-8 sound right, so 1 can't be 4 letters. But I was positive on 3 being banana...hmmmm....

I guess 1 must be santa ana (the city) rather than Santa Anna the general.

[ Parent ]

• ##### 3(3+ / 0-)
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santa  (donovan sang about the general)

• ##### 4(3+ / 0-)
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mantas

• ##### and here's a YouTube of the song...(3+ / 0-)
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iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/... frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>

• ##### Never heard it before(3+ / 0-)
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He is one of my favorite less-popular singers of the era but I've never heard that one.

[ Parent ]

• ##### not sure why but I've always liked that song(1+ / 0-)
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I've been a Donovan fan since hearing his Wear Your Love Like Heaven album (the first album I ever listened to with headphones -- quite an experience), and I like a lot of his songs, but my liking for this one is hard to explain. I mean, it largely seems to be a celebration of the killing of Santa Anna's soldiers. I think it's the tune I like (and like enough to overlook the words).

I initially was looking for a good way to clue ANA and historical santa might be a way to do it. But looked up the general to check and found it's ANNA rather than ANA. But still managed to use the song in a clue two answers later!

• ##### 13, 16(4+ / 0-)
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pus, slurps

sorry, brain still operating at less than capacity!

• ##### 29,31(4+ / 0-)
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29 hew
31 shrew

• ##### 22-23(4+ / 0-)
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22 fats
23 feats

• ##### shall I be the 3rd with 24?(4+ / 0-)
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the answer isn't on my screen but I suspect by the time I post "feasts" I'll see at least two similar answers.

• ##### 22-24(4+ / 0-)
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22 fats
23 feats
24 feasts
21 ?

• ##### small hint on 21...(3+ / 0-)
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Gremlins... Punctuation... Need I say more?

• ##### 41-43(4+ / 0-)
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sag
snag
gnats

• ##### summary so far(3+ / 0-)
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```ana S sana T santa M mantasmus P sump R rumps U rumpusxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxpus R spur L purls S slurpsxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x fats E feats S feastsper O pore D roped T deporthew x xxxx x shrew A washerxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxsag N snag T gnats E agents
```
• ##### Seem to be stuck(3+ / 0-)
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after starting so well.....

• ##### stuck, and a guess at 33(3+ / 0-)
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Well, I can offer proof that you can be stuck even when you dont start so well.

I'll throw out a guess at 33 since we are stuck: either pay or pen.

[ Parent ]

• ##### or(3+ / 0-)
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gal

• ##### that could lead to(3+ / 0-)
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slag

• ##### thats it! 36(3+ / 0-)
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36 is gambol.
I had guessed that long back but assumed it was wrong.

[ Parent ]

• ##### 34(3+ / 0-)
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And 34 is glam.

No clue on 35.

[ Parent ]

• ##### wow -- I was about as wrong as can be(3+ / 0-)
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In the time it took me to type up my comment that you'd have a hard time cracking this row and that solving 35 would be the easiest way, you folks managed to solve all of the row except for 35.

• ##### 35(2+ / 0-)
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gloam   (not the best clue, but vaguely sorta fits)

• ##### maybe vaguely fits...(2+ / 0-)
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(although I don't see how) but that's not the intended answer.

• ##### ooh, that's a hard row!(3+ / 0-)
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Just looked at it and I can see y'all will have difficulty cracking this row.

Oh, well. Once you solve clue 35 the row should be easy!

• ##### Hmmm(3+ / 0-)
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I think thats a hint that the answers are not gal-glam-gambol

[ Parent ]

• ##### guess we're right - see above n/t(3+ / 0-)
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• ##### no, that's simply DK-4 hiding comments from me(3+ / 0-)
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until after I've posted something completely wrong -- my guess that y'all would have trouble cracking the row without cracking clue 35 first. (I was afraid 33 and 34 might be a little too obscure, especially since the answer to 33 didn't show up on OneLook.Com (which I checked when composing the clue).

(I hesitated about using the phrase when it didn't turn up on OneLook, even though I think of it as a fairly common phrase. So I did a check on Google, and while it didn't turn up as many hits as I expected, it still turned up enough hits for me to feel reasonably comfortable using it as an answer.)

• ##### 37-40(3+ / 0-)
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40 is glazer
39 is graze
38 is gaze
is 37 age?????

• ##### can't be age(3+ / 0-)
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must be zag  (don't get the clue, but it's the only thing that fits the verticals)

• ##### 38-40(3+ / 0-)
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38 gaze
39 graze
40 glazer

Hmmm, whats 37?

• ##### Must be off now(3+ / 0-)
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but I'll check back tomorrow.  Good luck solving!

• ##### summary again(3+ / 0-)
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```ana S sana T santa M mantasmus P sump R rumps U rumpusxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxpus R spur L purls S slurpsxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x fats E feats S feastsper O pore D roped T deporthew x xxxx x shrew A washergal M glam O xxxxx B gambolxxx x gaze R graze L glazersag N snag T gnats E agents
```
• ##### 17,19(2+ / 0-)
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asp
sharp

• ##### got to run(3+ / 0-)
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I've got to run. I'll check back later tonight...

Hmm, I just looked at last week's puzzle and it looks like you guys have solved it mostly. I have no clue on the last remaining row.

• ##### yeah, I have to go soon as well(2+ / 0-)
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and still no solution for last week.   Maybe we don't need another one until we've solved these two.   Nova's brain is just outracing ours.

• ##### AHA(2+ / 0-)
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4 is wrong.  It's QANTAS

• ##### new summary(1+ / 0-)
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Nova Land
```ana S sana T santa Q qantasmus P sump R rumps U rumpusxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxpus R spur L purls S slurpsxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxxxx x fats E feats S feastsper O pore D roped T deporthew x xxxx x shrew A washergal M glam O xxxxx B gambolxxx x gaze R graze L glazersag N snag T gnats E agents
```
• ##### I'm off(2+ / 0-)
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will check in the morning.

• ##### 30(2+ / 0-)
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RHWE - found it through Google... it's Tsonga for, well, exactly what the clue says.

• ##### just 9-12 left n/t(3+ / 0-)
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• ##### nice, Fordian - summary(2+ / 0-)
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```ana S sana T santa Q qantasmus P sump R rumps U rumpusxxx x xxxx x xxxxx x xxxxxxpus R spur L purls S slurpsrat E rate L alert T tartleats F fats E feats S feastsper O pore D roped T deporthew R rhwe S shrew A washergal M glam O xxxxx B gambolzeg A gaze R graze L glazersag N snag T gnats E agents
```
• ##### Last sunday's puzzle solved(2+ / 0-)
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There are 14 words on the page Fordian found that contains odd words and definitions.

http://mentalfloss.com/...

4 of them are on the verticals of last sunday's puzzle

rhwe lagom tartle zeg

(Had we googled zeg, we might have found the page.  without that page, though, it's impossible)

So the missing row last Sunday has ae for the letters.

median is the strip
mind is "object"

• ##### don't see the connection to(2+ / 0-)
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science verse from last night's puzzle.

• ##### that could be because you haven't figured out yet(1+ / 0-)
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science

the meaning to this week's verticals.

The Saturday night and Sunday night verticals have something in common. (If you knew what that something is, it would be easy to fill in the remaining vertical letters of Sunday's puzzle.)

• ##### SATURDAY/SUNDAY VERTICALS(1+ / 0-)
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Nova Land

Saturday:

CONscience
CONverse

Sunday:

CONspire
CONform
CONan
CONtrolled
CONsort
CONquest
CONstable

I was confused for a long time thinking "for" and "man" were separate words....didn't think it was "form" and "an"

For 9-12, I thought of 12 as "NO IDEA", and then 11 could be "I AND O".    But then "mystery curse" is an anagram of "IAND", and I'm stuck....

• ##### 9(1+ / 0-)
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Nova Land

would be NDA - non-disclosure agreement.

• ##### HINT on 10(0+ / 0-)

this is a literary reference. The mystery in the clue is a literal mystery (novel).

• ##### possibility(1+ / 0-)
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Nova Land

There's a book called "The Dain Curse" - is that it?

• ##### That's the one, yes(0+ / 0-)

It's a classic by Dashiell Hammett (who also wrote The Maltese Falcon and The Thin Man).

Samuel Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) is recognized as the first master of hard-boiled detective fiction. His lean writing style, cynical characters and complex plots brought a new energy to pulp magazines then went on to define the genre in movies, radio and television where the private eye series became an entertainment staple.

Hammett wrote more than 80 short stories and five novels: "Red Harvest" (1929), "The Dain Curse" (1929), "The Maltese Falcon" (1930), "The Glass Key" (1931) and "The Thin Man" (1934). He created tough guys Sam Spade and the Continental Op as well as debonaire sleuths Nick and Nora Charles. He wrote a comic strip ("Secret Agent X-9"), an original radio series ("The Fat Man") and worked on numerous scripts, often simply to polish dialogue. Hammett's crisp, colorful language brought gangster slang into everyday speech.