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Welcome to Sunday Puzzle -- now in its new day and time, Friday evenings at 8 Eastern / 5 Pacific.

Sunday Puzzle is a chance to have fun, socialize, and exercise your wits (or to watch other people exercising theirs).

These are puzzles you're not going to find anywhere else. We try to work in clues and answers with cultural and political references of special interest to Kossacks. (And comic book references. Everyone loves comics, right?)

Tonight's puzzle, for instance, spotlights something which might be of special interest to members of the Monday Murder Mystery series.

Sunday Puzzle has been a regular feature since Julie Waters started it, back in October of 2007. If you're new to Sunday Puzzle, you might enjoy browsing through the archives of old puzzles.

I'm running late, so tonight's diary features only one puzzle. But I think it should be hard enough to hold folks for a while. And we'll have a larger variety of puzzles next week, when it's potluck puzzle party!

On tap tonight: a 69-clue JulieCrostic. Everyone's welcome, so come on down and join the party!

If you're not familiar with JulieCrostics, don't panic!

An Explanation of JulieCrostics

What you do is solve the clues and write the answers in rows.

All the rows have the same word-length pattern. If the first answer in one row has 5 letters, then the first answer in all the rows will have 5 letters.

Each word in a row contains all the letters of the previous word in that row, 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. The object of the puzzle is to solve all the clues and read the vertical message.

On Saturday nights we have a companion series, Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up, which features introductory puzzles. In those, most of the clues are straightforward definitions or synonms, and you are provided at the start with the number of rows
in the puzzle and the number of answers per row.

But in the regular Sunday Puzzle series we try to make things a little more challenging. So:

(a) The clues are grouped in bundles of 3 regardless of how many answers there actually are per row. (If the number of answers does not divide evenly by 3, I add blank clues at the end to fill out the last bundle.) One of the first things you'll need to figure out is how many answers there are per row.

(b) Capitalization has been omitted from the clues, so you'll need to provide your own.

(c) Punctuation may also be deceptive. If you have trouble with a clue, try punctuating it differently and see if the new way of reading it leads to an answer.

There are some devious clues, but you'll catch on to the tricks soon enough. So here are tonight's clues. Have fun trying to solve them!

(And please: don't post any answers in the subject lines of your comments. Use the subject line to let people know which clue(s) your comment deals with, but keep the answers themselves safely inside the comment, so that those who don't want to know the answer yet won't have the puzzle spoiled. Thanks!)

 1. rotten person
 2. muss up
 3. betrayal
 4. dirties
 5. buggy dolly
 6. stiffen
 7. more restrained
 8. agreements
 9. county
10. people who got a job
11. woman who received something
12. supporting abortion rights, saying something good about obama obama, and disagreeing with rush, if you're a true republican
13. lukewarm
14. scorpion's leg
15. down payment
16. authoritarian
17. get points
18. class
19. makes up for
20. treasured
21. some say the world will come before this
     22.
23. explosive d
24. flood
25. double dickie
26. snakes
27. these are often associated with snakes
28. something done with legs wide apart
29. playful
30. class follower
31. this can make a picture clearer
32. visual aid seller
33. sharpen
34. f scout
35. kings' predecessors
36. where you can often find batman and spider-man
37. extent
38. body
39. mimics
40. what we'll do later on (according to richard smith)
41. basketball player
42. one who keeps and files records
43. fire sound
44. hens
45. nonsense
46. co
47. small quantity
48. vehicle-free competition
49. provides temporarily
50. a dam or a gun could have this
51. flax
52. censored
53. sticks
54. reels
55. commonly wait first, get opinion after
56. bishop
57. task
58. badger
59. children of this were kings, originally
60. understandable
61. reject
62. sings
63. halos
64. animated editorial
65. irks
66. pincers
67. waves
68. slick
69. nothing
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