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Welcome to Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up, a weekly opportunity to have a little fun and to get your brain in gear for the regular Sunday Puzzle (which now posts on Friday, though we'll likely return to Sundays in July).

These warm-up puzzles are intended to be a new-puzzler-friendly. So if you've never tried Sunday Puzzle before, and are scared to dive in the deep end, come on and dip your toes in here.

This is a JulieCrostic.  If you're not familiar with this kind of puzzle, don't panic -- full instructions, and an example of what a completed puzzle looks like, can be found directly below tonight's puzzle.

If you'd like to take part in the group solving, come on down to comments and join in. We're friendly and we love having new people!

If you'd prefer solving the puzzle on your own (or if you come along late, after the solving party is over), no problem. Just set your comment preference to SHRINK (so you only see the subject lines of comments); then, if you get stuck, look for a subject line identifying a comment dealing with one of the clues you need help with, expand and read that comment, and you're good to go.

Tonight's puzzle has 7 rows, with 3 answers per row. (If you get stuck you'll find a hint to the solution in last night's Sunday Puzzle on Friday.)

 1. overdue
 2. iron or copper
 3. toymaker

 4. difficult journey
 5. Romney's word for member of the 47% who didn't vote for him
 6. long narrow mark

 7. worker who does not respect other workers
 8. crustaceans
 9. beetle

10. Limbaugh-like animal
11. actress who shunned publicity
12. Maine city

13. conceited
14. kind of flu
15. kind of monologue

16. closed hand
17. primary
18. bitter conflict

19. possesses
20. took the gold 4 times in 1936
21. go downhill

How JulieCrostics Work

What you do is solve the clues and write the answers in rows. Tonight's puzzle has 7 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.

All the rows have the same word-length pattern. If one row has answers which are 5, 6, and 7 letters long, then all the rows will have answers which are 5, 6, and 7 letters long.

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.

For example, here's the answer diagram for last week's puzzle. (That was a 6 x 3  puzzle: 6 rows, with 3 answers per row).
rays  T  trays  P  pastry
sped  O  dopes  L  sloped
race  M  cream  A  camera
germ  A  Marge  N  German
SARS  T  stars  T  starts
arts  O  roast  S  assort
The verticals read TOMATO  PLANTS.
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