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.

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 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! (Please remember not to post spoilers in the subject line, though; use the subject line to indicate what the comment is about, and put your guesses as to clue answers inside the comment.)

If you'd prefer solving the puzzle on your own, 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 a clue you need help with, expand and read that comment, and you're good to go.

Tonight's puzzle has 5 rows, with 3 answers per row. One answer is a 2-word phrase. Here are your clues:

1. box
2. half-conscious state
3. half-human creature

4. walking sticks
5. milk-derived protein
6. poison

8. like a raccoon's tail
9. what Carroll's cat did

10. schemes
11. correct name for card the USPS sells [although post office people generally don't know this!]
12. missionary

13. controversial racial slur
14. free
15. associate

For those of you new to Sunday Puzzle, here's an explanation of How JulieCrostics Work

To solve the puzzle, figure out the answers to the clues and enter them into a grid of rows and columns. For the warm-up puzzles on Saturday I generally tell you how many rows and columns there are in the grid; for the regular puzzles on Sunday that's usually left to the solvers to figure out.

All the rows in the grid will be the same length (i.e. have the same number of answers). All the answers in a column will be the same length (i.e. have the same number of letters).  And the words in each column are one letter longer than the words in the column to its left. That's because...

Each word in a row has all the letters of the word before it plus one new letter.  For instance, if the clues for a row were (1) Alaska governor, (2) mountainous, and (3) clarify, the answers would be PALIN, ALPINE ( = PALIN + E), and EXPLAIN ( = ALPINE + X).

Write the added letter in the space between the word which doesn't have it and the word which does.  For the row in the example you'd write:
PALIN  E  ALPINE  X  EXPLAIN

When you have solved all the clues and written down all the added letters, the added letters will form columns that spell out a message of some sort. It might be a person's name, it might be the title of a book, it might be a familiar phrase, or it might be a series of related words. Your challenge is to solve all the clues, fill in the vertical columns, and figure out what the vertical columns mean.

To show you what a completed puzzle looks like, here is the solution to last week's puzzle.
harp  S  sharp  E  phrase
desk  U  Dukes  C  sucked
Toni  P  point  O  option
lane  R  learn  U  unreal
disk  E  skied  R  risked
Rice  M  crime  T  metric
The verticals read SUPREM  ECOURT. When spaced properly that spells out Supreme Court (which has handed down several important decisions in recent days -- rightly striking down DOMA, not-so-rightly striking down key portions of the Voting Rights Act).

#### Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
 Unpublish Diary (The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.) Delete Diary (The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

#### Comment Preferences

• ##### Tip Jar(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

• ##### small bonus puzzle...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

We used to have subtitles on the Sunday Puzzle diaries, and I've begun adding those again. So after you finish solving tonight's JulieCrostic you can tackle the additional small puzzle of figuring out what "whip smart" means and how it relates to the JulieCrostic.

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

• ##### 4 5 6(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

canes
casein
arsenic

• ##### Good evening...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

... although it's a bit rainy here. Been raining the last few days -- there's a flood watch in effect for the area, which doesn't affect me directly since I live on top of a ridge but there are certainly some major puddles in the yard and orchard. (I intended to pick a half-bushel off one of the early apple trees yesterday, but would have had to step into several inches of water to get near the tree so decided to wait. Today, alas, did not do anything to reduce the puddles.) Think we've gotten about 10 inches of rain since Thursday.

On the good side, I haven't needed to water the garden!

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Hi, Nova.(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

Wish we could take some of that rain off your hands. Didn't Mother Nature get the memo about moderation in all things? (Yeah, I know we messed with her.) It's very dry here, but at least it got a little cooler over the last day or two.

• ##### 7 8 9(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

dirge
ringed
grinned

• ##### 13(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

I guess "creepy-ass cracker" doesn't fit...

• ##### that might be a few letters long...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

but you are in the right neighborhood.

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

[ Parent ]

• ##### are you sure that the clue for 15(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

shouldn't be singular?

• ##### you're right, it should be...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

Sorry -- I have even less time than I thought before needing to leave for blueberries, so I'm still way too short on sleep and resultingly short on working brain cells.

I'll edit the diary to fix the clue in a sec...

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

[ Parent ]

• ##### quiet in here ... but here's 1 2 & 3(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

crate
trance
centaur

• ##### 11, 12, maybe(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Villanova Rhodes, Nova Land

POSTAL
APOSTLE

• ##### 13 14 15(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

coons
no cost
consorts?

• ##### well, with that, we have the verticals(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nova Land

NIANTURENS

Your guess is as good as mine.

• ##### Nope. Try again(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nova Land

NIANTURENC

• ##### I got(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

NINA TURNER, who is definitely whip smart, but I'm guessing there's more to it.

• ##### Google says(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Villanova Rhodes, Nova Land

she's the minority WHIP in Ohio.

• ##### Ah, that's it! (2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

I've seen her on MSNBC several times -- a real up and comer from what I can tell. I'd forgotten that she's the whip. Good clue.

• ##### Yes!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

She's the woman who introduced the recent bill in the Ohio senate to safeguard men's health.

With all the attention being paid to women's issues, and all the legislation male legislators have been passing in various states to make sure women seeking abortions are well looked after, it seemed no one had the time or compassion to pass legislation giving men the same kind of protection. So she proposed legislation that before unscrupulous doctors prescribed Viagra or similar medications to men the men must (a) bring in a notarized statement from a recent sex partner attesting to the man's impotence, (b) consult a sex therapist, and (c) have a cardiac stress test to make sure they're healthy enough to be engaging in sexual activity.

Turner recently announced she is running for Ohio Secretary of State. The more I read about her, the more I like her, so I thought she'd be a good person to spotlight in this week's puzzle.

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

[ Parent ]

• ##### third time's the charm...(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

I think you may have some of the vertical letters in the wrong places.

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

[ Parent ]

• ##### Third try(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nova Land, Villanova Rhodes

NIANTURENR

• ##### Oh, I had one row out of order.(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Villanova Rhodes, Nova Land
• ##### That'll do it! nt(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
• ##### Nova(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Villanova Rhodes, Nova Land

I have a Juliecrostic ready for tomorrow, and will mail it to you in the morning.

• ##### Thanks!(0+ / 0-)

I forgot you had offered to do that, so earlier today had typed up a short one to use tomorrow. I'll hold that one in reserve for next week (when I'll be even more pressed for time than this week, so having it already set will be great).

Looking forward to being on the solving side of the table tomorrow! Now I just need to find a few working brain cells...

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle -- now posting Sunday evenings at 7:30 pm Eastern.

[ Parent ]