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 posts Sunday evenings at 8 pm Eastern time).

These warm-up puzzles are intended to be 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.

Tonight's puzzle is a JulieCrostic.  If you're not familiar with this kind of puzzle, don't panic.  You'll find full instructions for solving JulieCrostics directly below tonight's puzzle; and here is the completed grid for last week's warm-up puzzle, to show you what a finished puzzle looks like.

heat  W  wheat  R  wreath
Hals  I  hails  V  lavish
soar  L  orals  I  sailor
go in L  lingo  V  Loving
hark  S  shark  E  Shaker
The verticals read IWILLS  URVIVE.  Hmmm.  That doesn't seem to make much sense! But with proper spacing and capitalization that spells out I Will Survive, a song made famous by Gloria Gaynor.

(The diary was titled No Gray Confusion: Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up 2013-09-07. That provided a hint to the singer of the featured song: the letters NO GRAY are a confusion of the letters GAYNOR.)

Tonight's puzzle has 5 rows, with 3 answers per row. Here are the clues. Hope you like the puzzle -- and hope you enjoy the featured song once you figure out what it is.

1. front part of the leg
2. raises one's face above a bar
3. alcoves

4. not any
5. wet
6. not smooth or fine

7. land surrounded by water
8. vexes
9. continued story

10. Bartlett
12. person who tents out

14. kind of bull
15. request

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.

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#### Comment Preferences

• ##### tips for tomorrow!(5+ / 0-)

As of last Sunday, the regular Sunday night Sunday Puzzle is back -- so if your brain cells are nicely warmed up from tonight's exercise, come back in 24 hours (8 pm eastern time) for a full work-out.

Tomorrow's diary is titled Puzzles Within Puzzles, and features both a new JulieCrostic and a new Mystery Puzzle.

Here's a preview of the Mystery Puzzle puzzle:

3. "Arf! Arf! Arf!"
Have fun pondering that tonight; and come back tomorrow night for the full puzzle.

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, visit Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time, Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard)

• ##### Welcome back, Nova!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nova Land, Villanova Rhodes
• ##### thanks -- it's good to be back(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

I've missed being part of these weekly parties!

(Alas, my brain is about as sleep-deprived and fuzzy as when I departed for blueberries in July, but I hope to be caught up on sleep and on thinking abilities by winter.)

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, look for Sunday Puzzle on weekends at 8 pm Eastern time, Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard)

[ Parent ]

• ##### 1-3(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

shin
chins
niches

Welcome back!

• ##### On a different path to solving: 1, 4, 7, 10, 13(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Villanova Rhodes, Nova Land

shin
none
soil
pear
papa

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

papa
papal
appeal

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

camper

• ##### I don't think 7 is right, with 8-9(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

being riles and serial, I think.

• ##### Maybe it's(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Villanova Rhodes

ISLE

• ##### oops -- clue for 7 got accidentally truncated...(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

7. land surrounded by water.
Apologies for the error. I"ll edit the full clue into the diary in a moment.

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, look for Sunday Puzzle on weekends at 8 pm Eastern time, Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard)

[ Parent ]

• ##### No, it's ok.(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nova Land

A bit obscure, but fair.

• ##### Verticals(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

Circle Game (Judy Collins, among others, I imagine)

• ##### 4-6(3+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
pucklady, Nova Land, Geenius at Wrok

nary
rainy
grainy

• ##### Solved in record time!(2+ / 0-)
Recommended by:
Nova Land, Villanova Rhodes

That's what happens when our puzzlemaster is on board.

• ##### that was quick!(1+ / 0-)
Recommended by:

Congratulations on speedy solving (despite my accidentally leaving out part of clue # 7)!

I'm off to get some work done, but hope to see y'all tomorrow night for Puzzles Within Puzzles, and then again next Saturday for another warm-up.

(Summer Songfest will continue for at least one more week; haven't planned the one for 2 weeks from now yet, but I'm hoping to squeeze in at least a couple more weeks of songs.)

For fun, mental exercise, educational tidbits and comic book references, look for Sunday Puzzle on weekends at 8 pm Eastern time, Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard)

[ Parent ]