(Wait, wasn't "Coming soon!" the title of the Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up diary a couple of weeks ago?)

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. 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; I'm about to provide you full instructions.

(If you already know how JulieCrostics work you can skip directly to the clues for tonight's diary, at the bottom of tonight's diary)

First, to show you what a finished puzzle looks like, here's the completed grid for last week's  puzzle.

parties  N  pantries  M  spearmint
retains  O  notaries  B  baritones
re-inter V  inventer  E  intervene
staring  E  angriest  R  arresting
The verticals read NOVE   MBER.  With proper spacing and capitalization that spells out November.
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.

Think you've got the idea? Then here's a brand-new puzzle all set for you to solve!

Tonight's puzzle has 7 rows, with 3 answers per row, for a total of 21 clues. Here they are. Have fun!

1. tack
2. serving size
3. kind of bean

4. put on
5. not working
6. cut

7. dog
8. fix
9. happen again

10. down
11. grit
12. get up

13. recite
14. remain

16. normal
17. appeal
18. single is good

19. kind of process
20. quarrel
21. what cats generally claim to be

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#### Comment Preferences

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

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

• ##### just got home from all-day meeting...(2+ / 0-)
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and even though I'm a couple hours late getting here looks like I"m still the first one commenting.

Hmmm -- looks like the puzzle must be harder than I intended. I'll provide some hints in next comment for anyone who would like help getting started.

(And, of course, the complete answers will appear in next week's diary if no one posts the solution to the puzzle before then.)

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

• ##### puzzle hint # 1: word length pattern(2+ / 0-)
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for those wanting help getting started on tonight's puzzle,  the first word in each row is 3 letters long, the second word is 4 letters long, and the third word is 5 letters long.

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

• ##### puzzle hint # 2: an easier clue # 4(2+ / 0-)
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For those wanting a start on tonight's puzzle, here's an easier version of clue # 4 to get you started:

4. put on gay apparel

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

• ##### Sorry, Nova. Just got here.(2+ / 0-)
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I've shrunk your hints and will see how I do. Looks like everyone went MIA at once.

• ##### Welcome to the party!(2+ / 0-)
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I'll hold off on posting any more hints -- looks like you're off to a good start without them.

I've been gone since yesterday -- biked over to some a friend's place 25 miles away yesterday in order to plant some plums and to be able to get a ride to the meeting today; then biked home this evening after the meeting. I'm a little worn out at the moment so I may fade out soon. (Not so much from the bike trip as from the meeting.)

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

[ Parent ]

• ##### Nothing's as enervating as meetings,(2+ / 0-)
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I find. Unless I'm running them, of course ;-)

Thanks for the warm-up. Hope to see you tomorrow, and I'll try to be punctual!

• ##### puzzle hint # 3: small hint for clue # 18(2+ / 0-)
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I like to work in political and cultural references in clues when I can (although more often in the regular Sunday Puzzle than in the warm-up puzzles). This clue is slightly political (i.e. this clue works here at Daily Kos but would not work or appear in a New York Times crossword).

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

• ##### 7-9(2+ / 0-)
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cur
cure
recur

• ##### 1-3(2+ / 0-)
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pin
pint
pinto

• ##### 10-12(2+ / 0-)
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sand
stand

• ##### 13-15(2+ / 0-)
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say
stay
yeast

• ##### 16-18(2+ / 0-)
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par
pray
payer

• ##### 4-6(3+ / 0-)
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don
down
wound

• ##### Ah, another late night puzzler!(2+ / 0-)
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(Well, late-night here in TN, where it's after 10 -- may be a bit earlier in the evening in other parts of the country such as the west coast.)

Good to see you, and hope you enjoy tonight's puzzle!

Look for the Daily Kos Sunday Puzzle at 8 pm Eastern time on Saturdays (easy) and Sundays (hard).

[ Parent ]

• ##### 16-18(3+ / 0-)
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par
pray
payer

• ##### verticals(2+ / 0-)
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TWENTY FOURTEEN

• ##### 19-21(3+ / 0-)
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due
feud
unfed

so the verticals are

TWENTY FOURTEEN

• ##### good. I can't believe I was stuck on 19!(2+ / 0-)
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I think that does it.

• ##### looks like you two have solved it!(2+ / 0-)
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