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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.  

On tap tonight: a new JulieCrostic and a new Crypto-Gremlin. (If you're not familiar with these kinds of puzzles, don't worry; full instructions are provided.)

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.

First up, here are the clues for tonight's JulieCrostic. If you're familiar with how JulieCrostics work, have at it! If you're new and don't yet know how they work, you'll find complete instructions toward the bottom of the diary.

 1. thug
 2. where to find Ming
 3. person of Northern Asia

 4. orange drink
 5. big
 6. consuming

 7. anger
 8. might be amazing
 9. kind of card

10. toss
11. cartoonist whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Redbook, Mother Jones and Scientific American
12. says repeatedly

13. skilled
14. destined
15. where the Republican party is headed in 2016

16. Jane or Madonna
17. infamous Richard
18. Boo or Balko

19. needs to pay
20. company being boycotted for pulling its commercials
21. at the very bottom

HELPFUL HINTS:
  • Tonight's puzzle has 7 rows, with 3 answers per row.
  • The theme for this month's warm-up JulieCrostics is noteworthy people. Extra credit to the first person to post in comments the reason tonight's answer is in the spotlight.

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Warm-Up Party  / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party  / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party
SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party /  SUNDAY PUZZLE  / Warm-Up Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE
..................................................................................................................

Next up is tonight's Crypto-Gremlin.

(Crypto-Gremlins are a special kind of cryptogram -- ones which can't be solved by the online programs which run through all the possible letter substitutions, but which can be solved by careful reasoning. If you've never done a Crypto-Gremlin before, complete instructions are included at the bottom of this diary.)

Krui qvend clnvsal wlhs feud geul hsunras allbe oiyys vloe xslxys, aspeamyszzd vloe nvsras neps, hs astirasml nl zneumr krui zlysbue aszxsfnd jezs dli hsunsas nvs allbi? Nvsl fliymr nvrucd vloe gluyd nvass -- tissue vloe Qsupyeumd, xaszrmsuni vloe nvs Ziurnsms Znenszs, xeums wimps.
Helpful Hints:
  • 1. Go to the American Cryptogram Association site and copy the text of the Crypto-Gremlin into the box of the handy letter-substitution tool they provide.
  • 2. A good starting point in solving Crypto-Gremlins is to make a list of all the final letters of the encrypted words. This gives you a list of the vowels.
  • 3. Another good starting point is to look over the encrypted text to see if there are any 3-letter words. If there's a word with the pattern consonant-consonant-vowel there's a good chance it's THE; if there's a word with the pattern vowel-vowel-vowel it's almost certainly YOU.
  • 4. The decoded text will give you a clue to the answer to tomorrow night's Sunday Puzzle.

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Warm-Up Party  / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party  / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party
SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party /  SUNDAY PUZZLE  / Warm-Up Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE
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The Instructions, part 1: JulieCrostics

In JulieCrostics you are given a set of clues, such as these:

boilerplate example for explaining JulieCrostics
To solve the puzzle, figure out the answers to the clues and enter them into a grid of rows and columns, like so:
boilerplate example for explaining JulieCrostics
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).  

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. say what's not so
 2. resting
 3. concede
then the answers might be LIE, IDLE (= LIE + D), and YIELD (= IDLE + Y)

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:

1. LIE  D  2. IDLE  Y  3. YIELD

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.

boilerplate example for explaining JulieCrostics
In the example given, the verticals read DAIL   YKOS.  With proper spacing and capitalization that spells out Daily Kos!

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Warm-Up Party  / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party  / SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party
SUNDAY PUZZLE / Warm-Up Party /  SUNDAY PUZZLE  / Warm-Up Party / SUNDAY PUZZLE
..................................................................................................................

The Instructions, part 2: Crypto-Gremlins

Ordinary cryptograms can be solved by online programs which run through all the possible letter substitutions; Crypto-Gremlins can't. That's because before encoding a passage I alter the text so that every word begins with a consonant or consonant sound and that every word ends with a vowel or vowel sound.  If the words don't naturally begin or end that way, I add letters of my choosing to make sure they do.

Take, for instance, the sentence The cats are attending university to learn ballet.  

   1. The and to begin with consonants and ends with a vowels, so they're  fine and would be left alone: THE, TO.
   2. Cats and learn begin with a consonants, so that's okay. But they also end in consonants, which is not okay. Therefore I will add a vowel of my choice to the end of each: CATSE, LEARNO.
   3. Are ends with a vowel, so I don't need to adjust that; but it also begins with a vowel, so that does need adjusting: QARE.
   4. Attending begins with a vowel and ends with a consonant, so it needs adjustment at both ends.  I'll change it to something like KATTENDINGE.
   5. Ballet looks like it would need adjustment but it doesn't; the word ends with a vowel sound, so it gets left alone.  BALLET.
   6. Similarly, university looks like it would need adjusting but it doesn't; the u at the beginning has a consonant sound so it's left alone. UNIVERSITY.
Now the sentence reads The catse qare kattendinge university to learno ballet, and that's what I'll encrypt.

Additional rules:

1. If a word is capitalized in the source material, the first letter of its encrypted form will be capitalized.
2. If a word is hyphenated, then each of its parts is treated as a separate word.
3. Word amendments within a puzzle should be consistent; if CATS is changed to CATSE once in a quotation, then CATS will be changed to CATSE every time it appears in that quotation.
4. All 6 of the standard vowels (A, E, I, O, U, and Y) will generally be used at least once at the end of a word in the text.
5. The bolded words of a Crypto-Gremlin are the quotation to be deciphered; the unbolded words give the source of the quotation.
That's basically it. It may sound complicated, but Crypto-Gremlins are actually fairly easy to solve once you get the hang of them.
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