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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.  

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.

First up, here is the answer to last week's poll.

Last week's diary had a poll asking what you thought the answer to the puzzle's verticals ("twenty-five") referred to. The choices were:

    Sarah Palin's IQ
    GOP approval rating going into the 2016 elections
    sponsors who dropped Rush Limbaugh this week
    Congressional Republicans who will lose their seats this November
    some kind of anniversary (maybe Sandman at DC comics?)
    pie fights this month, so far
    wait, is this a trick question?
The answer (as those of you present for Sunday Puzzle the following day probably guessed) was some kind of anniversary. December 2013 was the 25th year since the Lockerbie bombing.

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Next 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 JulieCrostics work, you can find complete instructions in the second half of the diary.

Tonight's puzzle has 6 rows, with 3 answers per row.

 1. California fruit
 2. destined
 3. took a trip on the water

 4. addresses
 5. governs
 6. with confidence

 7. place you might find a 1
 8. French topping?
 9. improved

10. playthings
11. Christie needs to find a good one of these soon... [see 18]
12. award given to Twitterers

13. went quickly
14. Fox News listeners, Tea Party members, and people who believe Chris Christie
15. took a break

16. count on
17. kind of bird
18. [see 11]... or else Christie needs to find a good one of these soon!

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And finally tonight, here are the

instructions for solving a JulieCrostic

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!
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
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