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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 (which posts Sunday evenings at 8 pm Eastern time).

I'm away until September, harvesting blueberries in Maine, but I've queued up a series of Sunday Puzzle Warm-Up diaries to entertain you until I return.

The theme for these diaries is Summer Songfest. Each week you'll get a puzzle spotlighting a noteworthy song and a YouTube clip of the song featured in the previous week's puzzle.

For instance, the answer to last week's puzzle was "When I'm Gone" by Phil Ochs.

Tonight's featured song is one I'd have loved to use last year, for the first Summer Songfest, but I couldn't find a good YouTube of the original then. (I was able to find several updated versions, including a truly horrible right-wing rip-off version. If you look for this song on your own after solving tonight's puzzle, beware of that!) But now the original is available and I'll be posting that at the top of next week's diary.

There were several cultural and political references in last week's puzzle. Notes on those, and the clues for tonight's puzzle, await you directly below...

Some quick notes on last week's clue answers:

The answer to "Solo" was HAN (an easy Star Wars reference).

"109 was a famous one"  referred to PT-109:

PT-109 was a PT boat (Patrol Torpedo boat) last commanded by Lieutenant, junior grade (LTJG) John F. Kennedy (later President of the United States) in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Kennedy's actions to save his surviving crew after the sinking of PT-109 made him a war hero, which proved helpful in his political career.
 

Misty Malarky Yin Yang is the name of a very special PET: namely Amy Carter's White House cat

I used Maya Angelou as a clue for POET and Pat Farrell as a clue for NUN:

Though she is at the center of one of the biggest crises in the Catholic Church today, Sister Pat Farrell is loath to talk about herself, and certainly not in any way that would make her a focus of the looming showdown between the Vatican and American nuns.

To be sure, Farrell has spoken publicly and with quiet clarity about why the organization she heads, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, rejects Rome's plans to take control of the umbrella group that represents most of the 57,000 nuns in the U.S.

In announcing its proposed takeover last April, the Vatican accused the nuns of embracing a "radical feminism" that questions church teachings and focuses too much on social justice causes. Farrell says the American sisters are simply doing what the gospel requires, often speaking on behalf of so many in the church who have no one else to advocate for them.

MIR is the Russian word for peace. "Group dedicated to peace, friendship, social progress, better living standards and human rights" refers to the UN. And Michelle NUNN is a southern senate candidate -- one who has a fair chance of re-taking the Georgia senate seat for Democrats this fall if she receives enough support.

All right, that covers the cultural and political references in last week's puzzle clues. Here are the clues for tonight's puzzle.

 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 bottom part of the diary.

Tonight's puzzle has 5 rows, with 3 answers per row.

 1. wear out
 2. Laurence who would have made a good Supreme Court justice
 3. rouse to action

 4. infamous House committee
 5. stage whisper
 6. like Fox News

 7. ball holders
 8. branching diagrams
 9. hi-fi

10. brag about
11. kind of fish
12. audition

13. send
14. massacre site
15. put in the wrong place





For the benefit of anyone new to Sunday Puzzle, here are instructions for solving 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).  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. 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
Your Email has been sent.
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