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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 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.

I probably won't be able to take much part in tonight's diary, and may not get here until quite late. But an explanation of what the verticals mean can be found in tomorrow night's Sunday Puzzle.

This is a JulieCrostic.  If you're not familiar with this kind of puzzle, don't panic -- full instructions can be found directly below tonight's puzzle.

If you'd like to take part in the group solving, come on down to comments and join in. We're friendly and we love having new people! (Please remember not to post spoilers in the subject line, though; use the subject line to indicate what the comment is about, and put your guesses as to clue answers inside the comment.)

If you'd prefer solving the puzzle on your own, no problem. Just set your comment preference to SHRINK (so you only see the subject lines of comments); then, if you get stuck, look for a subject line identifying a comment dealing with a clue you need help with, expand and read that comment, and you're good to go.

Tonight's puzzle has 7 rows, with 3 answers per row. Here are your clues:

 1. Deal or Frontier
 2. information
 3. Olympia

 4. blushing
 5. impolite
 6. beneath

 7. before
 8. Lewis's Christianity
 9. come together

10. anger
11. muck
12. Nobel Prize winner for whom a space telescope is named

13. stroke
14. Stark
15. tent

16. ablaze
17. a member of the Avengers
18. abridged

19. kind of strainer
20. breaks bread
21. line, park or police

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.

To show you what a completed puzzle looks like, here is the solution to last week's puzzle.  
crate  N  trance  U  centaur
canes  I  casein  R  arsenic
dirge  N  ringed  N  grinned
plots  A  postal  E  apostle
coons  T  no cost R  consort
The verticals read NINAT  URNER.  When properly spaced that spells out Nina Turner:
As a member of a heavily male- and GOP-dominated state Senate since 2008, Ohio legislator Nina Turner says she has cringed watching her colleagues pass bill after bill to regulate women's reproductive health. Now, the Democrat has become the latest in a series of female state legislators to give her male colleagues a taste of their own medicine by introducing a bill that limits men's ability to get a Viagra prescription without meeting certain government conditions.

"We should show the same attention and love to men's reproductive health as we do to women's," Turner told HuffPost. "And my bill does that."

Specifically, Turner's bill would require men to receive psychological counseling to verify that they have a medical reason for taking erectile dysfunction medications, such as Viagra, before they can legally obtain a prescription for it. It would also require doctors to inform men, in writing, about the potential risks of drugs like Viagra.

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