Puzzling #131 APRIL FOOLS

You might connect this title with a certain day, but you’d be wrong. In fact it’s a description of the special people to whom this puzzle is dedicated – those who exhibit that unique streak of madness that causes them to lust after a place on the city council. Their day is not April first, given over to playing tricks on other people; it’s election day, and the joke’s on them!

Instructions:

To solve the puzzle, first fill in the numbered blanks of any clues you can decipher. As an aid to the solver, the clue answers are in alphabetical order so that, for instance, the answer “Dallas” would precede the answer “Dalliance.” Each time you fill a clue blank, transfer the letters to the correspondingly numbered blanks in the message. Each message blank is characterized by a letter as well as a number – the letter indicates which clue the blank is to be filled from. Even with a very few clues filled in, you will begin to see words and phrases take shape in the message. Use word lengths, arrangement, and punctuation to help in deciphering the message. Work back and forth, from clues to message and from message to clues, until the puzzle is completed.

Each clue indicates the answer in more than one way. In addition to straightforward definitions, clues may also contain puns, plays on words, anagrams (’The ability to lead people in confusion is a charm” – CHARISMA), or embedded spellings (“How it zeroes in distinguishes a cannon”). Another common type of clue is word construction, where the answer is built of component parts. Example: “American leader requires identification in gift” (PRESIDENT – I.D. inside PRESENT). All abbreviations are acceptable as long as they are in current usage (e.g., TV, p.d.q., etc.). Isolated letters may be indicated in a variety of ways – as compass points, Roman numerals, grades or scores (A,F, “zero” – 0, “love” as in tennis – 0), musical notations (P, F for soft or loud respectively). Parts of words may be used (IVE or just V might be indicated by “MidwIVEs”).

The one paramount rule is that the clue sentence, with a little repunctuation, will tell exactly how to get the answer.

Hint: One clue answer is a proper name and two others contain proper names.

Send the completed puzzle (or reasonable facsimile) to Puzzling, D Magazine, 2902 Carlisle, Dallas 75204. All correct solutions will be held for one week after receipt of the first entry, at which time a drawing will take place to determine the winners. First winner will receive a $25 cash prize. Runner-up will receive a free one-year subscription to D. Winners and completed puzzle will appear in the May issue.

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