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First thing’s first — today’s puzzle is a 70-word themeless, hopefully a tad easier than the last few I’ve put up.

Second, Lollapuzzoola 7 is almost upon us! For those of you that don’t know (and I expect most of my solvers probably already do), Lollapuzzoola is an incredibly fun crossword tournament in New York City run by the estimable Brian Cimmet and Patrick Blindauer. I’ve done it twice and had one-and-a-half great times on each occasion (I had to leave one of them halfway through for a friend’s wedding). It’s on Saturday, August 9, so be sure and grab yourself a seat soon. I might actually not be able to go this year since it’s on the same weekend as my wife’s ten-year high school reunion, but you should still sign up for it. As they say, it’s the best crossword tournament held on a Saturday in August.

Finally, I’ve decided to join the 21st century. I now have a Twitter account and a Devil Cross Facebook page. If you’re in the Twitterverse or the Facespace and you’d like to get your Devil Cross updates there, follow me at @devilcrosswords and hit “Like” on Facebook. Or just tweet at me with small talk, or whatevs — I’ll use it for non-puzzle stuff too. I’ll still have the Devil Cross Google Group, though I’m curious to see how these new social media gadgets take over my life.

Hope you enjoy today’s puzzle. There will be a new one on August 2.

Update, 7/19/14 @ 11:10 am ET: My original clue for 18-Across got cut off. I hate it when that happens. It has now been fixed.