A common crossword genre is the hidden-word puzzle: some word or set of related words is enclosed in common phrases, "stale," for example, in "first alert" (clue: "smoke alarm brand"). Fun stuff. But I prefer to enclose words in startling new phrases created not to hide those words, but to tax my ingenuity for clues that make sense of them, "amusing," for example, in "hippopotamus in-group" (clue: "semi-aquatic jungle clique"). It's a matter of taste. In this puzzle I may have gone too far, however.