Space Madness

by Dan Katz
Answer: SABRE

Each clue a-m gives an adjective, while each clue n-z gives an animal. However, each clue has a superfluous word.

a. Committing (international) perjury - LYING
b. Inside a (neural) cell - CAGED
c. Possible result of (executives) sacking someone - SAFETY
d. Item used by (aboriginal) shamen in an online game – TOTEM
e. "You (Can’t) Make Me Sick" artist - PINK
f. Mule that danced on (Heather) Mills’s piano - MUFFIN
g. Suffering from (pericardial) heart pangs - LOVESICK
h. Like excited children or (hexadecimal) clocks - WOUND-UP
i. Half a hogshead of (Australian) wine - BARREL
j. Cruise (ship) feature from 1988 - COCKTAIL
k. Sobe (echinacea) beverage made with pineapple and mango - KARMA
l. You can be arrested for this (remark) - CRIME
m. (Elastic) material used to make candles - WAX

n. Source that's (airing) Behind Enemy Lines - MOLE
o. Herbie Hancock (drinking) song - CHAMELEON
p. Detroit football player (Barry) - LION
q. One who waits (expectantly) at the Playboy Club - BUNNY
r. (Tourist) group founded by the Careys - FLAMINGOS
s. (Warrant) officer, pejoratively - PIG
t. Shoulder the burden of (eternity) - BEAR
u. (Electric) shade of yellow - CANARY
v. Word preceding backwards (name) - ASS
w. (Elderly) lady, in British slang - BIRD
x. The (X-Men) series is set near this city in New York - BUFFALO
y. What Randy Jackson might call "(Embraceable) You" - DOG
z. Villain who ran (smuggling) for the mayor of Gotham – PENGUIN

Clue x refers to a series set near Buffalo, New York. This series is Wonderfalls, in which the protagonist sees talking animals no one else can see. The 13 episodes' titles are each formed of an adjective and an animal, the ones shown in the clue answers. The initials of the extraneous words spell IN EACH PHASE READ BETWEEN EXES.

The animated grid shifts on a loop between thirteen phases. There are a disproportionate number of X's, which all occur in pairs of one X and then another in the same location two phases later. Within each phase, if you read the letters in locations that were just X's and are about to become X's again, you will find a command (more or less) uttered by the title animal in one of the Wonderfalls episodes.

Use the coordinate pairs in the corresponding grids, and reorder by proper episode order:

This spells X HOCKEY PLAYER. The answer to the X clue is Buffalo, so the puzzle answer is SABRE.