Additional Reading

New York Times crossword Feb. 12 / Constructed by Kurt Mueller

Looking for a good book? Today’s puzzle contains a virtual library.

As the title implies, the theme takes common phrases and adds an entire “book” to each, creating amusing answers. But you have to squeeze the word BOOK into a single square. So “Send over some Bibles?” is DELIVER THE GOOD (BOOK)S (21 Across). That crosses with RE(BOOK) (“Engage again for a gig,” 10 Down). Likewise, an “Egotistical author’s request to a reader?” is (BOOK)MARK MY WORDS (80 Across), which crosses with LOG (BOOK) (“Ship’s record,” 61 Down).

Others: “Dolt’s football game plans?” is a PLAY(BOOK) FOR A FOOL (33 Across), which crosses with OVER(BOOK)ED (“Like some flights,” 17 Down). “The truth about a popular Internet community?” is FACE(BOOK) REALITY (54 Across), which crosses with (BOOK)-IN (“Sign the register,” 57 Down). “Aid for record keeping at Mrs. Smith’s?” is APPLE PIE ORDER (BOOK) (13 Down), which crosses with (BOOK)ER (“___ T. [big name in 1960s music],” 89 Across). “Get together with your bet taker?” is MEET ONE’S (BOOK)MAKER (47 Down), which crosses with (BOOK)WORM (“Avid reader,” 98 Across). “Dust cover made of 100% aluminum, perhaps?” is a FULL METAL (BOOK) JACKET (117 Across), which crosses with (BOOK) UP (“Fill completely, in a way,” 119 Down). And, finally, “Annual publications for burros?” are DONKEYS YEAR(BOOK)S (100 Across), which crosses with (BOOK)SHELF (“Volume holder,” 103 Down). I struggled with that last one, since I was not familiar with the term “donkey’s years.” Dog years, yes. Donkey years, no.

Parlez-Vous Francais? Dept.: A working knowledge of French (and/or France) proved helpful on several clues in this puzzle. “One, in Orleans” is UNE (118 Down); “Classic fragrance sold in France as Mon Peche” is MY SIN (75 Down); “C’est ___” is LA VIE (62 Across); and “Supply at a French smoke shop” is TABAC (95 Down).

There’s more, if you can believe it: “Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Le ___ d’Or'” is COQ (45 Down), while “Handsome, as Henri” is BEL (1 Across). (The adjective “bel” replaces the more common word “beau” in front of nouns that start with a vowel.) Also, “Comet rival” is a cleaning clue, but the answer — BONAMI (49 Across) — means “good friend” in French. Which I’m sure is how it was sold to housewives of a certain era.

I Disagree Dept.: The answer for “Shampoo ingredient” is ALOE (7 Down), but I would argue that’s a more popular ingredient for skin lotion.

For Fun Dept.: “Half of an interrogation team” is BAD COP (1 Down). “They come from Mars” are M AND M’S (75 Down). “Magic, once” is L.A. LAKER (41 Down). And “Cain raiser” is EVE (56 Down).

Where in the World Dept.: A six-letter “Washington airport” is not Dulles but SEA-TAC (104 Down), for Seattle-Tacoma. “Mark Messier, for 12 years” was an Edmonton OILER (29 Across). And “Macedonian city with Greek and Roman ruins” is EDESSA (76 Down), which I’ve never heard of. Odessa, yes. Edessa, no.

Divas Dept.: “Christina of pop” is AGUILERA (46 Down), which happens to cross with J. LO (“Singer/actress with a simultaneous #1 album and #1 film, familiarly,” 72 Across). Both of which bring to mind last night’s news of Whitney Houston’s death. Houston had a singing/acting success similar to Jennifer Lopez with the movie “The Bodyguard,” which raked in big bucks at the box office and spawned the Grammy-winning megahit “I Will Always Love You.”

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