Bonus Features

New York Times crossword puzzle July 7 / Constructed by Joel Fagliano

I really had fun with today’s puzzle, which required some angular thinking. The title “Bonus Features” signaled that something tricky was up, and it started right off the bat with 1 Down. I had filled in FAMER (“Hall-of-___”) at 1 Across; that meant the “President who was not elected” (1 Down) began with an F. I could have entered FORD at that point, but luckily I filled in some crossing words first – and that led to me to think the answer had to be Millard Fillmore. But FILLMORE clearly wasn’t going to fit, unless there was a “bonus feature” I hadn’t yet figured out.

This puzzle required some angular thinking.
This puzzle required some angular thinking.

Then I noticed my Philly Shout-Out at 65 Across: “College near Philadelphia.” Six squares weren’t enough for any school I could think of – but there was SWARTHMORE, which happened to share the “-more” aspect of FILLMORE. Hmmm. I began to think that “MORE” would be squeezed into one square, but then I realized the word simply turned the corner – my moment of AHA! (“What this puzzle may make you say,” 125 Down).

To put it in TV lingo: BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! “Infomercial line … with a hint to 10 answers in this puzzle,” 70 Across).

More MOREs Dept.: SOPHOMORE (“Second or tenth, in a way,” 22 Down), MOUNT RUSHMORE (“It’s known for big busts,” 6 Down); BALTIMORE (“Sun spot?” 61 Across); LESS IS MORE (“Minimalist’s philosophy,” 108 Across); TELL ME MORE (“‘Go on …’,” 67 Down); ALUMINUM ORE (“Bauxite, e.g.,” 10 Down); and THAT’S AMORE (“Dean Martin classic,” 110 Across). And, luckily, after getting home from a pathetic Phillies game, I turned on a rerun of “Saturday Night Live” that happened to feature musical guest MACKLEMORE (“White rapper with two #1 hits,” 106 Down), whom I had never heard of and otherwise would have stumped me today.

Doubled-Up Dept.: The twice-used clue “Miner’s aid” yields both LAMP (115 Across) and TRAM (105 Across).

Cheap! Cheap! Dept.: I’m not going to quibble too much with these answers, but they are borderline: TOASTEE (“The ‘you’ of ‘Here’s to you!’,” 36 Down) and ECOTAGE (“Environmental extremists’ acts,” 34 Down), which I guess is combination of “ecology” and “sabotage.” I’ve heard the term “ecoterrorism,” but not “ecotage.”

Jeopardy Dept.: There seemed to be an unusual number of clues phrased as not-quite questions – and I learned some trivia from them. “Where the Code of Hammurabi is displayed” is the LOUVRE (76 Down). “What the hyphen in an emoticon often represents” is a NOSE (100 Across). “Where the Confederate flag was first flown: Abbr.” is ALA. (75 Across). And “What the winged woman is holding in the Emmy statuette” is apparently an ATOM (41 Down), though I always thought it represented a globe.

Mad Men Dept.: Speaking of statuettes, “Pitching awards” (119 Across) are not Cy Youngs, for baseball, but CLIOS, for advertising.

Transportation Dept.: “Snowbird’s vehicle, maybe” is a MOTORHOME (3 Down). “Long rides?” are LIMOUSINES (21 Across). And the “U.S.S. Ward, e.g.” is a DESTROYER (88 Down).

For Fun Dept.: Found lots of clever, long entries in this grid, including UP TO NO GOOD (“Like a mischief-maker,” 25 Across); BIG DUMMY (“Chowderhead,” 15 Down); PARANORMAL (“Spirited?” 121 Across); APOSTROPHE (“Will-o’-the-wisp feature,” 128 Across); and WHO, ME? (“Words of faux innocence,” 8 Down).

Need some solving tips and tricks? I’ve posted some here. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below. You can also visit my Facebook page, or tweet me @crosswordkathy.

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2 thoughts on “Bonus Features”

  1. 118 across clue: certain
    Answer : some
    ….really? Quibble here. Please enlighten
    also ‘obolt’ for Greek coin? Wha?
    Show me the money puzzle
    Ny times

  2. Hi MaGi … I agree with you on the Greek coin — very obscure. I wrote about it here. The coin is called an “obol,” so the plural is OBOLS. I solved it through crossing words, because I’d never heard of them, either. And for 118 Across, I think the clue is purposely vague because the answer (SOME) is so common. Just a theory. Thanks for writing!

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