One More Thing

New York Times, March 8

The title gives a big clue that the theme answers have something extra in them … but what? Here’s a hint: Postscript.

That’s actually what P.S. stands for when you add that little afterthought to a letter. Letter? I know, such a throwback. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a P.S. on an e-mail. (Quick trivia question: What does R.S.V.P. stand for? Repondez, s’il vous plait. Respond, please!)

Anyway, all of the theme answers have the letters “PS” added to them. So the answer to 23 Across, “Rachael Ray activity eliciting oohs and aahs?” is “COOKING WITH GASPS” — a play on “cooking with gas.”

For 47 Across, “Advice to actor Perry when delivering a baby?” the answer is the clever “USE THE FORCEPS LUKE” — a reference to Obi-Wan Kenobi’s famous “Use the force, Luke!” advice to Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars.” 

P.S. A shout-out to my friend Melissa on 11 Down, “What the 300 defended.” The answer is SPARTA, although the movie “300” (which she worked on!) depicts the Battle of Thermopylae.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy

Good and Bad

New York Times, March 1

I’m a little puzzled as to why the NYT felt like adding a little explainer after the title, noting the asterisked clues were “good” by including the first letter, and “bad” by dropping it. I thought the point of the puzzle was to figure out on your own what the theme means. Moreover, all of the clues were clearly themed without the asterisk — they all started with “Good and bad for a …”

That being said, it was a pretty good theme. 75 Across, “*Good and bad for a jungle guide” leads to TRUSTY MACHETE. So it’s either trusty or rusty; I know which one I’d choose. 37 Across, “*Good and bad for a marketer” is CLOSING A SALE.

I have to admit, though, that 23 Across fooled me for a bit: “*Good and bad for a motorist” initially led me to enter SCARELESS DRIVER; I thought it made sense, although I guess “scareless” isn’t exactly a word. Turns out it was the homophone WRECKLESS DRIVER. Same sentiment, and it fits with all the down clues, which also helps.

Questions or comments? Twitter me @crosswordkathy

Solving the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle so you don't have to.