Tag Archives: NYT puzzle Bonus Features


New York Times crossword puzzle Nov. 10 / Constructed by Alan Olschwang

Apologies for this late and short post. I’m in the sick ward – better known as my couch – and am struggling to get over a nasty bug.

Today’s puzzle involves a subject near and dear to my journalistic heart – but only when it’s spelled bylines. As you might have guessed from the extra “E” in the title, this simple puzzle is all about famous sign-offs.

They begin at 23 Across with The Lone Ranger: HI-YO SILVER, AWAY! Next up is movie reviewer Roger Ebert – THE BALCONY IS CLOSED (47 Across) – followed by the stuttering Porky Pig: TH-TH-TH-TH-THAT’S ALL, FOLKS! (64 Across). The theme answers end with comedian Red Skelton’s AND MAY GOD BLESS (109 Across) and George Burns’ famous SAY GOODNIGHT, GRACIE (79 Across).

Masked Man Dept.: The Lone Ranger made another (half) appearance at 27 Across,  SABE (“Kemo ___.”) Here I will confess that I always thought his exit line was HI-HO SILVER, not HI-YO SILVER. That made for some initial problems at 3 Down – “Bears’ home in Texas.” I eventually figured out it’s BAYLOR University.

Aside from being easy, my other complaint is how old these “bye-lines” are. Red Skelton? George Burns? Those guys were old when I was a kid. If you want to attract a new generation to crossword puzzles, you need some modern exit lines.

Philly Shout-Out: “‘August: ___ County’ (2008 Pulitzer winner for Drama)” is OSAGE. Though the play has nothing to do with it, Osage Avenue in Philadelphia was the site of the 1985 MOVE bombing. City police dropped explosives on a fortified rowhouse belonging to the militant back-to-nature group known as MOVE, killing 11 people and leading to a fire that consumed an entire block of homes. A movie about the event, “Let the Fire Burn,” was recently released.

Now I’m going to apologize for my own abrupt sign-off. I think I should go back to bed.

And, as Walter Cronkite says, that’s the way it is.


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.

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.