Maximum A Posteriori inference in graphical models is often solved via message-passing algorithms, such as the junction-tree algorithm, or loopy belief-propagation. The exact solution to this problem is well known to be exponential in the size of the model's maximal cliques after it is triangulated, while approximate inference is typically exponential in the size of the model's factors. In this paper, we take advantage of the fact that many models have maximal cliques that are larger than their constituent factors, and also of the fact that many factors consist entirely of latent variables (i.e., they do not depend on an observation). This is a common case in a wide variety of applications, including grids, trees, and ring-structured models. In such cases, we are able to decrease the exponent of complexity for message-passing by 0.5 for both exact and approximate inference.