Nov 24, 2011

Thursday November 24, 2011 Ruth Ann Dailey

Theme: DIG IN !!

This is what is called a "Definition" type theme, where the same clue is used for different meanings in the answers, like so:

17A. Digs : HIPPIES LODGINGS. "Cool digs, man!"

28A. Digs : TAUNTING REMARKS. Now known as "Diss's"?

45A. Digs : VOLLEYBALL MOVES. Saving a spiked or served ball from hitting your side of the court. (Who knew?)

58A. Digs : ARCHAEOLOGY JOBS. Indiana Jones would have answered this one in a heartbeat!

I believe this is the first puzzle in the LA Times for Ruth Ann Dailey, although she is no stranger to crossword constructing. She writes columns for the Pittsburgh Gazette, and constructs Sunday puzzles there as "The Pittsburgh Puzzler".

Marti here. I hope you will all soon be digging into your Thanksgiving meals!


1. Photo finish : MATTE. Not glossy or semi-gloss. Matte is a dull finish, suitable for formal portraits.

6. Turned right : GEE'D. "Gee" and "haw" are words used to direct farm animals. I always have trouble remembering my "gee" from my "haw".

10. Caen cleric : ABBÉ. Nothing special about "Caen", other than the fact that it is a French city. And ABBÉ is used as the title of a superior of a monastery in France.

14. Meet the need : AVAIL. Funny word, that. "Do the trick", "Be of use". As in, "To no avail..."

15. Chorus girl : ALTO. Or guy.

16. Catch with the goods, maybe : RAID

20. Amateur ending : ISH

21. Sgt. maj., e.g. : NCO . Non-Commissioned Officer.

22. Uncle Sam feature : GOATEE. Top hat would also fit...

23. "A Dog of Flanders" author : OUIDA. Ouida was her pseudonym. Her real name was Marie Louise del la Ramée. The story is about a boy named Nello and his dog Patrasche. Sad story, ending in the tragic death of the boy and the dog when they freeze to death on Christmas Eve in the Cathedral in Antwerp. You can catch it on TCM late night.

26. Trading place : PIT. The trading "pit" of the NY Stock exchange.

27. Angled joint : ELL

32. Textbook unit : LESSON

33. "Air Music" composer : ROREM. Piano Concerto in Six Parts for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in Music. Parts 1 & 2, here.

34. Alberta native : CREE

35. Limited number, with "the" : FEW ...the proud, the Marines.

36. Mosul's land : IRAQ. Map.

40. Not hide : ADMIT

43. Country with six time zones : CANADA . Map.

49. Syst. of sound syllables : IPA. International Phonetic Alphabet.

50. Mil. ranks : LTS . Lieutenants.

51. Very peculiar : OUTRÉ . French for "excessive". Way out there...

52. 1997 Nicolas Cage hair-raiser : CONAIR. Cons in the air...that about sums it up.

54. First name in objectivism : AYN. Ayn Rand. Read here about objectivism, if you are curious.

55. Overseas denial : NAE . No, nae, never...

62. Bus sched. data : RTES . Routes. Abbr. in clue hints at abbr. in ans.

63. Leap for Scott Hamilton : AXEL. I'm sure there's an axel in here somewhere...but I linked this because Scott Hamilton is just such a joy to watch! (And what a finish!!)

64. Reunion group : ALUMS

65. ___ speak : SO TO.

66. Banks on the tube : TYRA. Model, actress, media personality, author and business mogul as well!

67. Rapper's crew : POSSE. A hip-hop retinue.


1. When repeated, a fish : MAHI - mahi.

2. Name on an airport shuttle : AVIS

3. British tavern : TAP HOUSE

4. Service reward : TIP. If someone does not provide good service, do you still tip?

5. Priest in I Samuel : ELI

6. Garage container : GAS CAN

7. Cockney greeting : 'ELLO.

8. WWII command : ETO

9. More evasive : DODGIER. Interesting word. And from Dickens we get "The Artful Dodger". Evasive character, that one!

10. Spotlit solo : ARIA

11. Teasing : BANTER . Lots of banter on this blog.

12. Omaha chief who was an ally of the U.S. in the War of 1812 : BIG ELK

13. 1950s bombs : EDSELS. The Ford Motor Company failures.

18. Conclude with : END IN

19. "I haven't the foggiest!" : GOT ME!

24. Open, in a way : UNSEAL

25. Simpson judge : ITO. Why did I immediately think of the cartoon Simpsons? (Abu? Stu?...) But then again, who am I TO judge?

26. Bow : PROW.

28. Mom's skill, briefly : TLC. Tender Loving Care, of course!

29. Flying prefix : AER. Shouldn't that have an "o" on the end?

30. "On the Record" host Van Susteren : GRETA

31. Key with no sharps or flats : A MINOR

35. Whopper juniors? : FIBS. Fun clue!

37. Famished : RAVENOUS. Are you all getting ravenous for turkey?

38. Ending for lime : ADE

39. ___ in Quebec : Q, AS

41. Screenwrite Ephron : DELIA

42. Big spender's offer : MY TREAT

43. Held on : CLUNG

44. Qty. : AMT. Quantity / Amount

45. Anglican priests : VICARS

46. Wine city north of Lisbon : OPORTO. The second largest city in Portugal. Their flag is quite pretty.

47. Surgeon's tool : LANCET . Also a doctor's magazine. You can read all about Ocrelizumab and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in the current issue.

48. Common Jesuit school : LOYOLA

53. Semi-serious "I see" : AH SO

54. One of the Sox, e.g. : AL-ER. American League-er

56. Silo contents: Abbr. : ABMs. Anti Ballistic Missles. Not the farm type of silo.

57. Latin 101 verb : ESSE. To be, or not to be...

59. Acne Treatment brand : OXY. Skin car brand. Real People. Real Results. Real Fast.

60. You may be told to shut yours : YAP. Oh, sorry! Have I been yakking too much?

61. "Out of Sight" co-star, familiarly : J-LO. Jennifer Lopez, in case you have been living under a rock for the last few years...

Answer grid.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody, and a very special THANK YOU to C.C. for making this wonderful, fun corner possible!



Note from C.C.:

If you're not happy with the new format of LA Times on-line crossword, please click the Feedback button under the puzzle and voice your opinion. You can also click here or here (Chicago Tribute) to solve the puzzle in old format.


eddyB said...


Expected a Thanksgiving theme.
Can't wait to dig into the turkey.

Sharks beat Chicago to stay in first place.

Take care. eddy

Lemonade714 said...

Thanks Marti and Ruth for the appetizer to our Thanksgiving feast. My oldest is a digger, in Gabii the last two summers.

Sleep well all and thanks for coming bi, bye, buy, bai, bayh,I mean by.

Anonymous said...

52. CONAIR is also a consumers good brand of things like hair driers. So I suspect the clue was intended to assist.

thehondohurricane said...

Good day folks,

I too looked for a Thanksgiving theme, but instead found a nice Thursday offering. Liked the "Dig" theme. Did it on the computer. Hard to read a print out of puzzle in the new format.

Eddy, watched the Bruin/Sabre game last night. First period was old time hockey, fisticuffs, etc. Bruins won.

wake me up said...

Seems wierd to comment on the puzzle before the paper is delivered.

before you go go said...

but then thats how windy does it.

C.C. Burnikel said...

I was confused by the AER clue as well. gives "Aerate" as an example to show AER is indeed a prefix. Thanks for the fun wrap-up.

Avg Joe,
So sad to hear the news about your VET visit. Dog?

C.C. Burnikel said...

Your post did appear in the blog for a short time before it was spammed. Blogger filter works strangely. I looked and looked and found no naughty words in your post. Maybe Blogger does not like "pickles, olives, cranberry sauce, and corn" mixed together? :-) Sounds delicious to me. Happy one-year anniversary!

Barry G. said...

Morning, all (and Happy Thanksgiving)!

This one was well outside my wheelhouse. DELIA, OUIDA and BIG ELK, in particular, caused me grief, and OPORTO and TAP HOUSE weren't much better. Just a whole string of things I didn't know.

I was proud that I knew IPA, but that was about the only thing I took pride in today.

Ah, well -- gotta start cooking!

Hahtoolah said...

Good Morning, Marti and friends. My brain must be rusty this morning. I got the top half, but slowed down on the lower half. I am not generally keen on definitional puzzles.

Hand up for thinking that the Top Hat was "the" distinguishing feature of Uncle Sam.

I immediately thought of the EDSELS for the 1950s bomb, even though those cars were way before my time. Since that car was named after Ford's son, I've always wondered whether the fact that this car was a dud gave Edsel Ford an inferiority complex.

Happy Turkey Day. We will be enjoying a BBQ-ed turkey with visiting family and friends.

QOD: It ain't how long you know somebody that means anything. It's what that person mean to you in your heart. ~ Julius Lester

desper-otto said...

Fun puzzle today. Like Hahtool, the top half was easy, then things went South in a hurry! Wanted so badly to make RUSSIA the land of six time zones, though in retrospect I think they have more than that. Did manage to finish in good time, though, 13 min.

Marti, thanx for explaining IPA. I got it via the perps, but didn't know what it meant. How 'bout Aer Lingus -- no 'o' needed there.

Copilot is in Europe visiting her mom, so I'm on my own today. Plan to fix a big steak with all the trimmin's for myself and some fancy, festive feast for the household members of the feline persuasion.

Went grocery shopping last night, figuring everybody would be at home and the store would be empty. Wrong! I've never seen such a crowd. Took me an hour to buy my ten items.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Dennis said...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone; hope it's a fun, relaxing day.

Fun puzzle and Marti, as always, a brilliant write up.

Average Joe, you have my deepest sympathy; I know how gut-wrenching that is, and unfortunately, only time will help ease the pain.

This will likely be my last post ever, as I expect to be deceased shortly once my wife discovers the huge slab of macaroni missing from the casserole intended for our dinner guests. Not exactly a textbook breakfast, but it sure as hell was good.

LaurieRo said...

Happy Thanksgiving from McCook, Nebraska! Thanks to all the contributors for this great blog.

Avg Joe said...

This was a difficult puzzle for me, but I did finish correctly with wags at Oporto and Delia. I understood that the "digs" answer would pertain to Archaeology, but had no clue the second a was in there. Oh well, all's well that ends.

Thank you everyone for your expressions of sympathy. Yes, CC it was our dog. A Grand Dog, if you will. An 8 1/2 year old Rotty that our son just had to have immediately after he moved out after HS graduation. You all know the story. His living arrangement changed after several months, and we suddenly had a dog. But we had him for 7 1/2 years and he was a fantastic companion. And he got to live a dream life for a dog. He went with me in the car almost every time the engine was turned on for most of the last 5 years. No fences where he could basically roam a quarter section of land without being threatened. I'm still missing his every move and sound at all hours, but we are getting through it. Thank you.

Hahtoolah said...

Ave Joe: I am so sorry to hear about your dog. Pets are so much of the family and I know how difficult it is when the decision has to be made to make that last visit to the vet.

Anonymous said...

On Thanksgiving I'm thankful for the blog. Thanks, Marti for taking the time on a holiday eve.

AveJoe: amazing how a pet can become so important. My condolences.

We had a little dog dumped at our farm one year soon after the older kids went to school. He demanded entry to the house and became a companion to a three-year-old who would have been pesky lonely without him.

The boy named him "Doc". Any time someone was sick, Doc would quietly sneak in and sleep with that person. Keeping vigil or providing comfort?

Part dachshund & rat terrier, he went for the throat of a German shepherd who growled at his boy. Vet saved his bloody life.

When he was hit by a car 11 years after he came to us, we dug a hole and put him in. Then we stood and bawled and no one could stand to throw dirt on him.

He always annoyed me by leaving nose prints on his favorite window watch site. After he died, the nose prints were there. I never washed the window again.


HeartRx said...

Avg Joe, it's amazing how pets become a part of our lives and insinuate their whims and foibles into our every waking moment, making their presence known with the scattered toys, hairy furniture and nose prints on windows. It sounds like your rotty had a wonderful life, and I bet he was grateful for your care and loving attention through the years.

Grumpy 1 said...

Happy Thanksgiving, all. Thanks, Marti, for the write up, and thanks to CC and her blogging team for their efforts in keeping the Corner such a great place to hang out.

MATTE/MAHI provided a nice anchor for the corner, but I really wanted 'alehouse' and 'pin'. I left that area, went down to the bottom and worked my way back up. Everything fell into place.

It's nice to see an unfamiliar constructor.

now to try the Conumdrum.

Virginia C said...

I think I was sos focused on the turkey, and the apple pie I have to put together that I just couldn't concentrate on the puzzle :(. Enjoyed the write-up though. Enjoynthe day!

Virginia C said...

AvgJoe -I posted before reading, when I saw your post I wanted to cry with you. I know how miserable it is to lose a beloved companion - my condolences.

Clear Ayes said...

Good Morning All,

54A)"Nicolas Cage hair-raiser" made me think of all the wild blowing of his long hair when he is on the hunt for the bad guy. Maybe that is what contributed to his continued loss/raising of his hair.

I've never heard of BIG ELK, QUIDA, ROREM and 39D)Q,AS went right by me until reading the blog.

I did get all the DIGS, but I'm glad I did my solving last took a while.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

LaLaLinda said...

Hi All ~~

After quickly filling in 1A and 1D I thought I was in for an easy time. Not the case! There was SO much I didn't know ... I had to resort to the dreaded Google. Having ENDon instead of ENDIN for 'Conclude with' kept me from getting TAUNTING REMARKS. Too many other unknowns/errors to mention. Thanks for the great write-up and fun comments, Marti. I really needed your help today!

C.C. ... thank you for letting me know I wasn't seeing things yesterday. How funny to picture you scouring my post for "naughty words." Maybe it WAS those nasty pickles! :-)

Avg Joe ~~ I got teary reading your post about your dog and the comments about dear pets that followed. Two of my three cats are "older." I try not to think about it. I hope time will help heal.

~~ Off to get ready for the family gathering. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

thehondohurricane said...

Avg Joe,

So sorry to hear about your pup. They become part of the family and their antics usually make the day better. I'm guessing the dog had a great life and a great family caring for him.

I lost two within nine months of each other a couple of years ago and even though they've been replaced by Riley, I still miss them.

eddyB said...

Hondo. The Bos/Buf game was on at
4PM out here. Was able to see part of it. Bos winning streak is at 10.

Have a nice day everone. Turkey
smells delicious.


Steve said...

@Avg Joe - sorry about the hound. Check out the "Rainbow Bridge" video is you want a smile here - the music is by an old acquaintance of mine back in the UK.

As the resident ex-Brit, not sure about TAPHOUSE - TAPROOM is a bar attached to the brewery where you can drink the ales direct from the source, but not heard TAPHOUSE before - I had ALEHOUSE first.

Nice puzzle and great write-up though!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone, I hope you all have a smashing day with your friends and family.

carol said...

Hi all,

Happy Thanksgiving...hope it really is for everyone.

Puzzle was apt for a Thursday level and I had my predictable trouble and now have dents from my V-8 cans.
Never had heard of DIGS in reference to volleyball, but then I played the game in the dark ages and maybe the term is for a newer version. I know the way they serve the ball is different from what we did.

Avg Joe: my sympathies for you on the loss of your beloved dog. I know how difficult that is. He will live in your heart from now on.

Loved the WHOPPER JUNIORS clue/answer :)

Lucina said...

Happy Thanksgiving Day, Marti, C.C. and all cyber friends.

Well I dug into this fun puzzle with FEW bumps that GOTME, ALLO instead of ELLO and so GAED not GEED.

Otherwise it was a fine time digging out those answers. Couldn't immediately recall Nora Ephron's sister but DELIA emerged nicely.

I didn't know POSSE was a rapper's crew, just that it fit.

I agree with anon@ 12:56 that hair raising provides a hint for CONAIR which is a hair dryer brand.

I am so grateful to have this blog, C.C. and for the friends I have met in person and chatting here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day, everyone!

Misty said...

Happy Thanksgiving everybody--and many thanks to Ms. Daley and Marti for puzzle and write-up. Unlike some of my fellow bloggers I had trouble with the West side both up and down and finally had to cheat to finish. Had 'Norah' instead of 'Delia' Ephron, for example, and 'graph' for 'matte' as the photo finish. Then 'tactless remarks' instead of 'taunting' remarks and so on, all the way down the line. But don't mind being a little challenged on a holiday--when, with DH home from hospital--I have much to be thankful for.

@AvgJoe--losing a pet really is losing a member of the family. We're on our second generation of dachshunds, after losing the first about 8 years ago, within 6 months of each other. They were 15 years old. We felt a little embarrassed to be so engulfed by grief, but couldn't shake it. So my heart goes out to you, along with thankfulness that you gave your dog such a fabulous life.

GarlicGal said...

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all - especially J.D., Chickie, Lucina, Dodo (where art thou, BTW?) and Clear Ayes! GarlicGal is checking in from Gilroy.

The puzzle was tricky this a.m. Finally got GOATEE, and then the corner filled itself in. Didn't see "Q AS" either. Phew...

While you-all are watching football, I hope to catch the new George Clooney movie sometime this weekend.

Rally on Puzzlers!

desper-otto said...

Can't believe I can actually provide some sports insight. If you watched the women in beach volleyball at the last summer Olympics, then you probably saw Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the US team. Those athletic dives and tremendous "saves" are known as "digs". I've heard they plan to come out of retirement and try again in 2012.

And regarding the Edsel, I believe the best description at the time was that from the front it resembled a Buick sucking a lemon.

Avg Joe said...

I've changed my avatar to the only picture I have of our dog on the computer. This one I dubbed "Parapets" and it was taken at our last house. Our Rotty would lay on the parapet every time he was out front with us. People would actually stop and take pictures since he looked almost ornamental in this pose, like a concrete lion. The Golden had to be posed for the shot, but she put up with it. It was taken just a couple of months before we had to make that final trip to the Vet with her. He was a good companion to the older dog for 2 years before that. He also had his own late life companion. We got a very nice Calico cat 2 years ago that was instantly his best buddy. Now it's up to her to carry on.

Lucina said...

The same to you, Garlic Gal! I think of you every time I use the Gilroy post it notes.

If you go to OPORTO, Portugal, you can tour the port winery there.

Anoa Bob said...

Second DNF in a row. That southwest corner was a Gordian knot of names, proper nouns and abbreviations that my xwording sword could not cut. Wonder if my days as a hippie are catching up with me.

Speaking as a hippie, I never used nor remember my hippie friends using "Digs" to refer to our lodgings. "Pad", "Tree", "Crib", maybe even "Bungalow", but "Digs" sounds more from the beatnik era. BEATNIKLODGINGS even has the right letter count.

I associate "Digs" with ARCHAEOLOGY sites, not JOBS. Too many letters though.

Bill G. said...

This was a tough one for me. Good but hard. I'm already worrying that tomorrow's may be even harder.

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I can smell the turkey cooking.

Avg Joe, I was sure sorry to hear about your dog. We made the same trip to the vet a couple of years ago. One of the saddest days of my life. Best wishes for you.

I found this video of the Thanksgiving spirit in the farming heartland of our country.

Abejo said...

Good afternoon, folks. Thank you, Ruth Ann, for a challenging, but fun puzzle. Thank you, heartRx, for the Thanksgiving write-up.

Got through the top half pretty easily. The bottom was another story.

Hippies Lodgings came first. Archaeology Jobs was the last, and toughest.

Had TOASTING REMARKS for a while. Works with Digs. Then figured out TAUNTING REMARKS.

Lots of perp solves in this puzzle. BIG ELK, OPORTO, LANCET, DELIA, OXY

ABMS was tough. I wanted ICBM for a while. Tried ARMS. Then the light bulb came on-----ABMS.

I am sitting here in Ohio. A distant relative is doing another crossword the same time I am doing this one. His is from the Dayton, OH, Dayton Daily News. Turns out we are doing the same puzzle. Small world. I wonder how many papers the L A Times puzzle is in?

See you tomorrow.


Abejo said...

To Average Joe: Read of your pet dog passing yesterday. Really sorry to hear that and my sympathies to you and your family. We have gone through several dogs, and when they pass we take their ashes to Pennsylvania and bury them under the oak tree.


Abejo said...

So, I thought I would do another puzzle today. I picked up the Cincinnati Inquirer and, lo and behold, it has the same puzzle as the L A Times, Chicago Tribune, and Dayton Dailly News.

Again, I wonder how many papers carry this same puzzle.


ant said...

'aLLO, mates! That first theme answer had me thinking HIPPIE'S LOving it (yeah, man, can you DIG it?).

Interesting story about the song from CON AIR. Disney thought LeAnn Rimes was too young to sing How Do I Live (4:29), so they had Trisha Yearwood sing the version heard in the movie. Of course, LeAnn's version went on to become a huge hit. And - neither version is actually on the soundtrack. Disney was definitely kicking themselves on that one.

John Barry, in addition to all of his soundtrack work, released two incredibly beautiful solo albums. Avg Joe, this one's for you. Crazy Dog (3:04).

Bill G. said...

Well, I'm stuffed and I'm still waiting for pumpkin pie (my grandmother's version).

Bill G. said...

Ant, great dog video. It makes my tear up. Of course, I can't get through reading Rainbow Bridge with dry eyes either.

HeartRx said...

Ahhhh...what can be better than having a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with friends, watching football, and having a glass of wine while reading about everyone's day? The pumpkin pie was great, but I have to admit, that the second slice of apple pie was to die for!

I'm off to take Don G. and C.C.'s Thanksgiving Day challenge...

ant said...

Sorry...meant to include a link to the Trisha Yearwood version (3:56) in my first post, though I'm not sure how many of you will want to watch it after that heart-wrenching dog tribute...

Abejo, C.C. includes a link on the blog that shows the newspapers that run the LAT CW:
LAT Daily Newspapers
Looks like she might need to add the Cincinnati Inquirer.

Hey! I used to live in Willoughby as a kid!

HeartRx said...

Ahhhh...what can be better than having a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with friends, watching football, and having a glass of wine while reading about everyone's day? The pumpkin pie was great, but I have to admit, that the second slice of apple pie was to die for!

I'm off to take Don G. and C.C.'s Thanksgiving Day challenge...

Anonymous said...

Trisha Yearwood's recording also did well, I think. I had it on tape after my husband died suddenly. It was one of my "weep-to" songs.


Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Avg Joe - Sorry, man. Losing a pet is tough.

While I admire the technique and effort of a puzzle with 4 grid-spanning theme entries, I neither liked nor enjoyed this one.

"When doubled" is just "Half a" restated. Lame. TAP HOUSE and ARCHAEOLOGY JOBS are contrived.

"Oveseas denial" - Not only foreign, but the language is unspecified. Not acceptable.

There's lots of good stuff in this puzzle, too, but far, far too many flaws.

Dennis - Hope you survived the great Macaroni massacre.

We had a fresh Amish turkey. it was fabulous. Pumpkin pie from Costco is top shelf. We Skyped with the kids in FLA. Great fun.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
JzB occasionally outre

Bill G. said...

I came across "Rudy" on cable. It was about 25 percent along already. I am enjoying it for perhaps the fourth time. What a great feel-good movie!

posterboy said...

Congrats Ruth Ann on your first LAT puzzle, it was a beauty execpt for one set of clues: 55A could be either nae or nie and 56D could then be either abms or ibms; either combination is correct.