Feb 19, 2015

Thursday, February 19, 2015 Robert Fisher

Theme: "Error Messages"

Four annoying computer pop-ups you might come across:

17-Across. "You're living in the past," nowadays : UPGRADE REQUIRED.

26-Across. "You can't go there," nowadays : ACCESS DENIED.

45-Across. "Nobody can go there," nowadays : PAGE NOT FOUND.

59-Across. "Never heard of you," nowadays : INVALID USERNAME.

I'm not sure how this ended up on a Thursday, since it seemed very Monday-friendly. Simple, straight-forward theme, without much dreck in the fill.  Maybe some of the names could trip up a Monday level solver, but the perps all quickly came to the rescue for me.


1. Explosive sound : BLAM. Boom?! (The perps said "no.")

5. Outer __ : SPACE. And a cross-referential clue at 7-Down. Prefix with 5-Across : AERO.

10. Not even ajar : SHUT.

14. "Born to Die" singer/songwriter Del Rey : LANA. See? All perps!

15. Stadium divisions : TIERS.

16. Son of Leah : LEVI. No perps needed.

20. Flower celebrated in an annual Ottawa festival : TULIP. It all started with a gift of TULIPs by the Dutch Royal Family to the people of Canada after the liberation of Europe in WWII.

21. Move the boat, in a way : ROW. I suppose you could also pedal it?

22. Painting option : SPRAY. Brush? Color? Latex?

23. Like a typical farmer's market : OPEN AIR.

25. "Gotcha!" : OHO.

32. Peace Nobelist Sakharov : ANDREI. Ironically, he was key in the development of the hydrogen bomb, and later played a role in the Partial Test Ban Treaty.

35. Elijah Blue's mom : CHER. With her second husband Greg Allman.

36. __ de coeur: impassioned plea : CRI. Literally, "Cry from the heart" in French.

37. "Gone With the Wind" setting : TARA.

38. "Whew!" : BOY!

39. Sit a spell : REST.

40. The Pac-12's Beavers : OSUOregon State University.

41. Ego : SELF.

43. Citrine or amethyst : QUARTZ. Amethyst is the February birthstone. Citrine is November.

48. A Bobbsey twin : NAN. Bert's twin. I wonder if she likes Indian flatbread?

49. Stops : DESISTS.

53. Early New Zealand settler : MAORI.

56. "Something __, something ..." : OLD. "Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a lucky sixpence in your shoe." I wonder if brides still follow this old advice for a happy marriage on their wedding days.

58. Bug : EAT AT.

62. Cinch : SNAP.

63. Sci-fi staple : ROBOT.

64. Golf shot : CHIP.

65. Breton, e.g. : CELT.

66. Band tour stop, perhaps : ARENA.

67. Building additions : ELLS.


1. Olive Oyl pursuer : BLUTO. D'ah! I tried to cram "Brutus" in there.

2. Eagerly consume : LAP UP.

3. One with degrees? : ANGLE. This was acute clue.

4. Sauce of southern Italy : MARINARA. Mmmm...

5. Norm: Abbr. : STDStandard.

6. Capital ENE of Custer : PIERRE. WAG.

7. Prefix with 5-Across : AERO.

8. Intercollegiate sport : CREW. They row, row, row their boats.

9. Lawyer's letters : ESQ.

10. Moccasin, for one : SLIP-ON.

11. Man around the Haus : HERR. German.

12. Layer in the eye : UVEA.

13. Considerable : TIDY. As in "A TIDY sum."

18. Posthaste : APACE.

19. Escort : USHER.

24. "Here," on Metro maps : ICI. Nit: the Paris subway is called the Métro, with an acute accent.

25. "__ to Billie Joe" : ODE.

27. Act the cynic : SCOFF. "Scorn" fits, too. Just sayin'...

28. Coming up short : SHY.

29. Bakery specialist : ICER.

30. Before, to a bard : ERST.

31. Scatterbrain : DITZ. I use that word all the time, usually describing myself.

32. On the highest point of : ATOP.

33. Apollo's creator : NASA. No hint of abbr. because it is Thursday?

34. Pharmacopeia listing : DRUG.

38. Abbreviation on a lunch menu : BLT. Oh, so now we get the abbreviation hint!

39. Splendor : RADIANCE. Somehow "Radiance in the Grass" just doesn't have the same ring to it.

41. Gastropod for a gourmet : SNAIL.

42. Geochronological span : EON.

43. "¿__ pasa?" : QUE. "'s up?"

44. Three-time Indy winner Bobby : UNSER.

46. Transported : ENRAPT.

47. Favored to win : ODDS ON. E.g., a bet of "2 to 1 on" means that the team is twice as likely to win as not.

50. "60 Minutes" regular : STAHLLeslie.  I really admire her.

51. Sri Lankan language : TAMIL.

52. What a pedometer counts : STEPS. I bought DH a FitBit for Christmas, thinking it would encourage him to exercise more.  The first day he wore it, he announced that he had done almost two miles by just doing his usual stuff around the house.  (I was humbled...)

53. Catchall file abbr. : MISC.

54. Archer of "Fatal Attraction" : ANNE.  I had forgotten about her role as Michael Douglas's wife.

55. Common face shape : OVAL. ANNE's is a beautiful OVAL, don't you think?

56. Redolence : ODOR.

57. Jiffy __ : LUBE.

60. "Science Friday" radio host Flatow : IRA. He used to be on NPR, but moved to PRI (Public Radio International), which now airs the show.

61. Greek "H" : ETA. Or, Greek "n"?

It's omega for me!


Barry G. said...

Morning, all!

Got the theme eventually and thought it was very cute. It did take awhile to click, however.

Once again, I struggled the most right out of the gate when I confidently put in BOOM instead of BLAM at 1A. Yes, the perps eventually said no, but the B and the M sure seemed to work... That ended up being the last part of the puzzle to fall as I came back to it at the very end and finally saw the light. Or the explosion, as the case may be.

Elsewhere, I was mystified as to who Elijah Blue was or who his mother might be until I got CHER via the perps. My knowledge of CHER's children begins and ends with Chaz/Chastity.

Elsewhere, I really wanted SLIPPER for 10D, but it just wouldn't fit. I got the SLIP on my own, but the ON was all perps.

Other than that, pretty smooth sailing and a very enjoyable Thursday solve.

Rainman said...

Thanks, Robert Fisher, and thanx, Marti, good work. (Liked your ref. to NAN. Very funny.

No, for me this one was definitely Thursday difficulty (LANA, e.g., not a clue, so to speak), at least for this DITZ. (Hey, don't call ME a ditz.) But jumping on MARINARA helped fill in ANGLE/LANA.

The clever theme came to me reasonably quick, but it still took me some 32 mins. on the clock to get the fanfare.

Good thing I wasn't using pen and ink today... I "erased" a considerable number of early WAGS.

I liked "Apollo's creator" being NASA. Shoulda had that one earlier... "Transported" = ENRAPT. "Eagerly consume" turned out to be LAPUP, good clueing.

Good theme, no reveal required, and nicely constructed.

desper-otto said...

Good morning!

I struggled with this one. OK, just a little. Before I sussed the computer theme ACCESS DENIED was ACCEPT DEFEAT. And how could BEEM be an explosive sound. D'oh! It's not EAT UP and ECOLE, it's LAP UP and ANGLE. Geez! Wite-out, please. (I just bought two more bottles yesterday. It's getting really hard to find.)

Leslie Stahl got her big break with Watergate some 40-odd years ago.

Marti, ANNE Archer's face doesn't look oval on my computer. It looks like a little blue rectangle with a question mark in the middle. Annie, I hardly knew ya. :)


Ergo said...

Thank you Robert and Marti.

Good Thursday offering. Really good. If not for ALA instead of BLT for the lunch menu abbreviation, this one would have been candy. After I cheated (corrected the entry) my other vacancies filled in no time.

The overall strength and creativity of the puzzle make BLAM/LAPUP tolerable.

Big Easy said...

Hearty- I wouldn't exactly say Monday type puzzle. LANA was also all perps for me. After 17A & 26A I was thinking Elvis and 'Return to Sender, Address Unknown".

I am annoyed at JAVA and Adobe because every time I restart my laptop they want to update.

As for the puzzle, I needed a few perps to solve CRI, TULIP, IRA, and ANNE. And I wish someone could come up with a suitable clue for 'OHO' because I have never heard anybody verbally say it. AHA yes; OHO, not down South. My only slowdowns were EAT UP for LAP UP, was it ERA or EON, TEES or ELLS.

I did like the theme

OwenKL said...

Not too bad, though a natick kept me from finishing it unaided: ICi + ANDREi. The French(or German?) was unknown, and the final vowel on the Russian(?) name is silent isn't it?

The Little Engine That Could has retired
His confidence that he would has expired
The hills got too steep,
He'd collapse in a heap
Every time that a sign said UP-GRADE REQUIRED!

The most useful websites are not all the same,
Customized content is the name of the game.
Here's one that's written
For people bedridden,
They log on by using an INVALID USER NAME!

OwenKL said...

The search for the Grail ranged far and wide
Through castle and town and countryside.
But when knights drew nigh
It disappeared from the eye;
It would teleport to enforce that ACCESS DENIED!

Off in search of the Grail, King Arthur was bound
Intending to search the whole nation around
But he first had to hire
And train a new squire;
His old one was missing, PAGE NOT FOUND!

HeartRx said...

d-otto @ 6:42, all fixed now. Thanks!

OwenKL said...

Marti, if you're referring to that angular face, nope, still just a blue rectangle.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays some brides still say

Something old.
Something new.
Something borrowed.
Something blue.

No more six pence in your shoe.

Madame Defarge said...

Good Morning,

I also struggled at the get go with boom. LAPUP didn't come immediately, so 1A was my last fill. Apparently not up to onomatopoeia today. Thanks to Robert for reminding many of us that there is the possibility of tulips and to Marti for the lovely confirmation. I forgot amethyst is QUARTZ. As for "cease and desist" I have always read it--especially in myriad Civil Rights cases--as "Stop doing what you are doing, and don't do it again!" To me they are not completely synonymous, although perhaps the dictionary and probably my son-the-attorney disagree with me.

I love my pedometer--still old school on the waistband. It never "ceases" to amaze me how far I can walk around the house or running a few errands.

Stay cozy. No school again today. BRRR!

thehondohurricane said...

Howdy everyone,

A DNF thanks to my screwing up the NE corner. For 17n A I entered UseriD REQUIRED and never thought it might be wrong. That left me with Boom for 1A and empty squares for 14A, 2 & 3 Down.

Even though I wasn't crazy about the cluing, everything else was A OK. I knew the trendy theme answers would likely do me in. Just not up to speed with today's lingo.

I call Bobby UNSER Lucy's uncle. She drives like him....scares the Hell out of me whenever I'm her passenger.

Irish Miss said...

Good Morning:

I liked this theme a lot and enjoyed the solve. There were a few tricky spots, but the perps were solid so all fell into place eventually.

Thanks,Robert and Marti, for a Thursday treat.

Have a great day.

Tinbeni said...

D N F !!!
Exact same problem as Hondo ... BOOM !!!

Really enjoyed the theme, thought it was very clever.

Well it is "officially Florida freezing" here in Tarpon Springs.
(Though I don't think I will have to shovel my car out-of-the-humidity).

A "Toast" to ALL from the PINT & BREW at Sunset.

kazie said...

I couldn't think of PAGE not found. Thought of SITE, but it didn't go with ATOP, and was thinking Greek god for Apollo, not space, though the 5A and 7D should have been a hint. So I ended up coming here without NASA, OSU (no sport knowledge as usual) or DRUG filled in.

Getting the theme only helped minimally but it was a good one.

Husker Gary said...

As usual, my experience paralleled my friend Marti’s. These phrases would seem to be a nightmare for non-computers peeps, but then they wouldn’t be here, would they.

-Putting BOOM for less common BLAM is why I don’t use ink
-In my limited world, these are always decks while these are TIERS
-I used to get ACCESS DENIED at schools when I blogged at this site but IT colleagues cut me some slack
-Is this the best OPEN AIR Farmer’s Market in America?
-Bringing Colorado into the PAC 12 kept OSU from being the worst FB team
-Why is it when we get an evaluation that is 95% positive, we let the 5% negative EAT AT us?
-I think Lady Mary would prefer Snaps to Anna’s CINCHING
-That 300 yd drive means little if you can’t CHIP and putt
-We’ve been to Custer, SD, so PIERRE was a CINCH
-Getting to USHER in church reduces some of the tedium
-Device for the pro ICER
-Any sandwich with B in it is better!
-Jiffy Lube = $50. Dealership = $22 and they wash my car
-There are those who LAP UP any Kardashian dirt
-What farm work was Bobby Jo Gentry doing that day she heard that “Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"

Argyle said...

Trick question; they were at lunch.

Argyle said...

Rushed my answer, sorry.

HeartRx said...

OwenKL @ 7:54, you may need to refresh your browser, because the link is fixed. Anyone else having problems viewing it?

Argyle, I'm not sure if Bobbie Gentry ever did any farm work? She was a singer by trade.

Spitzboov said...

Good morning everyone.

On the easy side of Thursday. Main hang-ups were with noisemakers/expressions: BLAM, OHO, BOY. Had Sergei before ANDREI. Perps were firm.
6d - Presumed that Custer, SD was meant.
51d - TAMIL. Sinhalese, the other logical choice for Sri Lanka was too long.
Kind of a neat theme for us computer users, but I wonder how those who don't use computers fared.

Marti, I like your use of 'Dreck'.

Bluehen said...

Sorry Marti, I don't have it either

Anoa Bob said...

Hey everyone. Seems like most of y'all like the puzz, so that makes me happy. I put in a lot of work on this one, restarting from scratch a couple of times. I'm a big advocate of having a good balance between a solid theme and, especially, quality fill. So the fill part got a lot of attention from me.

I had to replace one of the original theme entries, HOST UNAVAILABLE. Editor Rich thought that was too obscure, so I changed it to INVALID USERNAME instead. I think he was right, right?

Rich also changed the theme clue format. I had a rather plodding, uninspired "Error Message:...." format for each theme clue and he went with the "Nowadays" format, which I think is way better. Put a smile on my face when I saw that improvement.

My inner nine year old liked the original clue for 10 Across SHUT: "Unjar one ajar?" Rich went for the adult version "Not even ajar".

I don't stop by very often, so nice to see many of the regular CREW, in your usual top form.

Argyle said...

We appreciate your visit.

HeartRx said...

Bob, I think you were right to change "host unavailable" to INVALID USERNAME. And I would really have been whelmed with "Unjar one ajar" for a clue. ;-)

The attention you paid to the fill really showed - it was absolutely smooth and a very enjoyable solve. Thanks!


CrossEyedDave said...


Not very happy with Blam & lap up vs eat up, but 3D one with degrees = angle makes up for it.

Other nits that I can't complain about:
10D moccasin = slipon (it's not a snake?) I am still trying to put that question mark in the little box...

18D posthaste = apace (this turned my DNF into a ASAP...)

19D escort = usher, (grumble, yea i guess so...)

25A Gotcha = oho (rats! I even had the 1st O.)

46D transport = enrapt (I still don't get it...)

Speaking of upgrades...

Access denied. what it felt like not finishing this puzzle....

page not found?


Hmm, if Blam is a word, I better add these to my crossword list.

Speaking of "blam," I guess I will set my sites on the Saturday Stumper...

Husker Gary said...

Musings 2
-Marti, Argyle, et al, Bobby Joe Gentry may or may not have worked on a farm but she sang the song in the first person. The farm work she was “doing that day” before finding out about Billy Joe MacAllister at dinner is revealed in the second line of her song
-Anoa Bob, your behind the curtain look is a nice complement to your lovely puzzle
- The number we all hate to see when PAGE NOT FOUND is displayed
-Did anyone else read about Sakharov’s conversion and think of this man’s similar epiphany?
-Today the World Herald printed the puzzle across the fold. Do you know what that does to us left brained people! ;-)

Nice Cuppa said...

REFRESH-ing run, but...

"BLAM" does not seem to be standard English yet, so a pointer there might have been appropriate. It's very cartoony - I associate it with Batman and Robin's fist-fights than explosions.

I consider NASA to have moved from "abbreviation" status to "acronym", in which case no abbrev. indicator should be reqd.

45A "Nobody can go there" = "PAGE NOT FOUND"
I thought was the weakest clueing, since it amounts to "Nobody can go nowhere". I appreciate this was formulated as a progression of 26A, but it does not quite work.

"You've taken the wrong path", maybe?

Owen: Andrei is pronounced "Andray", it is just that in Cyrillic, the "ay" diphthong is written using a short "e" and a short "i"; cf., "weight".


I'm a LarryS said...

1A was almost a bust--actually a BANG and a BOOM then a BEAT before BLAM. But my big snafu was SMIRK and SNEER then SNIFF before wikiing Elijah Blue to finally SCOFF at 27D. Guess I know too many ways to act the cynic. Fun puzzle!

Bluehen said...

Very enjoyable puzzle. Didn't seem to be Thursday level, maybe because of all the attention that went into construction. WEES re: BLAM vs. BooM. Needed ESP for LANA, CRI, OHO. Needed perp help for several others, but finished without cheating and in good time. Thank you Mr. Fisher and HeartRx.

Re: TULIPS being a harbinger of spring. I have already mentioned that we saw our first robin of the year about a week ago. Yesterday DW and I were remarking how brilliantly colored the birds at our squirrel/bird feeder were when it hit me. Mating season is near, and the birds, especially the cardinals, are resplendent in their mating plumage. Spring can't be far behind, can it?

Jazzbumpa said...

Hi gang -

Not only is Anne's picture not visible, I get ACCESS DENIED when I try to follow the text link.

Oh, the irony.

Typical Thus for me. Lots of hunting, pecking back fill, perps and swags eventually got me through. BOY!

I was trying to come up with a theme title and the best I could do is DOES NOT COMPUTE.

I like the CREW-ROW cross.

Other than that, WBS.

There should be a dish called MARINARA RADIANCE.

Is a sarong an ENRAPT SLIP ON? Mabe something is spelt rong their.

UNSER must have traveled APACE.

On day's like this, Gloria's grandfather would look at the thermometer and say, "Zero - that's nothing!"

Cool regards!

Spitzboov said...

Re: 20a - TULIP - FROM WIKI: "In 1945, the Dutch royal family sent 100,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in gratitude for Canadians having sheltered Princess Juliana and her daughters for the preceding three years during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, in the Second World War."

Argyle said...

Coneyro, your comment is on Wednesday's page.

Misty said...

I found this a perfect Thursday puzzle, a little challenging but actually very doable, with fun clues and a 21st century theme. Yay! Many thanks, Bob.

Nice pics of TULIPS and Leslie STAHL, Marti. If I remember correctly, she initially got some hassle for wearing glasses on TV, as though most people don't wear glasses, for heaven's sake.

Have a great day, everybody!

Anonymous said...

"as though most people don't wear glasses"

I'm pretty sure most people don't.

fermatprime said...


Thanks, Anoa Bob and Marti! Liked the theme!

Really stuck for awhile with BooM. Eventually, got everything ironed out, so no cheats.

No oval face for me either.

Mary is really getting worse. BTW, the Wash. Post has been running a dandy critique each week by Joe Heim. Subscription is free, too! Can't see Dowager Countess having an affair!


Anonymous said...

Joe Heim's recaps are great. Here's the link fermatprime omitted.

Lemonade714 said...

Bob, how nice to see your puzzle and you stopping by the Corner, it has been a long while.

Chickie said...

Hola Everyone, What Barry said, as well as Aha for Oho. This was the last areas of the puzzle to fall for me.

Otherwise, fairly easy. The theme was easier after I had "Page not found" in and realized that the theme was computerese. (Is that a word?)

Our roof has been finished and now only the inspection is lacking. I'm so thankful we have had dry weather so we could get this mess behind us. The sheetrock man will be here next week to get the inside finished up. this is a good chance to do some deep down Spring cleaning, I guess.

Thanks Marti for the great critique today and to Anoa Bob for stopping by today to give us some insight on the puzzle.

Have a great rest of the day, everyone.

Ol' Man Keith said...

Yep, it was the perps that solved the puzzlers.

Still, I missed out on LEVI because I couldn't be sure that UVEA shouldn't be UREA. Blame my lack of familiarity with anatomical names, but, anyway, I gave Leah a son named LERI. Pronounce it like "Larry," and it doesn't seem so bad.,
Stupid Keith, Stupid! (Kicking self.)

Barry G. said...

Speaking of roofs, we just paid a couple of guys a whopping $900 to clear the snow off ours. I find that exorbitant, but from what I've read it's the going rate around here lately. Plus, it's a miracle I could even find somebody to do the job and it was imperative we get it done before the predicted rain comes this Sunday.

I suppose it's cheaper than having to have the entire roof replaced, but still...

Anoa Bob said...

FWIW, the original clue for 1-Across BLAM was "Kapow!".

Jazzbumpa, love your title. Don't see why the LAT & NYT don't use titles. They often can act as a reveal and that can often open up an extra slot for another themer in the grid.

Anonymous T said...

Nothing really to add - Thanks Bob, Marti, and everyone else for keeping up the joy. Once I got 59a it all clicked (I was looking for txting abrivs). I'll SHUT up now. Cheers, -T

Abejo said...

Good Friday morning, folks. Thank you, Robert Fisher, for a fine puzzle. Thank you, Marti, for a fine review.

Well, I started this puzzle late last night when I got home from lodge. Got tired after a while and hit the hay. Got up and finished it this morning with several cups of Earl Grey tea.

Liked the theme. Very familiar phrases.

I also tried BOOM for 1A, but created that into an inkblot when I corrected it to BLAM.

Tried SQUID for 41D. Fixed that later to SNAIL. for some reason I thought Q's were going to be a big item today. Another inkblot.

Of course, I had AHA for 25A. OHO won that battle. 3rd inkblot.

Tried SNIFF for 27D. SCOFF won out. 4th inkblot.

Got ENRAPT for 46D with perps. Not sure I understand the meaning of transported and ENRAPT?

So, now I will try Friday's puzzle.

Hopefully see you later today.


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