Millennials in relation to their parents / FRI 10-12-18 / Relative of philia agape to Greeks / Reduplicative dance name / Seafood known for its sweet taste delicate texture

Friday, October 12, 2018

Constructor: Erik Agard and Bruce Haight

Relative difficulty: Easy (4:55)


THEME: LIGHTBULB (49A: Item suggested visually by the black squares in this puzzle's grid) — yeah, the black squares mostly do that, though I don't really buy that the ones in the far E, W and N actually "suggest" anything. I assume WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA? (17A: Question after "Hey!") is also a themer

Word of the Day: Enid BAGNOLD (32A: Enid who wrote "National Velvet") —
Enid Algerine Bagnold, Lady Jones CBE (27 October 1889 – 31 March 1981) was a British author and playwright, known for the 1935 story National Velvet. (wikipedia)
• • •
You know I'm not a big fan of themed Fridays (or Saturdays), but this theme managed to stay the hell out of my way—cutely decorative without in any way interfering with my always much-anticipated themeless Friday feast. Black squares make a LIGHTBULB, and a LIGHTBULB can represent an idea, as in "WHAT'S THE BIG IDEA?" Great. Also, not taxing on the grid and not asking a lot of me in terms of theme comprehension, i.e. the theme is transparent, and also you don't even have to know there is a theme to finish. Weird grid shape was a ton of fun to navigate—I thought the center might get very dicey, but LIGHTBULB to SNOWCRAB to MCS to MEGADETH, 1 2 3 4, meant that that whole section just lit up (!). I can count on one hand the number of places I made initial mistakes or struggled in any way. 1. I had SERIES and SERIAL (?) before SATIRE at 4D: HBO's "Veep," e.g.; 2. I misspelled SELINA (had the "I" as an "E") at 42D: ___ Kyle, Catwoman's alter ego (this despite being a regular reader of Catwoman); 3. Wrote in RIIS instead of RHYS (thinking Jacob and not Jean) at 30A: Jean who wrote "Wide Sargsasso Sea"; and, off the FA-, wrote in FAVOR instead of FANCY for 48A: Like.


But just because it was easy doesn't mean it wasn't fun. I mean, there's a BADASS LATINO AVENGEr in this damn thing, what more do you want? My proudest moment was remembering JUBA, as I am godawful at remembering world capitals, or ... well, lots of things that I don't actually use on a regular basis. But world capitals, for sure. The worst thing about this puzzle, by a country mile, is ECHOBOOMERS, which couldn't be less of a real thing if it tried (2D: Millennials, in relation to their parents). This is the NO BRA DAY of today's puzzle (please see yesterday's puzzle if you're not following). Nah and nope. I don't even know why such a term would exist; like, why would anyone think it necessary? What kind of relationship is being suggested? Also, isn't "Millennials" bad enough? Do we really need yet another stupid label for this unfairly maligned, ridiculously amorphous group of people? Don't put these trash ephemeral concepts you saw once in some think piece in your puzzles; it's embarrassing.


Five things:
  • 60A: Reduplicative dance name (NAE NAE) — seriously considered NEH NEH and NAY NAY there for a bit
  • 32A: Enid who wrote "National Velvet" (BAGNOLD) — really all she's famous for. She is one of the more common ENIDs of puzzledom, up there with the ENIDs of Arthurian legend, Oklahoma, and Blyton
  • 31A: [Don't you think you're milking it a bit too much?] (MOO) — this is bizarre, in that it is a "?" clue inside of an imagined cow-thought clue. I can accept that a cow's MOO might mean a lot of things, but that the English translation of that thought would involve a "milking it" ("it"?) pun, no, I can't accept that. Sincerely bad.
  • 40A: Focus of Boyle's law (GAS) — learned it from crosswords and somehow remembered it today
  • 44D: Go on and on (JABBER) — had -ABBER and somehow wasn't sure what letter went in the first position. Words like YAMMER and NATTER and probably GAB (8D: Go on and on) were creating a lot of interference.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld

[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]

105 comments:

jae 12:09 AM  

Mostly easy except for putting in deal before IDEA. It took me a while to fix that even with the LIGHT BULB ”theme”. Do’h!

Also Sitcom before SATIRE.

Fun Fri., liked it!

puzzlehoarder 12:10 AM  

A mostly easy puzzle except for my BUBA/JUBA dnf. Coming down from the NE I first put in RUBA and RAMBLE. Even though I was wrong it gave me ROBUST which opened up the SE corner. How I didn't think of JABBER I can't say. There was even a guy at work we called "jabber jaw". Maybe it's karma.

Patrick O'Connor 12:21 AM  

We are always happy when you are happy, Rex.

I acknowledge that it is not crossword-clue-worthy, but Enid Bagnold also wrote a charming play, The Chalk Garden. #NoBagnoldH8rsPlease

Brookboy 12:29 AM  

I enjoyed this one, but I thought it was harder than Rex did. Didn’t particularly notice that it was a themer, didn’t really care, other than the nifty layout.

ECHOBOOMERS? Seriously?

Good Friday overall.

Cory Calhoun 12:33 AM  

A few cursory Google searches show ECHOBOOMERS is a thing. (A 2004 article on CBS.com is the oldest reference I could find.) I hadn't heard of it prior to this puzzle, of course, but then again, I've never pretended that something I've never heard of this a thing.

Ahem.

Trombone Tom 12:43 AM  

Found this more challenging than OFL did. Loved all those common expressions. Still scratching my head over ECHO-BOOMERS. That's a new one on me. And I thought at first that thing was a (gun/bomb)sight. Finally moved from sight to LIGHTBULB.

Brian 12:47 AM  

How many crossword constructors does it take to change a light bulb?
Answer: Two. One to screw it almost all the way in and the other to give it a surprising twist at the end

Debbie 1:05 AM  

I, too, had never heard of the term, Googled it, and found that same CBS article. I found it surprisingly positive, and is definitely one of the most forgiving articles I've read about that generation - certainly doesn't have the same connotation as millennial.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-echo-boomers-01-10-2004/

Larry Gilstrap 2:25 AM  

Not a fan of anything resembling grid art, so there's that. Solvers know that corners create problems, but most puzzles only have four of them, so there's that. Three letter fill is tolerable on Sunday, but not something I expect to see in abundance on a Friday. Strike three! We're told that the "grid shape was fun to navigate"? I'll have what he's having. I admire both constructors, if that matters.

On the other hand, those big old downs were nice enough. Yeah, ECHO BOOMER is a new one on me. Let's put people in a box based upon when they were born. We used to call it stereotyping, now profiling. Not a good look, either way.

Did somebody mention Moby-Dick? Some of the most delightful chapters in the book involve a GAM, when two whaling ships randomly meet in the open ocean. The name, the nationality, the crew, the relative success of their voyage, all add up to a delightful respite from the Pequod's megalomania. Terrific SATIRE!

Dolgo 2:57 AM  

I've seen Jean RHYS used in several crossword puzzles. Probably a lot of solvers have gotten used to seeing her name and can ID her from the title of her most famous novel without having ever read it. I'd like to put in a plug for "The Wide Sargasso Sea," though. It's a prequel for one of the greatest (IMHO) English novels, "Jane Eyre" treating the marriage in the British Caribbean of Mr. Rochester and Bertha, his first wife. Rhys was herself born in the Caribbean, and the novel treats issues of colonialism as well as sexual politics. It's a good read and makes you go back to Bronte's novel with new insights. Your retired lit prof thought you'd like to know.

Thomaso808 5:01 AM  

Tough puzzle for me, but very satisfying in the end. Not like a typical Bruce Haight. BADASS.

chefwen 5:04 AM  

ECHO BOOMERS sounds like something that would occur at a bowling alley.

Not too easy here. Did not care for the MOO clue and had to Google 44A as partner had AS EASY AS pie at 12D, nothing was working down there, changed the pie to ABC and we were able to limp to the finish line.

Saw our first Humpback of the season, but she wasn’t in a pod or a GAM.

Anonymous 6:04 AM  

How old are people here??? ECHO BOOMERS is very much a "real thing"---just Google it, fer chrissakes.

Lewis 6:21 AM  

What is the difference between reduplicate and duplicate? I'm still wondering after some initial lookups.

This solve was a steady but guarded trek that stalled in the Upper West, despite all the juice I was pumping into my LIGHT BULB. The out-loud-"Hah!"-producing MOO is what finally broke it open just as the need-to-look-something-up urge was peaking, making for a most satisfying CONQUEST. And, by the way, I loved the clue and NYT debut answer for 1D. Thank you, Gents!

Anonymous 6:27 AM  

Yes, echoboomers was a mystery but does seem to be a thing. Every generation is going to be named and that doesn't mean it is a bad thing. Yet, it seems like each new generation is always sneered at or accused of being the most selfish yet (or sometimes a list of other bad characteristics). I don't think there is a problem giving names to generations; rather, it is how we negatively characterize them. Millennials is not a bad term for me and gives me a good category to name people born in a certain time period. Echoboomers makes sense ('echo' of babyboomers) but doubt it is a term that anyone knows.

On the other hand, the 'moo' clue reminded me of The Far Side cartoons so I got a good laugh out of it.

Jofried 6:27 AM  

I flew through this until I got to the LIGHTBULB section in the middle. Had AAA instead of TSA and so couldn’t figure out the down clues in there, especially the heavy metal band. As for BAGNOLD, I am literally in the middle of reading National Velvet to my daughter and I couldn’t come up with the name! Took a while to finally finish.

Anonymous 6:46 AM  

As a card carrying Millenial I have heard ECHOBOOMER many times.

JJ 7:08 AM  

I too had never heard the term ECHO BOOMERS. When googled it dates to, at least, 1999. I feel like I've learned something new- not offended in the least. I enjoyed the puzzle, and smiled at MOO.

Hungry Mother 7:13 AM  

Ultra quick this morning. Marbe it’s the cooler weather or a puzzle that’s AS EASY AS ABC. Hmm...

QuasiMojo 7:17 AM  

That’s a lightbulb? As Edison might say, back to the drawing board, guys. Did not enjoy this one. Too chatty and colloquial. Too much GAS.

I come here to find I had a DNF because I put in DOH rather than DUH. I can never figure out if it’s duh or doh or a DEERE... a female deer. Etc ad infinitum.

Dear old Enid also wrote the play “A Matter of Gravity” that Katharine Hepburn starred in on Broadway with Superman.

kitshef 7:18 AM  

SiTcom before SATIRE and AS EASY AS pie (hey, chefwen) before AS EASY AS ABC slowed me down a tad, but otherwise this was … well … as easy as pie.

The grid art immediately jumped out me but I was sure it was a crystal ball. Once I got the light bulb, I assumed the other black squares were rays emanating from said bulb.

The Halle Berry Catwoman movie – surely one of the worst movies ever – had Catwoman’s alter ego as Patience Phillips, rather than Selina Kyle. Why?

I am sure there have been worse clues that what was presented for MOO, but not many.

Hungry Mother 7:20 AM  

78

Anonymous 7:43 AM  

Is it my imagination or is the cluing in the NYT puzzle going down hill? Moo is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. Moo. What the huh? Something seems off

Peter P 7:49 AM  

I got ECHOBOOMERS with only three letters filled in, but I thought for sure it must have been wrong as it seemed to be pretty esoteric even for a Friday puzzle. The only reason I remember it is from studying generational theory as part in intro to sociology back in college twenty years ago or so. The term Millennials hadn't been fully settled upon yet, and Gen Y, Millennials, and Echo Boomers were all terms thrown about for that generation. Simaltly, Gen X wasn't quite solidified as the term of choice, and we were also referred to as Baby Busters and simply 13th Gen at times. So it was: Baby Boomers, Baby Busters, Echo Boomers.

This would have been early-mid-90s. Looking at Google Books, I see the earliest mention of echo boomer in 1991. Even something the general interest "Ski" magazine in a 1995 issue uses the phrase, so it had some currency way back then, but I haven't heard it since the 90s.

I finished the puzzle, which happens less often than more on Fridays, but I got snagged up elsewhere. I had CHACHA instead of NAENAE for a while. The theme answer I couldn't get until most of it was filled in, but it stalled me, trying to figure out what the black boxes suggested to me, as they didn't suggest anything. I guess now, yeah, I suppose maybe it does look like a LIGHTBULB, but that one frustrated me.

I see that general TSO has made another appearance. What is that like the third time in a week or so? And I'm ticked I couldn't remember RHYS. This is the second time recently I've come across it, and we actually read that book in high school, and I can never remember the author's name. The only Jane I remember is the Jane Eyre it was a response to.

'merican in Paris 7:53 AM  

An enjoyable Friday for me, especially following what for me was an impossible Thursday. However, I did not finish for two reasons. Like @puzzlehoarder (12:10 AM), I first put rAMBle, which worked with ROBUST. Then changed it to bABBle. But bUBA didn't look right for the capital of South Sudan, so finally gave up and Googled that.

Could not get a foothold in the NW either, so finally Googled 22A. The first answer to that that came up was Shira Nayman, author of Awake in the Dark: Stories, so I slotted in "Shira". Serves me right. That completely messed me up for the longest time.

I agree with @Rex: nice to see that a BAD-ASS LATINO STRODE into this puzzle to AVENGE the TSO, TSO SAD PRAT who broke his LIGHTBULB. (OH DEERE.)

Something I'd like to see: a pair of Hawaiian nenes dancing the NAE-NAE.

Dana 8:04 AM  

I thought the grid picture looked like an alien --you know, two antennae, arms outstretched in welcome? OK, so no. Eventually I got to the theme, but too late to be of help, as is pretty typical actually.

Never heard of ECHOBOOMERS either, but it's a good term--as a BOOMER with my own ECHOS, I like it.

Amy Yanni 8:19 AM  

also put in as easy as PIE, even though I am fonder of the Jackson 5 than I am of pie. And chuckling at Moo clue. Happy Friday.

Eugenie 8:30 AM  

Never heard of echo boomer but I like it. What does it mean to be a regular reader of catwoman? Does she have her own comic book ?

Lewis 8:44 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy 8:46 AM  

It looked like a racquetball racquet to me, but what do I know from grid art?

Some definitions I'd like to provide for some of the (for me) tougher clues:

NAE NAE -- Scottish dance which never happens because all prospective dance partners are turned down flat.

MEGADETH -- Heavy metal band in which all members go extinct prior to the countdown.

TUPAC -- Rapper who smokes too much and who drinks much too much beer.

Actually, despite the pop music PPP and the why-on-earth-did-you-draw-this? grid art, I quite enjoyed the puzzle. I was sorely tempted to cheat on several proper name answers, didn't, and was rewarded with a puzzle CONQUEST. An entertaining Friday.

Suzie Q 8:50 AM  

Personally I think this kind review was only possible because Erik Agard is involved.
I hung in there to finish but not with any joy. Too many names.
@ Lewis, I also wondered about "reduplicative". Dupli- indicates two to me so does redupli- mean four? No matter because I never heard of the dance.
The clue/answer for Moo is a mystery. A clue in brackets usually means something unspoken so how do you indicate Moo?
Whoever wrote Cat Woman seems to have missed an opportunity by not naming the character Felina. I think that would have been cute.

Lewis 8:51 AM  

Rex, I respectfully disagree with your MOO clue guy pan.

Fountains of Golden Fluids 8:52 AM  

Does anyone remember laughter?

Sir Hillary 8:55 AM  

Not too often you see a puzzle that's only a K away from being a pangram.

As someone who prefers a classic themeless on Friday, I was prepared to hate this, but it won me over very quickly. THATISTOSAY, I liked it a lot. NOWLETMESEE...
-- The six long downs skew heavily toward casual conversation, giving the whole puzzle a freewheeling vibe.
-- The LIGHTBULB itself is wonderful. For some reason, I am quite enamored with the central Q.
-- BADASS is just that, and it's fantastic in a crossword.
-- "...traveler's check..." is very good.

TUPAC right above BIG...both men died RID[ing]SHOTGUN, with one's murder seemingly to AVENGE the other's. Yikes.

Nothing wrong with ECHOBOOMERS -- it's clearly a thing, and it's derogatory only to those who choose to use it or interpret it that way. Such people are by no means in the majority. @Rex and his Twitter ECHO chamber need to (a) inform themselves and (b) chill.

TubaDon 9:13 AM  

Paper late again, so I did this online. Don't like to, since it's too easy to click the Check button. Started with WHATS THE BIG DEAL which delayed things a bit. Lots of stuff I didn't know, ECHOBOOMERS, JUBA, NAENAE, RHYS... but eventually figured out from crosses.

mmorgan 9:14 AM  

This one stared blankly at me (and I at it) for a while, but the next ting I knew it was mostly filled in. I also had pie instead of ABC and TEa TIME, and that held me up for a little while.

Lots of nifty stuff in here. I found NAENAE to be stranger than ECHO BOOMERS, but whatever...

Moo!

Johnny Whirlwind 9:18 AM  

ECHOBOOMERS is not a thing, despite any available evidence to the contrary.

Mohair Sam 9:20 AM  

@Lewis - Your "MOO clue guy pan" was delightful.

As one who grew up just a block from a small dairy farm I've milked a few cows. "MOO" is exactly what they say when you've milked it a bit too much. Clue of the week, misdirect of the month.

Z 9:28 AM  

Probably my least favorite Agard puzzle ever for an entirely predictable reason, too much PPP. I find it particularly irksome that so much of the PPP is avoidable since it is in the clues. Boyle’s law, Ben Franklin, Veep, ISS, Gutenberg. That’s five avoidable PPP clues. 20 of 71 has a huge impact compared to 25 of 71. 28% means wheelhouse/outhouse isn’t a major issue, 35% means it is. This is especially true in a highly segmented grid where the difference between easy and impossible could rest on your soccer drug author knowledge.

ECHO BOOMERS is a thing. Except none of these generational identifiers are really a thing. For a sociologist they are a useful shorthand to describe some broad societal trends. But you can go to the google and find lots of SATIRE about how this broad tool is widely misunderstood and misused. The “millennials killed...” genre of think piece is especially rich fodder for satire. I learned just this week that my sons are responsible for killing off “breastaurants.” Boy Howdy. Well at least Augustine would be proud. At any rate, I’m on team Rex here. Stop with all the Baby Boomer, Gen X, ECHO BOOMERS crap.

@Dolgo - But are either novel better than The Great Gatsby?

@Lewis6:21 a.m. - The “re.”

@Dana - Yep. My thought was the aliens from Space Invaders, not that I ever wasted too many quarters at the arcade.

GILL I. 9:28 AM  

This is the kind of puzzle I would have enjoyed when I first conquered my fear of trying a Friday.
Easy in some parts, hard in others. A bit too heavy on the proper names on the top of the LIGHT BULB. They all came to me but I didn't like the struggle . On the other hand, NOW LET ME SEE WHATS THE BIG IDEA just flew in without a pause.
Two wrongs: Sitcom/SATIRE and Scallops/SNOW CRAB. I like Scallops better. So sweet! You have to work like PEONS to get the damn meat out of the legs.
MEGADETH ? who dat says this PRAT. I failed to be chuffed figuring that one out.
I'm a Baby Boomer. Son is a Gen X and our daughter told us, in no uncertain terms, that she's a cusp of the Xennials. She went on to explain that none of her friends wants to be labeled as the Peter Pan generation, full of themselves, lazy and narcissistic. Wow...who would? Our beautiful little granddaughter is Gen. Alpha. I think that's kinda cute. I wonder what she'll be labeled when she's old enough to drive.
NAE NAE will be the new OREO. 4 little vowels.
Loved the clue for MOO. Deportes fooled me. Wasn't looking at that word as a LATINa might.
LIGHT BULB was obvious and the B made me change my scallops to the little CRAB.
Nice Friday romp and so far no one is offended by anything. Phew.

Nelson 9:39 AM  

Please stop saying and writing “_______ is a thing or is not a thing.” It’s time to retire that overused expression. Thanks.

Gulliver Foyle 9:40 AM  

When my first child was born in 1981, there were thirteen other children born in the hospital that day. (In fact the hospital had to send out for additional nursing help.) It was the first time I heard the term "boomer echo."

david 9:46 AM  

Boomer here who never heard the echo. But the name makes sense as they echo their parents disdain for self governance and belief that citizenship is a competition for stuff.

Cato Rosenbaum 9:51 AM  

Ugh, what is it about the boomer generation that makes everything about them? At least millennials gives us an identity that’s not bound to that generation.

Anonymous 10:15 AM  

Yeah, the MOO clue isn’t strictly speaking a “?” clue. The cow is asking a question.

Peter P 10:16 AM  

The term ECHO BOOM as such is not _purely_ in reference to the boomer generation, but also named so because it describes a mini-baby boom that happened in the US after the falling birth rates of the "baby bust" years. It wasn't really a full-fledged boom, per se -- more like a fainter "echo," if you will, but it represented a turn away from the falling birth rates of the late-50s to the mid-70s. The "echo boom" started happening around 1977 and ended around 1990-1992, with the birth rates steadily (but slowly) falling since then.

Also, as they were also often the children of baby boomers, they can be metaphorically thought of as "echo"es in this way, too, but the term combines both the metaphorical aspect of being children of boomers and the literal aspect of them being born during a period of rising birthrates.

Bob Mills 10:17 AM  

Every time I solve a puzzle that seems really hard, Rex says it was easy.

Peter P 10:24 AM  

Here, for example, is an article from a Population Research Institute article in 1995 referencing the "echo boom" in terms of population growth, which is how I learned the term being used in sociology class at that time. Many online sources will simply say they're called "echo boomers" because they're the kids of boomers, but that is not correct, or, at the very least if I'm being charitable, not complete. Besides, it doesn't even really make complete sense, as many of the Echo Boom generation were children of Xers/Busters, not just Boomers. https://www.pop.org/u-s-birth-echo-boom-fades-away/

Karl Grouch 10:25 AM  

https://youtu.be/t77oJ6XrTfU

jberg 10:36 AM  

I liked this one -- especially the long downs, but also the words filling the vacuum inside the LIGHT BULB. It did feel a little musty, though, since it appears to be an incandescent bulb, soon to no longer be a thing.

@Rex, you need to spend more time around cows. That's just the sort of situation where they might well say MOO. Also, the question mark is not to make it a ? clue, but is part of what the cow is thinking.

And then we have MEGADETH, ENID BAGNOLD, John DEERE, and IRAQ WAR all crossing each other. Something for everyone!

@Z, you got me thinking about whether Boyle's Law is PPP -- I mean, sure, it involves the name of a person, but it's also a basic scientific principle. Do we consider OHM to be PPP? Ese, yes. Anyway, I was glad it was in there, because up to then I had pie/GpS, and that fixed it for me.

I liked the litteral image of MCS with MiCS, too.

@Nancy, love your definitions!

Karl Grouch 10:36 AM  

Well, 57d could be "sak" (google can make it a thing, i am sure),
62a "stroke" and you could have your "pangram" (which is not a word of the english language, by thr way)

jberg 10:37 AM  

Oops, posted too soon-- @Lewis, 'reduplicative' is what you get when you redouble your efforts! Loved your pun, though. (It was a pun, right?)

Deus ex Googulus 10:44 AM  

ECHO BOOMERS is definitely a thing. I find 89K references to the term, as opposed to a mere 109kk for MILLENIALS. Something < 1/1000 of a "thing" is definitely a "thing", no? What to you mean NO!? One tenth of one percent of something is on a par with the something, no? Again, what the hell do you mean no? Someone with a $1,090,000 in the bank is as wealthy as someone with $89 in the bank, no? What the hell is wrong with you people, they're exactly the same!

ColoradoCog 11:03 AM  

Sorry, @Nelson, but “is a thing” is most definitely a thing and anybody who wishes to use it should feel free to do. I, for one, enjoy witnessing the constant mutation and evolution of language. That’s why I enjoy crosswords.

Rich Fisler 11:14 AM  

Boyle's law relates the pressure and the volume in a gas at constant temperature, but it was not discovered by Boyle. Boyle stole the work of Towneley and Power who did the work and Hooke who build the apparatus. Boyle was one of the early proponents of peer reviewed research, so he took their work and published it as his own, therefore getting a law named after him that every high school chemistry student learns.

I'm sure that OFL took chemistry in high school so he should know this even without crosswords :-)

Masked and Anonymous 11:19 AM  

I liked this one a lot. Multiple-acre scenic-view lot.
Hi-Lites:

* E-W puzgrid symmetry with grid art. On a FriPuz. And sorta-themed. What else less would one expect, from a Haight-Agard collusion?
* Central runt puzzle. With very solid fillins in that wide-open subgrid, featurin a QW-combo.
* That fabulous MOO clue. It was raised-by-the-cows good. Downright philosophical, too boot.
* Five darlin weeject stacks. Six, if U count that stack of black square threesomes, at the grid bottom. Mostly all that weejecta is an off-shoot of buildin that there central LIGHTBULB dealy. staff weeject pick: TSO.
* Respectable tho hardly milked-too-much U-count of 5. Lil darlins.
* Two BADASS 11-stacks crossed by a WHATSTHEBIGIDEA themer.
* ECHOBOOMERS. Never heard of this, but sounds plausible. Learned somethin new.
* Wanted SITCOM before SATIRE. ASEASYASPIE before ASEASYASABC. Made me feel comforted, cuz I evidently had so much company, on those two mis-splatzes.
* NAENAE. har

Thanx for gangin up on us, Erik & Bruce meisters. Good, funky fun.

Masked & Anonymo5Us



**gruntz**

GHarris 11:29 AM  

Not at all easy for me. In fact, had to abandon solving on paper so that I could resort to the check puzzle feature regularly. Made many of the same errors as did others. First had serial then sitcom before satire,big deal before idea, favor before fancy, lose control before ride shotgun. had to cheat to get the h in megadeth and never heard of oat milk so that required a total cheat. Also, because I considered all the black squares, including those on the periphery I never saw the lightbulb until I sussed the word.

Z 11:34 AM  

@jberg - To me, Boyle’s Law is PPP because knowing who the person is makes it easy for some while knowing only, say, Lara Flynn Boyle might take someone down a Twin Peaks/Men in Black rabbit hole. Knowing the Boyle being referenced matters. As for Ohm, if the clue is the unit I wouldn’t count it as PPP, but if we ever get “Georg Simon ______” (or the like) some Saturday I think it’s fair to count it as PPP.

@Sir Hillary - While I agree with you in the academic context, comments following mine pretty much prove my point that generational labels are frequently misunderstood and easily misused.

Carola 11:36 AM  

A Friday treat, with a pretty grid, an easy start (ADAGE x ATTN), and a clockwise sweep through the LIGHT BULB's corona. Then I had to tackle the BULB itself. Tough! I didn't trust CONQUEST with its Q, didn't know the band, could only think of Blyton.... Eventually, the R in my guess at CRAB got me DEERE and a slow piecing together of the rest. Last in: BID x DEDUCT.

I have to admit to being a dim BULB on one square, though. My capital of South Sudan was nUBA, because it sounded close to Nubian (not that I know exactly where that is) and because it confirmed nAttER. Obviously, the tt's had to go, but I never questioned the n.

Anonymous 11:49 AM  

A thing is definitely a thing but it’s an overused thing, especially on this blog of middle aged white people trying to sound current.

Banana Diaquiri 11:54 AM  

I was getting ready to type in a detail for why it's an ECHO BOOM, but Peter P. did a fine job. not getting back to a computer after my morning java and the NYTX (dead trees division) until about now has its drawbacks. can't claim many firsts. oh well.

Moly Shu 11:55 AM  

I do.

Nelson 12:01 PM  

@CC I love language too that’s why it pains me to see an expression beaten to death.

jb129 12:02 PM  

This wasn't easy for me but that's why I liked it

Cassieopia 12:02 PM  

Hard for me, particularly the SW corner, which was DNF - didn't know Deportes or British retailers. I kept wanting some kind of BaLl instead of BULB and initially went with "pingpongs" 'cause it does look like a ping pong paddle. Really enjoyed solving it and I'm a fan of grid art so double the fun for me, despite difficulty.

RideShotgun: This had very strict rules when my kids were in high school. Once it became clear that we were headed somewhere en masse, whoever shouted "shotgun!" first got the passenger side of the minivan, regardless of who got to the car first. "Shotgun!" could only be invoked en route to the car; it was not acceptable to say "shotgun!" at the dinner table after announcing we were going out for ice cream later. We had to be in motion.

Well, we acquired a Swiss exchange student one semester, an absolutely fantastic young man named Nik, and the kids delighted in teaching him all the Americanisms, including how to play "shotgun!" to obtain the coveted passenger-side seat. One night all five of us were headed out together; Nik and the two kids sprinted towards the minivan, Nik shouting, "Freedom! Liberty!" at the top of his lungs. Upon hearing "Shotgun!" from the winner, he sighed and said, "I knew it had something to do with America!"

jb129 12:06 PM  

Cato - because everything IS about us. Always was & always will be. Grow up, kid!

floatingboy 12:07 PM  

SE corner sucked!! That is all.

Chris 12:16 PM  

Flew through much of it before getting hung up in the West, including dumb mistake on 1D. And despite being a fairly experienced solver BAGNOLD was new to me, so the BID/DEDUCTS crossing took a bit, as I had REDUCES.
Another affirmation here for ECHOHBOOMERS and @PeterP's explanation. More of a demographic term, in my usage, and I'm actually more familiar with them as "shadow boomers" for some reason.

Roo Monster 12:49 PM  

Hey All !
Not AS EASY AS ABC here, since I had pie for ABC, making Boyle's Law Focus be GPS. Har. And South Sudan's capital be yUiA. What do I know of JUBA? Checked my answers here, and FANCY that, NO PIE DAY for me. :-)

@Lewis, awesome.

MOO clue was a "WHATS THE BIG IDEA" TO ME. Clever? Props, maybe. No comment or idea about ECHO BOOMERS. Labels are never good. Even innocent or inoculous ones.

Funny how two animals mean the same thing, APE and Parrot.
STRODE crossing FLOAT.
Just sang The ALPHABET Song searching the puzs letters, and it's a K away from a pangram. C'mon, guys, couldn't get a K in anywhere? Har.

GAZE AT XINGS
RooMonster
DarrinV

Joseph Michael 12:52 PM  

So it’s not a ping pong paddle?

Too many proper nouns, but I enjoyed this overall. Especially liked BAD ASS, NAE NAE. and RIDE SHOTGUN plus all of the dialogue going on.

Rex’s critique of the clue for MOO is like a parody of a parody of a Rex Parker critique.

COIXT RECORDS 12:53 PM  

MEGADETH is BADASS. that is all.

Banana Diaquiri 12:56 PM  

@Cato:
what is it about the boomer generation that makes everything about them?

Cato, Cato, Cato; there you go again. it's about the Boomers for one simple reason: there were so many of us that the economy and the Damn Gummint were seduced into thinking that GDP growth and the Social Safety Net could continue forever. we earned much, spent much, and let ourselves be taxed much. our parents got great retirement, great healthcare, and our kids a cushy lifestyle.

clear enough???

Dawn Urban 1:08 PM  

@ Anonymous 11:49, Age happens. Accept it. You will be middle-aged, then late middle-aged, then elderly someday, if you live long enough. And you will not enjoy being pigeon-holed as less important because you are old.

@ Peter P: I liked learning about the evolution of ECHOBOOMERS, from a Sociological standpoint. It seems that these terms are "survival of the fittest", in that whichever descriptor is repeated often enough, that will become the next go-to adjective.

So, generations are not named from a great scientific consensus??

Teedmn 1:14 PM  

What's the big idea, crossing Enid with "Tender" sez I? I ran the alphabet on Enid's surname and came up with the Scandinavian-looking rAGNOLD. Yeah, Tender didn't equal rID in the least, but neither did BID exactly fit the bill for me. Ah well. If I didn't have a MEGADETH CD in my collection, the center would have been much worse for me.

This puzzle did not make me giBBER - thanks for the ROBUST solve, Mr. Haight and Mr. Agard.

OffTheGrid 1:29 PM  

I liked the parrot/APE combo, too, along with the MOO clue.

Rainbow 1:36 PM  

@Z said "Stop with all the Baby Boomer, Gen X, ECHO BOOMERS crap."

I agree. The labels mean nothing and generalizing based on age groups is just as bad as generalizing based on race, gender, or any other factor.

Ben Silver 1:42 PM  

As a nice little bonus, SELINA is also the name of the main character of Veep, as portrayed by the incomparable JLD!

pabloinnh 1:52 PM  

I was stuck in the middle of the light bulb, the Fortune 500 clue was a mystery, as I know next to nothing about business, so I put everything aside and went out to do yard work. Got on my green-and-yellow John Deere tractor, on which I spend hours and hours in the summer, worked a couple of hours, got off my green-and-yellow John Deer tractor, picked the puzzle back up, filled in DEERE, and administered a fittingly powerful dope slap to my forehead.

Didn't know ECHOBOOMER, but I like it. As a boomer, maybe my sons qualify. NAENAE is a dance I have not seen, so when cha cha didn't work I wanted can can. A scarcity of URNS in a china shop was not a lot of help.

Thought it was a fun Friday, put up enough of a fight to make solving it satisfying. And some great long downs.

Roo Monster 2:22 PM  

Found some place to put that K. SE - SAk/STROkE. A SAK is a brand of backpack. There's your pangram! Aren't you glad I came back to tell you that? Har.

Oh, or even at MkS/kONQUEST, MKS being a Lincoln model, KONQUEST a video game.

Had three writeovers, SerIes-SATIRE, sLurp-FLOAT (thinking verb there, not noun), and an E for SELINe, til the Impressively tough BADASS showed up.

And has anyone explained the GOES clue? WHAT GOES on with sez?? THAT IS TO SAY MOO!, I mean Boo!

ATYN: NOW LET ME SEE, that Anonymous PRAT who keeps saying @LMS is a GAB JABBER, you need to FLOAT away.

RooMonster

Anonymous 2:39 PM  

@Lewis - "MOO clue guy pan" FTW.

valleygirl 2:45 PM  

Sez (says) suggests a slangy answer. "..And then she GOES, ...Whatever...."

GILL I. 3:02 PM  

@Cassie.... Your stories are always a delight to read. I can always count on a laugh!
My SHOTGUN story is actually mean. My middle sister ALWAYS shouted it out at the top of her lungs. We learned that word when we had all arrived fresh off a banana boat from Cuba.
Mom drove this humongous green 1960 Chevy Impala; the front seat was primo. As soon as mom dangled the keys, Marta would yell out her new-found front seat word.
When we left for California (In the green Impala) I told my sister she could have the front seat the whole way as long as she paid me all of the allowance she had saved up for a pair of "real" skates - not those little key ones we used to have. She eagerly agreed; gave me her $12.00 and we shook on it.
All was fine until we left Illinois and headed WEST. My sister had the sun in her face for 4 days straight. She tried the old pillow routine on the windshield but a State Trooper stopped us and said "no can do."
That was my all-time favorite pay back. It still make me laugh.
Viva Freedom!

Z 3:23 PM  

@pabloinnh - We’ve all been there. My first thought was Subway, but I passed the DEERE dealership between Holland and Hamilton enough, with all the giant green and yellow harvesters out front, that it didn’t take me yard work this time.

@Nelson - I empathize, but the thinginess of crossword answers is very much a topic of crossword blogs. As is the “in the languageness” of answers, the relative cross-worthiness of answers, and whether or not the pop culture references are too old or too current. If discussion of these topics, sometimes akin to a how a cow treats her cud, upsets you let me suggest that this comment section may not be a place of enjoyment for you. Beating these dead horses to deader is what we do.

@Lewis - Musian.

Anonymous 3:37 PM  

Z,
That's the second time in the last couple of days you've mentioned Holland?
Are you from there? Reside there? I ask in earnestness, because I had never heard of the place before this Summer, where I had the worst vacation of my life. I really hope you're' a local, because it might explain a lot of things.

(I'm not kidding about any of this)
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Also, I found the left side of the puzzle very difficult. Thanks @Peter for the echo boomer info. Sounds right to me.

AW 3:47 PM  

DNF for me. Way too many names (TED, SELINA, JUBA, BAGNOLD, ESSEX, EBERT, TUPAC, RHYS, PFIZER). Had to resort to "check word" and "check puzzle" and Google to make any headway. Would a cow really refer to itself or its udder as "it" when it MOOed? Nah. And finally there's the truly execrable ECHOBOOMERS. What are they echoing? Don't answer. I don't care. It's just awful. (As for the stupid grid art, I thought it was the female sex symbol. Not helpful in solving.)

XQQQME 3:57 PM  

That’s pretty good.

XQQQME 4:04 PM  

“_______ is not a thing.

XQQQME 4:10 PM  

I’m a senior trying to sound half cool; it’s a thing I do.

XQQQME 4:11 PM  

Hah! Great story.

Z 4:17 PM  

@Anon3:37 - I grew up there. Usually I would say a great place to vacation, a little repressive if one actually lives there (though less repressed than when I was growing up). If only you had asked I could have pointed out the fun things to do there, although it helps if the weather is good. As for what it explains about me, it seems pretty obvious that my left of left of center politics was acquired at the same church where Betsy DeVos got her politics (yep - I had catechism with her sister, Erik was younger and I don’t really remember him). So, go ahead, try to explain someone by where they grew up/live. Have fun.

michiganman 4:32 PM  

A Prince of a family!

(Old black water, keep on rollin')

Anoa Bob 4:50 PM  

Another possible clue for 50D GOES, especially for late in the week puzzles, might be "NOAA weather watcher" or some such. GOES is the acronym for Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. The latest is NOAA's GOES-16, which has only been up and running for the last year or two. Uncle Google can hook you up with some of its stunning views of Earth and weather systems.

Could the Q in the middle of the LIGHT BULB be the filament, the little coil of wire, tungsten I believe, that gets white hot and emits LIGHT?

Gregory Schmidt 5:09 PM  

As usual for me, a slog due to all the authors. (and JUBA). I do sometimes feel as though crosswords are written by and for literature majors (one of which I was NOT). Got stuck in SE because of EASYASpie, but eventually figured it out.

Peter P 5:37 PM  

@Dawn Urban You worte:

"@ Peter P: I liked learning about the evolution of ECHOBOOMERS, from a Sociological standpoint. It seems that these terms are "survival of the fittest", in that whichever descriptor is repeated often enough, that will become the next go-to adjective.

Yes, it pretty much comes down to popular usage. I'm not a sociologist, but when I took the class in undergrad in 1994, the term "Generation X" had somewhat gotten solidified as a name for my generation, thanks to Douglas Copeland's novel of the same name, but in class we were using Strauss & Howe's generational theory works which referred to it as the "13th Gen." And I remember "Baby Busters" being mentioned in S&H and popular media pre-Douglas Copeland as a name for my generation. But, in the end, usage coalesced around "Generation X" as being the most interesting name of the bunch, I guess.

Similarly, in the mid-90s, I remember referring to Millennials most often as Generation Y/Gen Y. It wasn't really until I want to say the early 00s that "Millennials" really caught on as the preferred appellation for that generation.

Now, for the generation after the Millennials, we're in a similar sort of naming limbo. There's a few candidates: Generation Z, the Homeland Generation, the iGeneration/iGen, and a few other ones. It doesn't seem there's a consensus yet.

Anonymous 5:39 PM  

Has anyone mentioned that the "Fortune 500 company whose products have a trademarked green-and-yellow color scheme" is John Deere. DEERE is incomplete. I have a Deere lawn tractor? No, I don't think so.

Art Gridd 5:46 PM  

I think the LIGHTBULB looks more like a face with a square mouth, big nose, and low set ears.

Phil Calbi 5:55 PM  

I’m just wondering. Are we, as NYT crossword puzzle doers, expected to know that JUBA is the capital of South Sudan?
I just looked up JUBA. It sits on the White Nile. Are we supposed to know that also? I remember the days when one needed to know , WHERE SLIGO IS.

Dear John 6:17 PM  

John Deere is the brand name of Deere & Company, an American corporation that manufactures agricultural, construction, and forestry machinery, diesel engines, drivetrains used in heavy equipment, and lawn care equipment.

Yawn Wenner 6:25 PM  

Please limit your posts to the suggested three a day. Of course if it is important then by all means turn this blog into your own jabbering gabfest. Wake me up when that happens, if ever. Thank you.

Bruce Haight 6:29 PM  

One person told me it doesn't look that much like a light bulb- more like a fat person trying to pull on jeans that are way too tight. Glad we didn't go that direction....

Anonymous 6:34 PM  

Just wondering if an acronym for THATISTOSAY is ever used in social media.

Jeff B. 6:53 PM  

Echo Boomer has been a thing for a long time. There was a mini-boom in births when my generation started having children. I agree that too much revolves around boomers, but with this term, there’s a case for it. It’s not so much used to define a generation as it is to recognize changes in birth rates.

Anonymous 7:02 PM  

Z,
Thanks for the candor. The snark was beneath even you. Surely youll concede that ones environment shapes them, no? Hell, thats why geography exists in the academy.

Phil,
I only vaguely remember Sligo from crosswords. I do however know Sligo, Pa. from birding. I finally got my life Henslow's sparrow there this summer.

TomAz 8:50 PM  

late to the party...

Am I the only one who loved the MOO clue? I actually chuckled out loud at it.

I don't think I knew ECHO BOOMER but it was very easily inferrable after a few crosses. Plus it just makes sense.

I didn't like JUBA though, mainly because I didn't know it and it's not very easily inferrable. I had BABBLE for the cross and BUBA seemed plausible. Took me the rest of that corner to see that BABBLE didn't work.



Nancy 9:01 PM  

It seems you can't emerge from the womb these days without a generational moniker being immediately slapped on you. This really is a new development. Gertrude Stein may have used the term "Lost Generation about herself and her literary friends, but I doubt very many people of a comparable age thought of themselves as "Lost." My parents were the right age for "the Greatest Generation" but would hardly have thought of themselves that way. And they both died before Tom Brokaw's book that coined the term was published in 1998. As had most members of that generation by then. Certainly the troops storming Omaha Beach weren't saying to one another: "We gotta take that beach -- after all, we're The Greatest Generation." The first generation to have been dubbed with a moniker almost from birth was probably mine, and that's because, as @Z said, there were so damn many of us. Personally, I don't think this obsessive naming of generations is a particularly good thing. Our society is stratified enough. It was a better world when there were grownups and there were children and that was all you really needed to know.

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