puzzle — untimed; meta — 2 minutes (Matt)
Season 4, Episode 4 of the Muller Music Meta was not the brainbuster I suspected it might be. Which is fine since I had a busy weekend, but makes me a bit fearful for May, since the first four puzzles of the year have been on the easy side.
The title is “Connect Four,” and the prompt is simply that we’re looking for a famous band. Wide-open themeless-looking grid, so wise to look to the one 15-letter spanner for openers: AROUND THE CORNER is the answer, clued as [Coming soon].
And there it is! Around the four corners of the grid we have four relevant surnames:
Roger DALTREY from LADONNA and TREYS
John ENTWISTLE from SILENT W and ISTLE (elegant concealment there, noticing that ENTW was hideable in SILENT W)
Keith MOON from RELLENO and SLOMO
Pete TOWNSHEND from TOWNS and HENDRIX (nice to work Jimi in there)
These were the original members of meta-answer THE WHO, who were a trio by the time I saw them in 1989 (RIP Keith) and a duo when I next saw them in 2007 (RIP John).
***AMY/ REYNALDO! Our fearless blogatrix herself appears, full name, crossing with 2-D [Noted crossword blogger who shares a first name with 16-Across]. Nicely done.
***Top fill: SHANGHAI (but coulda been clued to that Madonna movie), TIE-DYE, TIME POOR, RED ANTS, AMY LEE, NEAR-TERM, ECCE HOMO and RAGE ON.
***Top clues: [Like meta crosswords] for THEMED, [Reduced salt?] for NACL, and [Middle box, sometimes] for TAC.
But anyway, who’s 4/4 on Muller Metas so far in 2015? This guy! I’m taking it to the hoop this year, 12/12 + mega-meta. Yeah, that’s a boast! Let’s see if I can back it up.
4.25 stars — getting those band members to fit around the corners, and the words to fit around them, was tougher than it looks. See you in May, aiming for 5/5.