Muller Monthly Music Meta, November

puzzle — 7-something (Matt) 
meta — 5 minutes 



Season 5, Episode 11 and our instructions ask us to find a well-known musician. Our title is “Putting It Back Together.” Our theme entries are…not obvious.

There are two 9-letter entries, TONI BASIL and CALL SIGNS. Then there are some 8’s and a bunch of 7’s. None of it really felt like theme, so l free-scanned the grid.

I had reversals in mind from the title, and those 1st, 8th, and 15th rows jumped out with their four three-letter entries. Reverse each and you get a famous song:

NED RAG TER CES becomes “Secret Garden”
EVO LFO LEN NUT becomes “Tunnel of Love”
CAL LID ACK NIP becomes “Pink Cadillac”

And each of these is by contest answer BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.

Quick solve for me personally, but with 127 right answers just before the deadline it looks to be about average in terms of difficulty.

Amusing observations:

Fitting title to this one.

TONI BASIL at 34-D is almost a reversal of LISA BONET.

LADY GAGA at 39-D is almost an anagram of AMYGDALA.

I have this nagging feeling that I’m missing an extra Mullerian hint somewhere, like when he snuck JONI MITCHELL’s name into the grid as an extra hint not long ago. If it exists and you find it, tell me in comments where.

Also in comments, tell Pete how you feel about the MMMM series. Season 5 is nearing its grand finale, and as far as I know Season 6 has not yet been announced. So perhaps a good time for heartfelt and public expressions of enthusiasm.

4.35 stars.

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10 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, November

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt

    Two more answers in under the deadline for a total of 129 this month.

    No extra Mullerian hints.

    Big thanks to my good friend Matt Ginsberg for writing a program to check my song database for titles that could be read backwards using valid grid entries. It would have been pretty tough to find this meta without his help!

    It’s not a huge list, and it’s pretty surprising that Bruce has three 12-letter songs that work.

  2. dave glasser says:

    Oh man! I noticed the 3s and that they were all clued musically, but somehow despite the in retrospect well-clued-by-title simplicity of extraction missed it.

    I spent most of my time focused on the first syllables of strange entries ONEBALL and WONABET…

  3. pannonica says:

    Wasn’t able to work on this one in time, not sure I would have gotten it.

    Commenting to mention that 25a could have been another musical clue, albeit with a “with ‘the’” qualifier. The IGUANAS are sort of like a New Orleans version of Los Lobos.

  4. Jim S says:

    Never had a chance – I’m no Flo Rida fan so I guessed “Act”. Combine that with Adele’s “Ask” and I got K and T in that square (Ack just didn’t look possible). Scoured the rest of the grid for other squares with multiple letters to no avail, so I submitted KT Tunstall.

  5. sharkicicles says:

    I have a terrible record on the MMMM this year, but got this one before finishing the puzzle.

    Count me in as someone who’d like to see another year.

  6. Chris Popp says:

    In response to Matt’s request, I’d like to go on the record in saying how much I love the MMMM. I’m amazed each month by the elegance and ingenuity of Pete’s metas. And as a big music fan, I love how the puzzles tie in so much great musical content.

    So Pete, I definitely hope you continue the series. And I’m really looking forward to the reveal of this year’s mega-meta; I’ve looked at the entries, but not been able to crack it yet.

  7. Jeff G. says:

    I wasn’t able to crack this one, but I always enjoy the challenge. Excellent puzzle, so simple when you see the solution. Nice to see Dr. Fill helping out with the theme entries! Would love to have the MMMM continue on for many years! Thanks Pete!

  8. Mike W says:

    Count me in as a fan of Pete’s puzzles. I am not a music fan at all, but I really appreciate both the elegance and cleverness of the metas. I measure the success of a meta puzzle by the satisfaction of the “aha moment”. The last two months have been particularly fun. Looking forward to continued (and solving the 2016 mega-meta).

  9. rachaar says:

    After a few rough months, I got this one! Huge relief. I was starting to feel pretty dumb.

    Another enormous fan of the MMMM here. Even when I don’t get the meta, I’m always rendered speechless by how clever the puzzles and metas are. Encore, encore! I want to keep looking forward to the first Tuesday of the month for a long time to come!

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