Muller Monthly Music Meta, July 2012

puzzle 5:15, meta 1:00 (Matt) 

Welcome to the third edition of the Muller Monthly Music Meta (sign up here if you haven’t already). For July’s puzzle Pete asks us to “join two answers together appropriately to get a song that would make a good title for this puzzle.” Let’s start the meta hunt at our theme clues/answers:

La-la land

19-a. [Shirley Feeney’s roommate] = LAVERNE DEFAZIO. Milwaukee’s best.

24-a. [“Bad Girl” singer and model for a Playboy cover that was voted one of the worst of all time] = LATOYA JACKSON. She’s bad alright!

41-a. [She played Connie Conehead] = LARAINE NEWMAN. Also seen relatively recently in a great “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode.

49-a. [Republican congresswoman with a social conscience created by Garry Trudeau] = LACEY DAVENPORT. New to me, but gettable from the crossings. And not to be confused with this great athlete.

So the first thing we notice is that these are all women whose names begin with the letters LA. LA Women, eh? There is the Doors song “L.A. Woman,” but since Pete tells us to combine two entries for the meta this can’t possibly be the right answer, since you’d need the two-letter word LA to be a grid entry, and WOMAN isn’t anywhere to be seen in the grid besides.

But lookie here: LAW at 59-a and musically-not-geographically-clued O MAN at 40-d do the trick! LAW+OMAN = “L.A. WOMAN,” making that acid rock classic our meta answer for July. Sneaky!

The song is admired by cruciverbalists because Jim Morrison intones “Mr. Mojo Risin'” repeatedly at the end, which is an anagram of his own name. Wordplay in the ’60s: you had to be there! It also features the grammatically-challenged lyric “If they say I never loved you, you know they are a liar.” (OK, technically the song came out in 1971, but stylistically and culturally it’s all ’60s, baby).

14-13-13-14 is an awkward theme pattern to work with, but Pete handles it in an ELEGANT manner: SLAVE LABOR, HOME GAME, I DUNNO, SAN ANTONIO, MUZAK, RED FLAGS, DANNY BOY and LEAPT AT comprise a lot more outstanding entries than you’d expect in a 14-13-13-14. WNET and T-TEST were mystery entries to me, but maybe not to you.

Note that Pete doesn’t give the game away (as I accidentally did in my contest crossword last week with the clue for Kerri STRUG) by cluing DOORS at 35-across as the band, though it’s certainly a nudge on the meta. As is the title, “Girl Group.”

Informative clue: [German conductor Klemperer whose son Werner played Colonel Klink on “Hogan’s Heroes”] Didn’t know he and OTTO were related; Klemperer the younger has 4 ER’s in his name, one more than the guy who won Wimbledon again yesterday.

I would say this month’s MMMM represents a slight uptick in difficulty over the first two months, but Pete still hasn’t lowered the musical hammer on us. Will he do so in August, or continue ramping things up gradually? We’ll find out next month.

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11 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, July 2012

  1. Erik says:

    man, i didn’t even see DOORS in the grid. great stuff pete

  2. Matt Gaffney says:

    I only noticed it while writing the review!

  3. Pete M says:

    Thanks Matt!

    176 correct answers this month. The Doors actually took their name from Huxley’s book “The Doors of Perception” so there was a small hint for some that knew.

    Next month just might get a little harder on the meta side :)

  4. Amy Reynaldo says:

    Aw, how could you miss the DOORS? Pete put it smack dab in the middle of the grid!

    I now pronounce Lacey as “la Cey.” You too?

  5. Patrick says:

    I’m enjoying these puzzles – music is my life. My first thought was that the meta might be Schubert’s ‘Die Forelle’ (four Ls?). But since no trout jumped out at me I moved on.

    By the way, am I correct in that there is no way to save a partially-completed puzzle? I enjoy working on Matt G’s puzzles at a relaxed pace so it’s nice to be able to save and come back later.

  6. Pete Muller says:

    hi Patrick

    If you solve using the Across Lite file that comes with the email, you can save your work and come back to it later. I also hope to have saving for the interactive website puzzle implemented in the next month or two…

  7. what is a cpe exam says:

    Magnificent web site. Lots of helpful info here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks on your effort!

  8. Evad says:

    @what is a cpe exam – Is this an obscure hint towards next month’s “a little harder”meta? If so, thanks for the head start! Hmmmm…”sharing in delicious” does sound like it could be a snatch of lyrics from a popular song. And who are these “buddies ans”?

  9. “Sharing in delicious” should be the slogan for this fine blog :)

  10. Garrett Hildebrand says:

    When I saw DOORS right in the middle of the puzzle, I figured it had to be a Doors number. When I had several of the LA… long answers, I was onto LA Woman. When I got OMAN I knew there had to be a LAW in there somewhere. I just needed to finish the grid to be absolutely sure, or at least the remaining parts with 3-letter words. With the title, it was a definite lock. I like metas like this where you can be sure you have it.

  11. Dannoz says:

    Super puzzle, but may I make one comment? The phrase ‘doors of perception’ made its debut in William Blake’s “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.” Huxley borrowed the phrase, and the Doors borrowed it once again. I suspect Morrison (a fellow UCLA grad) was more influenced by Huxley than Blake, even though Blake was a bit of an eccentric himself.

    Looking forward to the next puzzle. Thanks!

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