Muller Monthly Music Meta, March — “Cash Prize”

puzzle 8:11; meta -4 minutes (Matt) 

Fun and easy meta for Season 2, Episode 2 of the “M4” (let’s see if that nickname sticks). It’s a rebus where Pete has placed the keyword FIRE in eight symmetrically balanced squares which form a circle; instructions asked for a hit from the ’60s that describes what can be found in the completed grid.

Considering the path of the FIREs and the title, the meta answer has to be Johnny Cash’s epic RING OF FIRE.

The grid is impressively clean and wide-open, considering the many FIREs it contains. The NE section boasts (FIRE) HAZARDS crossing WORLD ON (FIRE), plus FLY SOLO, OF HELP, OSX, XYZ, OLD IDEA, ICICLES and SA(FIRE) crossing (FIRE)LIT. That’s some elegant stepping there. Its opposite corner is just about as good, with C.P. SNOW (though how does SNOW survive in the ring of fire?) TRIAL BY (FIRE), LARYNX, TABOO, (FIRE) STATION and PALERMO.

Nasty start at 1-across where the clue [Mountain lion or leopard, say] must be BIG CAT, right? Wrong, it’s simply MAMMAL. I’d guess there’s a 70% chance of this specific error being the author’s intention. Oh, well maybe not — now I see that it’s just a play on the clue for 7-a.

Nice theme, very nice grid, easy meta — 4.30 stars. I’m fine with the easy ones, but something tells me these’ll toughen up soon. Bring it on, Pete!

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4 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, March — “Cash Prize”

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt

    212 correct answers this month, plus another 14 that I’m probably going to give half credit to…”Fire” by Jimi Hendrix was a 60’s song, as was “Fire” by Arthur Brown. And one solver found “Play with Fire” by the Stones which sort of works…A few people submitted “Light My Fire” which is a great song, but I can’t see how it describes what is going on in the grid, so no credit there.

    • Matt says:

      I wouldn’t accept any of those alt-entries (“Fire,” “Play With Fire” and “Light My Fire”). None of those take into account the circular pattern of the FIREs, which can’t be just a coincidence, nor do they take into account the title.

  2. klew archer says:

    Agree with Matt about that. Both of you guys were missed at the ACPT.

    • Pete Muller says:

      I think you guys are convincing me…leaning towards no half credit for FIRE or PLAY WITH FIRE

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