puzzle -12:27; meta 7 minutes (Matt)
Season 2, Episode 7 of the Muller Monthly Music Meta, and man was this grid tough. 12:27 in Across Lite, which is way longer than any other MMMM, IIRC.
That was partly because I made so many mistakes, like MOLSON instead of LABATT for [“Largest Canadian brewery and maker of “Blue” beer], JUSTA instead of WAITA for [“___ minute, Mr. Postman”], ASAP instead of STAT for [“Yesterday!”], and IPOD instead of NANO for [Music player with a built-in pedometer]. Plus so much trickily vague cluing, like [Unable to function] for SHOT and [Places to contemplate] for ASHRAMS. Plus the meta hint was presented in quote form, always tougher than a normal theme ceteris paribus. Plus a few new-to-me entries in the grid (TALOS, SABU, CLE).
Meta instructions asked for a song with a three-word title (precise, since “a three-word song” isn’t the same thing), and the four-part “Meta Hint” spelled out:
AN ENDING PERHAPS / CAN TRANSFORM / AN OLD HIT INTO / A NEW CHART-TOPPER. So that could go in a lot of directions, but the title “Literal Thinking” might come in handy, and also: check out that 7-letter entry across the middle, BLONDIE clued non-musically as [Dessert bar with a brown sugar base]. Well it’s also a new wave band from back in the day, of course, so let’s start there: Blondie’s only big song with a three-word title is “Heart of Glass,” so I tried to make that work for a minute. Got nowhere. Scanning their greatest hits list I see familiar songs like “Dreaming,” “One Way Or Another” and “The Tide Is High,” but nothing with exactly three words. Maybe BLONDIE being there is a coincidence after all — but wait, there’s “Call Me”as one of Blondie’s biggest hits, and if we engage in “Literal Thinking” as the title suggests, then “Call Me” plus a word meaning “perhaps” — such as “maybe” — would yield Carly Rae Jepsen’s 2011/2012 megahit CALL ME MAYBE, which is this puzzle’s meta answer. Nifty.
4.05 stars. You can make lots of songs by adding a word to other songs — even “Maybe” alone is a famous song — but putting the band name across the middle was a nice nudge and both these songs were #1’s so that’s a little more special.
Several solvers at Lollapuzzoola told me they either had or were about to submit an answer to the mega-meta, so I better sit down and take a look before September’s puzzle! See you then.