puzzle untimed minutes; meta about 20 minutes (Matt)
Season 3, Episode 8 of the Muller Meta asks us to find a ’70s blues-rock song.
There are five theme entries, the first two of which are linked:
16-A [With 22-Across, appropriate sentiment for this puzzle] = OH BOY, DO I / NEED A DRINK.
The last three are also tied together:
35-A [1985 Billy Idol hit (1)] = REBEL YELL.
51-A [2008 Taylor Swift hit (2)] = WHITE HORSE.
60-A [1961 Marcels hit (3)] = BLUE MOON.
Free-scanning the grid after solving I noticed a number of things that seemed too odd to be total coincidence, but simultaneously felt like they could be completely irrelevant:
*** 1-A references a drink
*** LATTE is in SPLATTER, and symmetrically BUD is in ABU DHABI
*** There are no O’s in the NE quadrant, and only two in the entire right half of the grid, and those two are double in a theme entry
*** the three lower theme entries are one letter away from starting with RED, WHITE and BLUE, and REDS is underneath BLUE
*** REBUSES and TXT FILE (great entry, took me a minute) are symmetrical and could mean something. Isn’t that Across Lite notepad a .txt file? I think it is.
*** The first four letters of REBEL YELL anagram to BEER.
In the end, all of these were indeed completely irrelevant to the meta. I saw that WHITE HORSE would become an alcoholic drink if you change its second word to RUSSIAN, so I wondered if there were a two-word drink starting with the word REBEL. Googling REBEL + ALCOHOLIC DRINK hipped me to the existence of Rebel Yell brand Kentucky Bourbon, and I was off to the races. “Blue Moon” is the name of a prominent beer, so I guessed that there would be a brand of Scotch called “White Horse,” and indeed there is.
Meta solved: the song in question is George Thorogood’s “One Bourbon, One Scotch and One Beer.”
This was an enjoyable meta, though it takes a little bit of Googling time/luck if you’re not up on your whiskey and bourbon brands. But there were enough hints given that it was doable even without a lot of booze knowledge.