Muller Monthly Music Meta, December

puzzle — 8:03; meta — DNF (Matt) 

Final Muller Music Meta of the year, and I’m stumped so far (not to mention that I haven’t yet taken a stab at the mega-meta, so someone enlighten me in comments on that). CORRECTION! There’s one more puzzle coming on New Year’s Eve, so DON’T reveal the mega-meta here if you’ve already gotten it.

We’ll try solve-blogging. We’re looking for simply a band, and the solution grid looks like so: mmmm

There are ten clues in the grid that reference (semi)-famous songs and carry a parenthetical describing which of the title’s “Road Trips” we’re talking about, and which song on that road trip’s mix tape (or whatever you kids use now instead of mix tapes):



UPTOWN and HOT DOG for Trip 2;


What band do these ten songs point to? I have no idea. I’ve tried:

***checking the lyrics of the songs for roads/streets.

***taking the first letter of each word in the songs

***I noticed that BALL is backwards in LULLABY, and that CHAINS is the next song, so Ball and CHAIN connection? But nothing

***checking for anything interesting in the lengths of the entries, but no pattern emerges

***looking for clues in the grid, but there’s so much theme I can’t believe there’d be anything.

Plus a bunch of other less likely tries that proved their less-likelihood.

Alright, so I’m stumped for the third time this year. Someone tell me in comments what’s what! For the record, my wild-ass guess was Pearl Jam (because “Ten” songs are mentioned).

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14 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, December

  1. Pete Muller says:

    I’ll let a solver chime in with this month’s solution (50 people got it)

    But ***Please don’t reveal the mega meta…just like last year, there’s one more mega-meta-revealing puzzle New Year’s Eve***



  2. chnest says:

    I also couldn’t get the meta, but I did notice that cities/states seem to be apparent from each song, either mentioned or general reference.

    Take It Easy–Arizona (Winslow)
    Big City–Montana

    Uptown–New York
    Hot Dog–Texas

    Hotel Yorba–Detroit (Where it’s located)
    Iko Iko–New Orleans
    Movin’ Out–New Jersey
    Doctor Wu–Florida (Biscayne Bay)

  3. Paolo P. says:

    Then, connect all those places in separate “trips” on a map, and…
    Well, I’ll let you see for yourself

  4. chnest says:

    Ah. I guess it’s Minneapolis then, not NYC for Prince. I always just assumed he was writing about NYC, but Minneapolis works better for the meta answer :)

  5. Flinty Steve says:

    If anyone’s still wondering, the answer is Nine Inch Nails. If you use the geographical references from the songs and lay out the routes, they form the classic NIN [last N backwards] logo.

  6. Matt Gaffney says:

    Damn, that’s excellent! 5 stars. Wish very much that I’d solved it.

  7. Shawn P says:

    I was expecting you to get this especially after your meta last week which was map related. I didn’t get yours, but already had the map of the US out, so this one wasn’t such a stretch for me.

  8. Matt Gaffney says:

    Shawn — not to make excuses but I was pressed for time this week and didn’t get to spend as much time on this as I would have liked. Which really irritates me now since 1)the aha moment would have been awesome and 2)I think I would have gotten it eventually.

  9. Bencoe says:

    Yeah, the complexity of the theme material here was pretty amazing. Finding the geographical locations necessary to map out the answer in songs, and then fitting those songs into the grid, must have been pretty tough.
    For the record, “Winslow, Arizona” was the key to this solve for me.

  10. genefaba says:

    Same for me with Winslow. I thought, Pete picked Take it Easy because of Winslow. That led me to realize that there was a West coast tour, a midwest tour and an East coast tour. It was quick to thing, what does that look like. Very enjoyable, Pete. Thanks

  11. Pete Muller says:

    Take it Easy was indeed the seed entry

  12. Abide says:

    I think this is the Gaffney POM winner for December. Thinking US map definitely helped me crack this pretty quickly. Bonus: Hadn’t heard Doctor Wu in many decades, now my “new old favorite” song.

  13. Jeff G. says:

    I was very glad to get this one, especially since I missed Matt’s surrounding states last week. Very well done! Thanks Pete!

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