puzzle — 7:51 with 2 errors; meta — 1 minute (Matt)
Three Muller Metas in five weeks! I can handle that.
This is Season 4, Episode 2, and it’s an easy one. We’re looking for a classic jazz song, and our first theme entry is a large help:
16-A [Jazz giant on the piano (and composer of the meta)] = THELONIOUS MONK. Hence the 14×14 grid. I have a friend from high school who works at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in L.A.
And at 52-A we have [Jazz giant on the trumpet] = DIZZY GILLESPIE. Now I don’t know whether Gillespie has any connection to the meta answer, but I do know that the meta answer is ROUND MIDNIGHT, since the letters of “midnight” appear both circled and in a circle in the middle of the grid. I think there was a film biopic of this name in the 1980s as well? Correct!
Embarrassingly I don’t know this song, even though Wikipedia tells me it is “the most recorded jazz standard composed by a jazz musician.”
Wiki also tells me that DIZZY GILLESPIE recorded some of the most famous versions of it.
*** My error came in the 9 box, where I put VSRP/VIMEO instead of the correct MIMEO/MSRP clued as [Number on a sticker, briefly] and [Dupe, old-style]. I was thinking the VSOP on bottles of wine (liquor?) and then saw that VIMEO was a word and thought I was good.
*** Oh wait, I see a second mistake now. 1-A was [Japanese electronics company with a TASCAM division] which did hot help at all, but I got TEA? from crossings. Then 4-D was a guess [Jazz vibraphonist Tjader] since his second letter could be either A or O. I put MAL but his name turns out to be CAL.
*** 19-A [“Achtung Baby” co-producer Brian] = ENO. Harkening back to last year’s lovely mega-meta.
*** Some fancy stepping required in the center to get everything to fit, and he did it with only one clunker: [___ Pendragon (legendary British king)]. UTHER Pendragon? I have to know more about someone with this excellent name; I’ll read his Wiki page and give you the most interesting factoid on it. Well, here’s a whole paragraph:
With Aurelius on the throne, Uther leads his brother in arms to Ireland to help Merlin bring the stones of Stonehenge from there to Britain. Later, while Aurelius is ill, Uther leads his army against Vortigern’s son Paschent and his Saxon allies. On the way to the battle, he sees a comet in the shape of a dragon, which Merlin interprets as presaging Aurelius’s death and Uther’s glorious future. Uther wins the battle and takes the epithet “Pendragon”, and returns to find that Aurelius has been poisoned by an assassin. He becomes king and orders the construction of two gold dragons, one of which he uses as his standard.
3.75 stars. As with last year Pete has started us off with a couple of softballs in 2015, but I won’t complain because last year when I did that I failed to get two of three metas in a row, if memory doesn’t fail. See you back here in March.