puzzle — untimed; meta — about 4 minutes (Matt)
Are you coasting through the Muller Metas so far this year? I am, and with 200+ correct entries for March I see that a lot of you all are as well. But April was the cruelest month last year, so let’s not get too cocky yet.
“Hit Singles” is the title of Season 4, Episode 3, and Pete tell us that we’re looking for either one of two Beatles songs that would make a good seventh theme entry. Let’s take a look at the first six, then:
1-A/6-A [John Coltrane jazz hit] = GIANT/STEPS
20-A [U2 hit written as an homage to Billie Holiday] = ANGEL OF HARLEM
38-A [Fall Out Boy rock hit subtitled “Hotel in NYC”] = TWIN SKELETONS
57-A [1966 hit by the Cyrkle co-written by Paul Simon] = RED RUBBER BALL
70-A/71-A [1998 Madonna hit] = RAY OF/LIGHT
47-D/11-D [1994 Tim McGraw country hit] = INDIAN / OUTLAW. Subtly amusing choice of theme entry, as we’ll see in a second.
Baseball season is nigh, and the common thread here is that each of these six begins with a member of a Major League Baseball team: there’s a San Francisco GIANT, an Anaheim or Los Angeles or wherever they are this season ANGEL, a Minnesota TWIN, a Cincinnati RED, a Tampa Bay RAY, or are they just Tampa Rays now? I know they dropped the “Devil Ray” moniker at some point in favor of just “Ray” — and a Cleveland INDIAN.
So we need one of the two Beatles songs starting with an MLB member, and those two, our meta answers, would be: The not-very-good song “Blue Jay Way” off the otherwise brilliant “Magical Mystery Tour” — see George, that’s why they only let you have two songs per album — and the other one is the great “Rocky Raccoon” off the great White Album. That’s a Colorado Rocky and Toronto Blue Jay.
***So why is it amusing and relevant that Pete chose a Tim McGraw song for a theme entry? Because his father was a pitcher in the Majors for twenty years!
***Tons of theme, as you can see from the solution grid above, but still solid fill. ARKANSAW is suboptimal and I’M A COP is on the contrived side, but other than that we’ve got some fancy stepping to negotiate all that theme: NEW TAB, WON OUT, KIEFER, and FREEZE/SLEAZE crossing at the you-know-what are all nice.
***Favorite clue: [Practices “the art of catching cold and going broke while rapidly heading nowhere at great personal risk”] = SKIS. Who said that? Anonymous, as it turns out.
Easy but fun, and lots of theme, and timely, so 4.10 stars. And steel yourself for April, which I suspect will be tough.