puzzle — untimed; meta — 2 minutes (Matt)
Season 4, Episode 4 of the Muller Music Meta was not the brainbuster I suspected it might be. Which is fine since I had a busy weekend, but makes me a bit fearful for May, since the first four puzzles of the year have been on the easy side.
The title is “Connect Four,” and the prompt is simply that we’re looking for a famous band. Wide-open themeless-looking grid, so wise to look to the one 15-letter spanner for openers: AROUND THE CORNER is the answer, clued as [Coming soon].
And there it is! Around the four corners of the grid we have four relevant surnames:
Roger DALTREY from LADONNA and TREYS
John ENTWISTLE from SILENT W and ISTLE (elegant concealment there, noticing that ENTW was hideable in SILENT W)
Keith MOON from RELLENO and SLOMO
Pete TOWNSHEND from TOWNS and HENDRIX (nice to work Jimi in there)
These were the original members of meta-answer THE WHO, who were a trio by the time I saw them in 1989 (RIP Keith) and a duo when I next saw them in 2007 (RIP John).
***AMY/ REYNALDO! Our fearless blogatrix herself appears, full name, crossing with 2-D [Noted crossword blogger who shares a first name with 16-Across]. Nicely done.
***Top fill: SHANGHAI (but coulda been clued to that Madonna movie), TIE-DYE, TIME POOR, RED ANTS, AMY LEE, NEAR-TERM, ECCE HOMO and RAGE ON.
***Top clues: [Like meta crosswords] for THEMED, [Reduced salt?] for NACL, and [Middle box, sometimes] for TAC.
But anyway, who’s 4/4 on Muller Metas so far in 2015? This guy! I’m taking it to the hoop this year, 12/12 + mega-meta. Yeah, that’s a boast! Let’s see if I can back it up.
4.25 stars — getting those band members to fit around the corners, and the words to fit around them, was tougher than it looks. See you in May, aiming for 5/5.
180 correct this month.
Might have to up the difficulty next month :)
Wow – it’s so quiet in here . . . but I’ll say it: great puzzle, Pete! I love your metas. This one reminded me of one of your best ever, June 2013’s “Religious Inscription.” I would love to make Matt’s boast, but where these puzzles are concerned I’m a jinxophobe.
I was wondering about the lack of comments too…
must be the weather :)
*sigh* I initially tried to make something of (first, directly, later via anagram) the two letters orthogonally bracing each corner square, then the limning triads, then I forgot to revisit the puzzle. Kicking myself.
I am terrible at these music metas and am 4 for 4 this year. I feel like I’m getting snowed but just don’t realize it yet. I found this one pretty quickly with the middle fill hint and the unusual black squares in the corners leading me to the names.
This was a great moment of discovery. Just everything (title, corners, names) all at once in a flood after some initial flailing. Great design!!!
I’m pretty sure Pete is just trying to lull us into a false sense of security before he smacks us around for the remaining 2/3 of the year. :)
Loved this puzzle. Took me longer than I would’ve liked to figure it out – I was looking “around the corner” in the wrong direction and trying to figure out if the three letters surrounding each corner black square were meant to be initials. Spoiler: they weren’t.