MMMM, April 2016

puzzle — 7:09; meta — 15 minutes (Matt) 


Season 5, Episode 4 of the Muller Music Meta, and I’m glidin’ like Eric Heiden: 4 for 4, baby! Let’s see what happened.

We’re looking for a well-known band, and the theme entries don’t seem helpful at first glance:

Nice Shootin' (open)

19-A [“Who Can It Be Now?” band] = MEN AT WORK. The music of my youth.

33-A [Early Beatles tune] = IT WON’T BE LONG. Unfamiliar to me. More familiar as part of the chorus to the beautiful Neil Young song “One of These Days”.

48-A [Group named for its tallest member] = FLEETWOOD MAC.

68/76-A [With 76-Across, Beach Boys classic] = DON’T WORRY, BABY.

First thing you notice is that the word TWO is ensconced in each of these four entries; second thing, and appropriately for Masters weekend, is that each of those four TWOs sits underneath a PAR in the grid. 2 under par is of course an eagle, making THE EAGLES our contest answer.

Here’s an old man hitting an eagle (also a hole-in-one) today someplace in Georgia:

This is a clever idea, though a bit of the shine comes off it if you realize it had been done last year by husband-and wife pair Jeff Chen and Jill Denny, who won my Crossword of the Month for it. But duplicate themes happen all the time, so we judge this puzzle on its merits: 4.30 stars. And it still took me 15 minutes to get the meta!

So I’m 4-for-4 in 2016, and you might be as well. Come on Pete, toughen these puppies up! We can take it!

Still unstumped and maybe unstumpable? We’ll find out here next month. Oh, and look: at a final glance I realize that he’s got GOLF at 1-a! Sporting lad!

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20 Responses to MMMM, April 2016

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt

    138 correct answers this month.
    And a whole lot of U2 guessers (also a bunch of JIMMY EAT WORLDs, a band name that includes “TWO”).

  2. Icdogg says:

    Clever (wasn’t even close)

  3. dave glasser says:

    Nice! I saw the TWO but not the PAR. I did figure golf had to be involved (Pete keeps his themers symmetrical) and even vaguely considered the correct answer as a two-related golf term, but ended up flipping a coin between U2 and JIMMY EAT WORLD. (I noted that all the Us in the grid were in the rows adjacent to the TWO rows which I figured had to be relevant somehow. Nope!)

  4. Abide says:

    Masterful indeed. Got this one at the wire.

  5. jps says:

    So why shootin’ instead of shooting in the title? I kept looking for some kind of elision in a band name.

  6. Matthew G. says:

    Nice! Count me among those who saw the TWOs but not the PARs. Was going to submit Boyz II Men as a backup guess, but forgot to do so (not that it mattered).

  7. Flinty Steve says:

    Great meta, Pete! I don’t remember the other puzzle Matt mentions, but I think the resemblance to your own “Stack ‘Em Up” (October 2014) helped my solve. Please know that despite what Mr. Gaffney says above, some of us would be happy not to see these puppies any further toughened . . .

  8. Jeff G. says:

    Loved this one! Just right on the difficulty scale. Perfectly timed with the Masters.

  9. Shuka says:

    Anybody: what was the meaning of the asterisks associated with WIG?

  10. george says:

    Oh no! I’m so bummed. I just got the email from Pete that the writeup was posted, but I never got the email with this month’s meta! I searched my inbox just to confirm, and nothing. Turns out, for some reason this month’s puzzle went to spam. I guess that’s what I get for relying on the puzzles to be emailed. Oh well, it’s not like I was going to win anyway, just too bad I missed out on the fun.

    • Pete Muller says:

      sorry to hear that george.

      The puzzle always comes out on the first Tuesday of the month (except for the extra December one and the January one), so you can always set a calendar reminder. Or tell your spam filter to accept mail from

      And there’s still a chance to win the grand prize drawing. You need to get 9 out of 13 metas to qualify.

      • george says:

        Thanks Pete, I think I’ve fixed it so the emails are white-listed going forward. Not sure why the spam filter decided the April email was no good, a little gmail April fools prank apparently, but going forward I should be ok. Thanks for the puzzles!

  11. ajk says:

    Thank goodness for the N in DONTWORRY that broke the ATWO, ITWO, ETWO O[N]TWO pattern and kept me from pulling the trigger on UTWO long enough to see the real answer. :)

  12. Pete Muller says:

    A new solver emailed to ask me why no one pointed out that EAGLES is actually in the grid, starting right above the K in NEKO and winding. Because no one (including me) noticed! Completely unintentional…

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