meta — DNF in about 6 hours, ugh
Ugh, so painful. I had a 21-month MMMM streak going into this month, and have been taunting Pete to “bring it on” on an almost monthly basis. And now 76 solvers have gotten the 2016 June MMMM, and I’m not one of them.
The title is “Prime Directive,” and I’ve tried everything. I circled the 13 starred entries and looked for patterns. I circled all the prime numbered clues. I circled all the prime numbered letters (2, 3, 5, 7) within the starred clued. Nada. Zippo.
***It’s probably not something spelled out in the fill, since the 13 starred entries are very constricting and I’d be quite surprised if they left any room for fill to affect the meta in any way.
***The clues are slightly weird — all the “repeated lyric 30 or 40 times” references in the first three — but I couldn’t find an in there. But I’d be not-that-surprised if it turns out to be something in the clues since there were some odd phrasings (e.g. referring to MEXico as a “sovereign” country seemed like a pointless extra word).
*** I will also not be surprised if turns out that the six pairs of symmetrically-placed theme entries play off each other in some way, and the contest answer plays off BRICK in the middle in the same way. I can’t make this work but I won’t be surprised if it’s the key.
*** I’m really depressed and annoyed at not getting this. I get e-mails all the time from people who solve my weekly meta at how I “ruined” their weekend with a tough meta, but I completely get it. I’ve been looking at this thing off and on for the past 96 hours and it’s upsetting not to get it, especially since I have a 21-month streak on the line. In the wider scheme of things it’s of course trivial, but that’s not much consolation. I don’t like missing this and seeing that 76 others have gotten it (and seeing their triumphant tweets!) doesn’t help.
My random guess is Stevie Nicks’ “Edge of Seventeen” since it has a prime number in it and “edge” could be crosswordily suggestive. I’m not optimistic.
Alright, someone tell me what I missed it comments. I admit defeat to our Meta Maestro.
POSTSCRIPT: Ugh. I hate myself. Just temporarily, but still. After I submitted my incorrect guess Pete e-mailed me the answer. It was the only thing I hadn’t tried — string the thirteen theme entries together and count the prime numbers from there and they spell out the Police’s DON’T STAND SO CLOSE TO ME. I should’ve had this. I tried everything to do with prime numbers except this. To everyone who’s had this experience with my metas, I’m really sorry. It’s a terrible feeling. Pure anguish.