Getting tougher — just 119 correct answers to May’s Muller Music Meta with less than an hour to go before deadline. This one fell quickly for me, though — let’s take a look.
Our title is “Body of Work,” and Pete tells us that we’re looking for a Band in the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. So here is a list of our possibles, and let’s see what we’ve got to work with.
Identity of the theme entries was non-trivial to suss out; there are four long acrosses, but also six long downs. But the four acrosses are clued similarly (to specific albums) and Pete has a knack for semi-miraculously sneaking long fill among theme entries, so I figured (correctly, as it turned out) that those six long downs were fill. So those four long acrosses, plus the center entry SPIRIT, which is clued similarly to the other four, were our theme:
16-A [2011 Christina Perri album] = LOVE STRONG. Never heard of her.
22-A [2013 album by 12-Down] = PURE HEROINE, crossing 12-D LORDE at the E. Heard of her.
35-A [1998 album by 46-Down] = SPIRIT, by 46-D JEWEL. Heard of her.
46-A [2005 movie soundtrack album] = JUST FRIENDS Didn’t see it.
55-A [2008 album by Zac Brown Band, with “The”] = FOUNDATION.
Didn’t see anything in the album names themselves, so checked out each one’s Wikipedia page, and knew I must be on the right track when I saw that “Love Strong” contains a song called “Arms,” and then “Pure Heroine” has a song called “Ribs.” Adrenaline flowing now. “Spirit” has a song called “Hands” (a top 10 hit, in fact); “Just Friends” contains a song called “Eyes,” and “The Foundation” has a song called “Toes” (also a hit).
Take the first letter of those body parts and you’ve got ARHET, which anagrams to contest answer HEART.
Choosing this song since I’ve always thought a mortgage company should hire Heart to sing this in an ad, interpreted as “How do I get you a loan?”
I did pause for about five minutes before submitting my answer, since I thought it was odd that we had to randomly anagram the five letters. Not that it was a challenge, but I would’ve expected Pete to use parenthetical numbers or some other device to indicate the anagram. So I went looking for other possibilities in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and noticed Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Hmmm, I thought — “break” could be a cryptic clue hint that HEART needs to be anagrammed, so maybe it’s the Heartbreakers? This is a pretty strong alternate answer, and I wonder how many solvers submitted it. Ultimately I decided to keep it simple with HEART, and my entry was verified as correct soon after I submitted it.
This was a decent meta, though I didn’t know most of the songs. Easy enough to Google, though. Small ding for the randomgram combined with the Heartbreakers ambiguity. But mostly smooth sailing. 4.15 stars.