Muller Monthly Music Meta, May

puzzle 5:49; meta 18-20 minutes (Matt) 


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.

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17 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, May

  1. David Glasser says:

    Went through exactly the same thought process, including mentioning the Heartbreakers in my comment when submitting.

  2. jps says:

    I saw all the body parts and immediately thought of another song that is a body part: “Legs” by ZZ Top. I checked to see if they were in the HoF. They are, so I submitted them as my answer and was surprised it wasn’t right. I like my answer better.

  3. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt!

    In hindsight I wish I had put numbers (1)-(5) next to the theme entries to make the answer unambiguous.

    I am considering giving partial credit to solvers who submitted ZZ TOP (for ‘Legs’) or THE FACES. I had at least one person find HEART but submit ZZ TOP, which shouldn’t happen.

  4. Howard B says:

    Nope, couldn’t find this one this month, oh well. Nicely done!

  5. Eric Conrad says:

    I answered Nirvana.

    Here are the answers that lead me there:

    – SMELL and SPIRIT (Smells like Teen Spirit)
    – LOVE STRONG (Courtney Love spoke at their induction into the Hall of Fame)
    – PURE HEROINE (LORDE sang at their induction)
    – JUSTFRIENDS/FOUNDATION (“I’m so happy/because today I found my friends/they’re in my head” – Lyrics from Lithium, sang at their induction). Can even cover AHEAD (5 across).

    It didn’t fit the title well, which should have been my clue. I guessed that referring to multiple songs from their catalog explained that.

    That is the strongest signal I’ve ever seen from an incorrect meta answer.

  6. Jim S says:

    Completely missed the anagram part, so I scoured the chronological list of inductees. Unfortunately, Heart was fairly recent so it took some time; fortunately, there was only one that was a one-word body part so I got it right. Also fortunately, I learned a lot about the various categories, multiple inductees, etc. – it’s more similar to a sports HOF than I knew, with more than just famous musicians / bands inducted. 4 stars from me.

  7. Rammy M says:

    I’m the guy, Pete, let me plead my case.
    I found that each album “Has a Song” that is a body part that is “Plural”
    I did find the group Heart which is a (not “has a”) body part that is single (not plural), but does have a song “skin and bones”. That didn’t convince me.
    I thought ZZ Top was a better fit (ignoring the initials, which I missed until it was too late), that group Has A Plural body part song, one of their most well known songs.
    Is that enough? Perhaps not, but Pete did something super misleading. The answer “mezzo” has a ZZ at the Top of that section of the grid.
    Not only that … the universe gave me a sign! On the way to work I saw Ford Zx2 (I’m not a car guy, so I’d never heard of that before). How could I not submit that answer?

    • Mike Lewis says:

      This is almost identical to my thought process. I considered both Faces and Heart (and I think I said so in my submission), but the theme entries pointed to *song titles* named after plural body parts, rather than bands. As soon as I thought of ZZ Top, I had that “aha moment” that solving a meta brings…

      • Bob D. says:

        Ditto for me. The ZZ Top – “Legs” connection was too strong to pass up, especially without any numbered indication to anagram. If Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers deserves full credit, so should ZZ Top.

        • Pete Muller says:

          I gave people that sent in ZZ TOP 2 points, and HEART 3 points. I originally was going to give only 2 points for the meta, so in a sense ZZ TOP submissions are getting full credit.

          The one knock on ZZ TOP is that all of the theme entries are albums, not artists. So if “Legs” was the song to find, it would have made more sense for the answer to be “Eliminator.”

          Next time I’ll use (1)-(5) to avoid confusion!

  8. Gene Faba says:

    I was also struck with the plural issue before seeing the initials. But then I realized that the other plurals are in fact plurals in a single body where there is only one heart. My second guess was Talking Heads.

  9. Norm H says:

    I am one of the ZZ Top answerers, despite also thinking of Heart and The Faces. I had an email exchange last week with Pete on this, and my logic was identical to that of Rammy M and Mike Lewis. One thing I have not checked (and will not) is whether there are any other “plural body part song titles” by other bands in the RARHOF. If there are, it would weaken the case for ZZ Top.

  10. George says:

    I was surprised to see the anagram bit when reading this, I didn’t even catch that aspect. I noticed that each of the albums had a track with a one-word title that was a body part. Read the list of HoF inductees, saw Heart, it was the only one-word band name I saw. The fact it doubly connected via anagram is even more impressive.

  11. JeffP says:

    What was the point of the clue with ***, with the answer of “bake”?

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