We were looking for a song from the 1980s, and with the title “Petty Fractures” I probably wasn’t going to miss this. I believe I owned all of Tom Petty’s albums up until about “Into the Great Wide Open” when they stopped being great. But “Full Moon Fever” was the first album I ever bought, and “Damn the Torpedoes,” “Southern Accents,” both Wilburys albums, “Hard Promises” etc. are all awesome. I remember “The Waiting” being one of the first songs I can recall liking, when I was about 8. I’ll stop now but yeah, I was destined to get this one.
No overt theme noticed as I solved; there were some long entries, like the correctly-monthed APRIL IN PARIS, but they didn’t feel like theme since there weren’t six of them. But I did start to notice a certain pattern of letters appearing in columns, and then hit 68-A, which was [What six M’s in this puzzle grid are, in a way]. Then soon after finishing I realized the contest answer was RUNNIN’ DOWN A DREAM, from 1989’s Full Moon Fever. The letters A DREAM appear in six columns, separated by black squares, and each ending of course at one of those six M’s. See solution grid at above right.
Man, that video looked so cool when I was 16. Now at 45 it looks hokey. How sad!
Surprised to see that only 184 correct answers have come in with 20 minutes before the deadline. Maybe the song isn’t as well known as some others? But with “Petty” in the title and the decade given, and having ADREAM six times vertically, it seems easily Googleable. So why did this play fairly tough? Enlighten me in comments.
Not sure why the other two, non-ADREAM M’s are in the grid. I can see the one in the 4 box being tough to remove, but not the second one in MGM. Could be a secret message I’m not seeing — enlighten me in comments about that, too.
Note the clever musical clue at 10-D: [Gelatinous substance that’s one letter short of a crossword champion]. That’s AGAR, referencing Sammy Hagar of Van Halen, ACPT champion of 1988.
At any rate I’m 4-for-4 this year, and I guess I’d say “Bring it on, Pete” except that quite a few people seem to have missed this one, so I won’t. Meta was fun but the fill suffered from the extreme constraints of those six ADREAMs — ARNICA, AMAH, ELIM, MOTET, ENSE, BOLA, EENIE, ODEA, and ANEROID are a pretty ragged set — so I’ll give this one 4.20 stars.