Muller Monthly Music Meta, April

puzzle 6:19; meta 2 minutes (Matt) 


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.

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9 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, April

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt!

    187 correct this month.

    The ENDS clue referencing the M’s only happened at the last minute – I’ll elaborate in my write-up Tuesday.

  2. Jim S says:

    I got it right, but I was thiiiiiis close to submitting “Shattered Dreams”, given “Fracture” in the title… Kept digging, though, because that didn’t explain the ‘A’ in front of each ‘DREAM’. Not a big Petty fan, so I initially took the title reference to be the meaning of the word ‘petty’ and not the musician (even though, duh, it’s the MMMM!).

    Funny that you mention Hagar, Matt… I was initially trying to shoehorn the VH song “Dreams” in as my answer – it fits at the highest level, but obviously not well enough.

  3. ant says:

    Tom Petty died of an accidental drug overdose, relating to medication he was taking for a hip fracture. So, yeah.
    I actually waited until the last second to submit, hoping a less morbid answer appeared. I was leaning toward Shattered Dreams, by Johnny Hates Jazz, but couldn’t really justify it.

    • Paul Coulter says:

      First thing I noticed was the “hip” fracture at HeresatIP. I thought maybe there was also a broken “nose” in BEAnstalK. Spent quite a while on this rabbit hole before finding the A DREAMs. Tom Petty’s one of my favorites, a musical genius who stayed relevant for a very long time. My daughter’s first concert was when I took her to see Tom Petty, who became one of her favorites, too.

      • Doug M says:

        I saw “hip fracture” as well. Then I “un-fractured” the letters to spell Easter, a song by Marillion released in 1989 which I submitted. Yet another meta I overthought.

  4. BarbaraK says:

    I googled Tom Petty songs right off and saw Breakdown. That led me to the “A Dream”s. But then I spent some time googling for a song about broken dreams before circling back around to that Tom Petty song list.

  5. Dan K says:

    “Man, that video looked so cool when I was 16. Now at 45 it looks hokey. How sad!”

    I think it’s aged pretty well, actually.

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