Muller Monthly Music Meta, October

puzzle 7:17 with one error; meta 3 minutes (Matt) 


Title: “Follow the Directions! (2)”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a famous song.
Answer: “(Take Me Home,) Country Roads” by John Denver

Twinge of painful regret when I saw the title, since the original “Follow the Directions!” in July ruined my perfect year (and I would’ve had it with about 15 minutes longer to solve…but it’s been months, so how could I still be bitter about it? Right?).

Was worried that this might be round 2 of pain, but no: this one is much easier than its (lovely) predecessor, and it fell right away for me. 280 correct solves with a half-hour to deadline, though, so it looks like it played toughish on solvers overall.

Had one mistake in the grid, in box 10, where 10a. [Like some lingerie] had to be (?) RACY with the ?ACY I had. The down I’d never heard of 10d. [“The Hissing of Summer ___” (Joni Mitchell album)] but RAWNS sounds like the last name of someone named Summer who was hissing for some reason. Seems silly now, but there are some extremely silly album titles out there, so I shrugged and went on. But it was LACY and LAWNS, so not a person but actual lawns hissing with summer heat. Fortunately this error didn’t affect my meta solve.

Noticed quickly that LEFT was most of 1a. [Like some chins], CLEFT and then I saw DOWN hidden in 18a. [Squire, in Britain], LANDOWNER. Lower in the grid we had a trio of UPs in COUP, DUPES, and CHALUPA, and then a RIGHT in BRIGHTS.

Going in the relevant direction from those six entries we extract the following:

Go left from the LEFT in CLEFT and you’ve got a C
Go down from the DOWN in LANDOWNER and you’ve got OUNT
Go up from the UP in COUP and you’ve got RY
Go up from the UP in DUPES and you’ve got RO
Go up from the UP in CHALUPA and you’ve got AD
Go right from the RIGHT in BRIGHTS and you’ve got an S

String those together and you’ve got the Appalachian anthem “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver (which is sometimes also just known as “Country Roads” — but as lyric or title it doesn’t matter, click is 100% either way).

Fun clues:

59a. [Wendy’s sandwich with a name that makes it sound like a weapon], the BACONATOR. Which anagrams to a city in Florida. If anyone orders one from a Wendy’s there, please tweet.

20a. [Time to do squat (or not do squats?)], REST DAY.

42d. [White on a board], SHAUN. Ack, I got tricked. I consider these masked capital letter clues something of a specialty of mine but this one nailed me. I had S?AUN before I finally got it.

Fun one, 4.30 stars. OK, 4.29 for making me relive the anguish of July’s miss.

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10 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, October

  1. sharkicicles says:

    This was fun and a quick meta solve for me, which doesn’t normally happen. I also submitted the mega which I had a couple months ago but wanted some confirmation. Dumb move on my part because the penalty isn’t a big deal.

  2. Karen says:

    AARGH! I saw right away the Left Right Up Down in four entries, assumed those were the theme entries, and was stumped for several days. Late today I was taking one last look at it, and suddenly saw C OUNT AD S. Count ads??? Spent an hour trying different things that could mean, and wondering how it could lead to a famous song. How did I not find two other UPs? I should have realized the four I found were not symmetric or longest acrosses, so there could easily be more. Kicking myself pretty hard on this one.

    It’s a very good theme, though.

    • Dan Seidman says:

      I did the same thing, although I eventually did look and find the other two UPs. It seemed so logical that there would be one of each — and COUNT ADS sounds like it could mean something — so it was a while before I decided there must be something more in the grid.

  3. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt!

    280 correct answers this month.

    Eased up on the difficulty this month (given it’s October) but no one seemed to mind :)

  4. Rammy M says:

    BTW, “The Hissing of Summer Lawns” (some great songs there) refers to noise from sprinklers.

  5. FrankieHeck says:

    The title of this one scared me too. Thankfully it was much easier for me than the previous “Directions” one. And as a life-long West Virginian, I was tickled to see our anthem as the answer. (In my excitement, it didn’t even occur to me to submit the entire title. We just call it “Country Roads,” so I’m very happy it was accepted! That would have been embarrassing…) If you’re ever in a bar near WVU and want to hear some mountaineers sing, just play Country Roads (or Sweet Caroline!) on the jukebox.

    That metal version Matt included might give me nightmares…

  6. Pete Muller says:

    I’m always open to critical feedback, but it’s really not fun or fair when people put a “1” rating on a puzzle without any comment or explanation.

    • This is why I periodically remind people:

      /) )╯The Crossword
      / /

      /) ) Fiend ratings
      / |

      ( ) are meaningless.
      / |

      I hope you enjoyed this dance.

  7. LauraB says:

    The reggae cover by Toots and the Maytals is the best.

    • pannonica says:

      Edi Fitzroy’s cover of ‘Hotel California’ is basically the only version of that song I enjoy (Los Lobos’ is okay but underwhelming for such a great band).

      Will start playing at the appropriate time (37:18)

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