Title: “Triple Feature”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a song from the ’60s.
Answer: “Love Is All Around” by the Troggs
First thing I noticed while solving is that there is a whole lot of stress on the fill. It’s Pete so he manages to fit some great stuff in like VICODIN, TO AUTUMN, MEZUZAH, CABLE TV and I HOPE SO.
But then, in a grid whose longest entries are just eight letters long, we also have SEL, SAPOTE, TRO, GNAR, TRAC, MKT, UNAPT, AIGLET, and EIS. Many of these could’ve been easily removed, so clearly he had some reason for including them (GNAR/TRO could just be GNAW/TWO, for example).
We get a free hint: the six circled letters in the center of the grid spell AROUND. After a few minutes of grid-scanning, i started to see the theme pattern: around the six fingers of black squares at the edge of the grid, we have symmetrically-placed letter pairs that spell LOV/EIS/ALL and THE/TRO/GGS. Aha! So that’s why we had TRO instead of TWO there. So the answer is LOVE IS ALL AROUND by the Troggs, and the circled squares of AROUND each touch one of those fingers of black squares.
Just 256 correct answers, so for the second month in a row this one played significantly easier for me than for most solvers. Could it be that I’ve finally figured Pete out after all these years!? I won’t get too overconfident.
4.44 stars. Fun and visually appealing. The grid suffered, but that’s metas sometimes.
As I’m sure you can appreciate, this was a challenging one to fill.
As for figuring me out, we’ll see what happens in November :)
As for the low correct solver count of 256 – there were a lot of people who stopped at the AROUND and guessed a song from there…
The fun continues next month!
Wow, this is my worst MMMM year ever. Never heard of the band or the song. Also, solved it electronically and didn’t have the benefit of the circled letters.
Ditto. Saw the tripled letters along with AROUND, but I’m not familiar with the song so I kept looking for something else that wasn’t there.
Well, I got the right answer but was very confused by the breakdown of LOVE/IS/ALL and so I also didn’t understand the title. LOV/EIS/ALL is clearly the intended path but those matching Es from the LOVEs are a slight inelegance to me. Glad I read the write-up…!
Noticing the LOVEs and THEs on top of each other was my entrance to the ‘non-AROUND’
portion of the meta, so I never considered ignoring the last E on the pair of LOVEs, despite the title.
I agree on the LOV-E being slightly inelegant…I tried hard to put LOVATO in there for one of the E’s but I couldn’t make it happen.