Muller Monthly Music Meta, February

puzzle untimed; meta: 5 mins (Matt)


Title: “Rhyme Scheme”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a famous band.
Answer: ABBA

Excellent “Month 2”-level puzzle from our Meta-Maestro. Easy but not a gimme, and (if you’re like me), the answer was the *second* thing you tried, not the first.

Our four theme entries are all nonsensical, four-word entries with a certain rhyme pattern:

17-A: [Cable contract that doesn’t charge for Marvel movies?] = STAN LEE FREE PLAN
25-A: [Rattled a large luau chef?] = SHOOK BIG PIG COOK
42-A: [Something you might witness at Benihana’s new Chinese soup chain?] = SICK HOT POT TRICK
56-A: [Beginning of yours truly’s passion for meat-themed neckwear?] = MY FIRST WURST TIE

So naturally my first thought was: find a band with a four-word name that uses that same rhyme scheme. Brainstormed for a few moments and found nothing, so I naturally decided to let Google do my thinking for me: search for four-word band names, and of course there are a number of such lists because Internet. But to my dismay, none of them displayed the required structure.

Puzzled, I took a step back and thought: what band could I be missing with that A-B-B-A pattern?


So it’s ABBA, of course! You’re not looking for another band with that rhyme scheme, you’re looking at the rhyme scheme itself! What a delightful, unique idea for a “Month 2” easy meta. Just a little “crunch” (I hate that term but I don’t know a better one) to put it above being a gimme, and a nice head-desk moment once you’ve got it. Bravo.

4.70 stars. Easy but elegant! 2-for-2 for this guy and for you as well, most likely. See you back here in March when I bet the heat will turn up just a bit. Be ready!

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9 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, February

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt!

    509 correct this week.
    You weren’t the only one to report spending time looking for ABBA-rhyme scheme band names.

  2. Jim S says:

    Count me as another. I even scoured the music on my phone, saw ABBA there, said “well, if you pronounce the letters it fits, but that’s not how you say ‘ABBA’”, spent another 5-10 minutes scouring the rest of my music and other lists, before seeing the puzzle title and taking it literally. Excellent meta with that clear “click” (and head-desk moment as well).

  3. BryanF says:

    ARGH! I totally missed the release of the puzzle (I really should sign up) and got to the puzzle today and went down a whole rabbit hole of looking for rhyming words to the main theme answers (CYAN for STAN/PLAN; AFEE for LEE/FREE; etc. It worked for almost all except BIG/PIG). Stumped, I finally went simple and wrote out the rhyming scheme and had the aha moment. I excitedly went to submit my answer only to realize that the contest had already closed. DOH!

  4. Rachael says:

    My husband was the one who got ABBA after I described to him that I needed a band with an “ABBA rhyme scheme.” I’m so pleased that I wasn’t the only one who needed a little extra nudge. :)

  5. Flinty Steve says:

    I’m the one who saw the title and said “I bet it’s ABBA.” (I still solved before submitting.) Sometimes being an English prof. is pretty okay.

  6. Me says:

    I did the same: looked for four-word band names then had that satisfying “Aha!” when ABBA clicked into place. A 5-star puzzle for me!

  7. wesley says:

    why not call this what it is? the monthly white people’s popular music meta. jazz? rare. blues? occasional. rap? yeah, if it conveys a hint of hipness. so lame.

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