Muller Music Meta, April

puzzle untimed; meta: 3 mins (Matt)


Title: “Initial Reaction”
Prompt: One of the letters in the grid needs to be changed to make the theme consistent. The meta answer is the theme-related word made with the change.
Answer: KING

Only 375 right answers this week, so somehow this played much tougher than I’d thought it would. Was a gimme for me, and I’d be interested to hear where others got thrown off track.

We had four long theme entries in a pinwheel pattern:

16-A: [“My Prerogative”] singer = BOBBY BROWN. Ah, high school.
10-D: [“A Whale of a Tale” singer in a 1954 movie”] = KIRK DOUGLAS. I didn’t know he sang, or maybe this was a one-off.
59-A: [“Wrecking Ball” singer”] = MILEY CYRUS
24-D: [“Mercedes Benz” singer] = JANIS JOPLIN

With a nudge from the title, let’s take the initials of these four and see what happens;


Music meta so must be B.B. KING, K.D. LANG, M.C. HAMMER, and J.J. CALE. And indeed there’s LANG in the grid at 48-A with a musical clue to boot: [“Auld ___ Syne”].

Looking further we have CALE at 58-A [NASCAR Hall of Famer Yarborough] and HAMMER at 44-D [Part of a 50-Down] and 50-Down was PIANO.

So we’re missing a KING, and from the instructions we could guess that there would be an entry one letter off from KING in the grid. There it is at 8-D, the alliterative [Very valuable vase] for MING. So KING is our contest answer.

So again a quick solve for me, and I’d be interested in hearing what tripped up so many solvers.

4.10 stars. 4/4 for me with a streak of I think 21 MMMMs but I’ll have to check that. See you back here for May.

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Muller Music Meta, April

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt!

    One of those where it was easy if you saw it, I guess. 375 correct this month …

  2. Jim S. says:

    I almost threw in the towel after struggling. I KNEW those 4 names had to be the key, but when it didn’t jump out I looked elsewhere – other initials in the grid like LMFAO, ASAP, SAS, NES, words with some initials but not all like UVA, TAS, TMEN, EMONEY. Then I magically said “MC” and Hammer came to mind, then KD and lang and I was off to the races. Wasn’t familiar with JJ Cole, but it was the most obvious intersector of JANISJOPLIN that a quick google search confirmed.

    Is ASAP Rocky not well-known enough to have clued him? I thought “Pete definitely would have used a music clue there, but maybe he wants us to think of the initials instead of the name”. That was the opposite, though, for LMFAO (though I’d like to see what a clue for the spelled out version of that would look like :) ).

  3. david glasser says:

    note that the last name crossed the theme entry, too.

  4. Tony says:

    I actually had more trouble filling in the puzzle than getting the meta. I saw LANG by KIRK DOUGLAS and then found the rest in short order. I had never heard of stand up paddle boarding let alone SUP.

Comments are closed.