Title: “No End in Sight” by Pete Muller
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is hit song from the ’70s.
Answer: “So Far Away” by Carole King
The streak continues! I think it’s at 26 Muller Metas now? I keep forgetting to check but it’s a monster streak for sure. Muller, your powers are useless against me!
Found the idea to this one right away. Pete had used a similar metanism two months ago so I was primed to spot it. I hate when solvers/reviewers mention that I’d used a similar mechanism before, but of course I leap at the opportunity to use it on Pete! It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there. What does that even mean? I don’t know.
Anyway, I saw quickly that the title “End” could be added to a number of entries in the grid to form words ending in -END (how meta is that) outside the grid. The unchallenging 3×3 squares in the California and Maine sections of the grid were the big tipoffs, since Pete really didn’t need to use ATT, DEF, ETA, LAL, and EPT in those corners unless something theme-y was happening.
Answer is: append “END” to eight entries ending at the right or bottom edge of the grid, forming a new word:
Next step: Find an entry whose clue would work for each of those nine:
DEFEND: 20-A [Protect] = SHIELD
ATTEND: 5-A: [Show up] = OUTDO. Nicely played; 2 completely different meanings here for “Show up”
GODSEND: 51-A: [Blessing] = FAVOR
FRIEND: 38-A: [Comrade] = ALLY
DEPEND: 26-D: [Count (on)] = RELY
PORTEND: 53-A: [Foreshadow] = AUGUR
OFFEND: 27-A: [Aggrieve] = WRONG
APPEND: 38-D: [Supplement] = ADD ON. Kudos to the A there, working overtime in both directions. Letter of the day for sure.
LEGEND: 4-D: [King Arthur’s reign, e.g.] = YORE. A bit tenuous but let’s assume he found the best possibility here. Check out how thin the Y section of the dictionary is sometime.
Liked it a lot, as usual. Even past the decade mark Pete is not slowing down with these music metas! I hope they never stop. I’ll blog them as long as he writes them. 4.55 stars.
187 correct this month, so much easier than Novembers in the past.
congrats on keeping the streak going!
I wondered about the PIN and END metas being somewhat related…but thought they were different enough…
I’m pretty impressed that you manage to turn out two of these most weeks!
Two more puzzles to go this year…
One of the most horribly boring Xword puzzles I’ve done all year. Is it time to let this series die a quiet death? So laden with white pop music clues, with no mention of American music genres like blues or jazz. Ugh. The gimmickry for the meta has run its course.
There is a trope in sports that runs “It’s about the money moron.” In crosswords, “It’s about the puzzle.” These puzzles have degenerated in favor of the meta. Please take me off the mailing list.
There’s an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of the emails. I suspect that will be more effective than a comment here in getting yourself off the mailing list.
Personally, I hope that this series does not “die a quiet death” as I still really enjoy it.
But there are so many and such a variety of puzzles these days, I’m sure you’ll have no problem finding others that you’ll enjoy.
I’m so sorry that the puzzles are causing you distress.
I can see how it would be frustrating to solve a crossword and meta and have the answer not resonate with you. If you’d like to be off the mailing list, please respond to any of the MMMM emails and we’ll be happy to take you off the list.
Or, if you like, please email me with a suggestion of some musicians who you would like to see as meta or clue answers, and we’ll see what we can do. It would need to be someone reasonably well-known. As much as I love Arooj Aftab, for example, most people would not have heard of her.
In any case, I sincerely hope that whatever is making you unhappy gets better soon.
Odd you would use the word distress, I did not. I used the adjective “boredom.”
Your offer of suggestions is disingenuous. I tried that a couple of years ago, that the puzzle could use and infusion of jazz, blues and classical musicians. You responded by saying you were content with your puzzles and saw no reason to change.
I did unsubscribe.
I couldn’t disagree more. Keep them coming, Pete. Even after getting the PIN puzzle, I whiffed on this one (and October). I look forward to redemption in December and beyond.
I enjoy these puzzles, Pete. Thanks for making them and please ignore the troll (imagine taking the time to slam something that you paid zero dollars for and no one made you access…)
I really shouldn’t bother, but I will: the fact that some one holds an opinion different from yours does not make them a troll. It means they disagree. It is exactly this level of righteous indignation that will probably have us with a Republican controlled Congress by morning. Also please note I asked to be taken off the mailing list so I don’t continue to receive the puzzles. Remember the trope that “Reading is Fundamental?” Try it some time.
Enjoyed your commentary, Matt, as well as the puzzle – and of course the series – Pete. Look forward to it every month. Fingers crossed you’re already cooking up something for next year!
And if you ever charged for these, I would totally oversp