Muller Monthly Music Meta, March 2023

puzzle 5:31; meta 18 minutes (Matt)


Title: “Songs of the Year”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a famous band.
Answer: The Four Seasons

Four long theme entries across, so let’s look there first:

20-A: [1984 rock tune that’s often misinterpreted as patriotic] = BORN IN THE USA
27-A: [Chart-topping 1978 disco hit] = MACARTHUR PARK. Polarizing song with lovers and haters. “Someone left a cake out in the rain, but I didn’t know how long to bake it, and I’ll never have that recipe again…”
40-A: [2007 rock hit with a disemvoweled title = THNKSFRTHMMRS. Or “Thanks for the Memories.” Somehow I’m not familiar with this song.
46-A: [1973 chart-topping instrumental rock hit] = FRANKENSTEIN

The puzzle title is “Songs of the Year” and each of these songs’ years is mentioned in the clue, so I went looking at other song/year matchups. There’s 1973 in the clue to 16-A, but not much else panned out there. After trying to connect a few more dots along this line that weren’t connecting, I took a deep breath and stepped back from the puzzle…

…upon which I of course saw the answer immediately. Notice how he never says who actually sang each of the four theme songs? Could be kind of important! So let’s look:

“Born in the USA” = Bruce Springsteen
MacArthur Park = Donna Summer
“Frankenstein” – Edward Winter Group

So Pete has given us the 4 seasons of the year, and that sound you heard over and over this weekend was foreheads being slapped all over the globe when solvers realized that the answer was, you know, the Four Seasons.

Nice little pair of fakeouts there by Pete — excellent early-month resistance level.

Hopefully Frankie Valli will see this meta. He’s still going strong — see concert below from last year at age 87. And if you’re in Hawaii this week, he’s playing a couple of dates there at the piano-key age of 88!

4.50 stars.

This entry was posted in Daily Puzzles and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, March 2023

  1. Eric H says:

    I will probably never again solve a meta as quickly as I did this one; I got the meta answer before I finished filling in the grid.

    It helped immensely that I was in junior high when FRANKENSTEIN was a hit, in college for MACARTHUR PARK*, and in law school for BORN IN THE U.S.A. So getting those was pretty easy.

    I’ve heard of Fall Out Boy, but didn’t know the song. The “disemvoweled” in the clue was extremely helpful in making sense of that answer.

    As I was finishing up, Bruce Springsteen, Donna Summer, and Edgar (or Johnny) Winter popped right out. The Four Seasons peaked when I was a little kid, and their songs always seemed old-fashioned to me, but that was the obvious answer.

    *One could argue that “Chart-topping 1978 disco hit” is not a very helpful clue. Based on what I remember, almost everything topping the charts then was disco.

  2. Pete+Muller says:

    Thanks Matt

    Glad you liked it!
    376 correct this month…based on the comments I got, the longer it took people, the more fun the “aha” moment was…

    • Eric H says:

      As I wrote, my “aha” moment was really quick, but I enjoyed it all the same.

      I’m really enjoying these, and look forward to each month’s installment.

  3. Al Sanders says:

    A case of overthinking on my part. I saw that Spring could be an alternative answer to Rite. Summer could sort of be an alternative answer to Uomo (that was a stretch). Sin was sort of like Fall, that was really a stretch. And I never found a good Winter alternative, but by that point was so convinced it had to be RUSH, I finally submitted that, ignoring the easy and obvious answer which hadn’t occurred to me. Sigh.

  4. mkmf says:

    I was thinking about the meta when I was going to sleep, and all I could remember were the first two themers. I recalled that “Bruce” was in the last down clue, and then I remembered that “Donna” was in the 2-D clue.

    I was so sure I had cracked it and that it would all fall in to place the next morning for the other themers. I kept trying to make that work the next day for the other themers before the head-slap finally came.

  5. Katie+M. says:

    I filled in the grid and looked at the long answers. I knew Springsteen and Winter, and would have to look up THNKSFRTHMMRS. But as far as I knew, Richard Harris sang MACARTHUR PARK. Checking the clue… someone else had covered it 10 years later! So I had to look up that one too. Enjoyable as always.

  6. Betty Romani says:

    Are the Four Seasons really considered a band? I’ve always thought of them as a vocal (doo-wop) group. Thus I wouldn’t even have gotten this even if I had figured out the meta clues.

  7. DB says:

    And Vivaldi is a composer, not a band, so I was only briefly led astray by the four seasons.

Comments are closed.