Muller Mega-Meta, 2023

Title: “???” by Pete Muller



I (Matt) am not able to blog this tonight, so we’re going to Frankenblog this with perhaps several bloggers/commenters adding to provide a full picture of this year-ending meta from Pete. Hopefully a grid and further info to come!

From solver Hector Pefo:

Just a quick post — I hope others can add details and reflections in the comments.

This Mega Meta Reveal puzzle tells us to NAME THAT TUNE by asking, MAY I HAVE A WORD (it also spells out the Red Herring answer of APPLE RECORDS).

The mechanism that hides the Mega Meta answers (two song titles from 1973) is the same that Pete used to hide lines from the lyrics of those songs in the regular monthly meta puzzles this year. Some entries are clued as being part of a “lyric from a 2022 song,” and others as part of a “song lyric from 1967.” Looking up and listing the song titles in both groups, we see that taking a word from each title, in grid order, produces AMERICAN PIE on the one hand, and I’D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD, on the other. These Don Maclean and Ten Years After hits are the Mega Meta answers. Knowing which words to pick from the titles was down to your ability to spot the familiar titles and lyrics — so it was a big help that I’d grown up playing these songs on the guitar. That was a long, long time ago, but “I can still remember how that music used to make me smile.”

Thanks to Pete for another great year of puzzles! Solvers, maybe you’d love to change the world, but don’t know what to do; if so, I’ll leave it up to you to please go over to Pete’s site for instructions on how to contribute financially to the MMMM’s supporting a worthy charity. If enough of us do that, he’s willing to provide another year of this wonderful series of puzzles and accompanying music videos of his own band’s performances (they are really good).

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

15 Responses to Muller Mega-Meta, 2023

  1. Eric H. says:

    I had the right mechanism, even though I didn’t fully understand the second step instruction of MAY I HAVE A WORD.

    Looking at my list of song titles, AMERICAN PIE jumped right out at me. But despite trying various combinations of words from other titles, I couldn’t find another 1970s song title.

    It’s pretty cool that I’D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD uses words from the six other songs whose lyrics are in the clues, and that those songs are in the correct grid order to produce the title.

    I’d completely forgotten about that song, though. Listening to it now, they lost me with the second line’s references to “Dykes and fairies.” Yeah, it was a different time then, but sometimes, it’s better to leave the past in the past.

  2. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks all-

    Was a really fun year!

    50 solvers cracked the mega-meta early, and 92 more got it after this reveal for a total of 142.

    @Eric H – that is a crazy lyric. In the band’s defense, from what I can tell they’re a bunch of tolerant hippies, and the line was meant ironically to talk about what people were saying about them. Still, when we did the cover we rewrote the lyric!

    Thanks to everyone that played this year. We are super close to our fundraising goal, so I’d say it’s a pretty good bet there will be an MMMM next year.

    Happy holidays!


    • Eric H. says:

      Thanks, Pete.

      I’m looking forward to hearing your band cover that song. (I did consider that they used those terms ironically, but still . . .)

      I hope there will be a MMMM next year. I’ve enjoyed doing the puzzles and building my meta-solving skills.

    • Amanda says:

      Pete, maybe you could do a mega-mega-meta in 2033 where we use the 10 mega-metas from the past decade to find another one!

  3. Adam Rosenfield says:

    Another hint throughout the year was that if you take the first letters of the band names of the lyrics, you get the clue phrase ONE WORD A TUNE:

    [O]K Go
    The [R]olling Stones
    Tayler [D]ane
    [A]rctic Monkeys
    [T]wisted Sister
    [N]aked Eyes


    Randy [N]ewman
    [E]merson, Lake & Palmer
    Jessie [W]are
    Rita [O]ra
    The [D]oobie Brothers
    The [T]emptations
    Gloria [E]stefan

    • Eric H. says:

      Gah! I can’t believe that Pete used a Fill in the Blank song lyric clue in every puzzle and I didn’t notice until you whacked me over the head with it. I should’ve noticed because it’s odd to clue a song lyric without mentioning at least the name of the artist.

      That probably explains why I didn’t solve the mega-meta early, though I’m still not sure how ONE WORD A TUNE gets you to AMERICAN PIE/I’D LOVE TO CHANGE THE WORLD. But no doubt Pete will explain it all tomorrow.

      • Adam Rosenfield says:

        This part was trickier. You had to pick one word out of each of the song titles referenced by those lyrics to make a lyric from the mega-meta answer:

        [Don’t] Look Back in Anger
        You [Know] You’re Right
        [What] It’s Like
        (If You’re Wondering If I Want You [to]) I Want You To

        To make the lyric “Don’t know what to do so I’ll leave it up to you” from “I’d Love to Change the World”.

        And likewise “If [I] Don’t Have You”, “You [Can] Leave Your Hat On”, etc. to make the lyric “I can still remember how that music used to make me smile” from “American Pie”.

        • Eric H. says:


          I might have figured that out if I had noticed the lyrics clues. But I never put enough effort into trying to solve the mega-meta.

      • jefe says:

        2 FITBs from each puzzle, well actually 3 for Jan-May for the red herring. Here’s my spreadsheet if you’re curious:

        • Eric H. says:

          Thanks for sharing that.

          Now I’m even more in awe of Pete Muller’s puzzle-making skills — and chagrined that I didn’t notice those clues.

  4. LuckyGuest says:

    Yeah, I got the ONE WORD A TUNE a couple months ago, but parsed it as “a one-word song title that begins with ‘A’.” I submitted Anticipation/Amie. Wrong. Year over.

    • BarbaraK says:

      You know you’re allowed multiple guesses for the mega meta, right? You just lose a point or two for each wrong guess.

      I also had the ONE WORD A TUNE thing for quite a while before I figured out what to do with it.

  5. Rammy M says:

    Starting mid-year-ish, because of
    “lyric from a [year] song,” and
    “song lyric from [year].”

    I thought we were looking for two songs where you flip the order of words in the title.
    And since we had the same the initial of the two bands (Oasis/Orleans, etc) I thought we were looking for (basically) a two word title, with the same initials.

    I would have tried “Love Train” and “Train Love” (for example) If there was such a song, but I would have preferred something like “Monster Mash” and “Mash Monster”

    And, believe it or not, I found a pair of songs like that from the 70s! One, to me at least, certainly well known enough, the other, at least the band is well known. I didn’t submit them, and did find the right answer. But I’ll let you all try to find any pair of songs like that, and I’ll be back by the end of the week (year) to share my answer.

  6. Rammy M says:

    Well, this is now off of the first page, and soon off the second, so maybe no one will see it.

    My “Song titles with switched order of words”, that I found, but couldn’t quite make fit all the clues, are:

    “Goodbye Girl” (1977), with the lyric “Goodbye doesn’t mean forever”, theme song from the movie of the same name, starring Richard Dreyfuss. The song is by David Gates, lead singer of Bread.
    “Girl Goodbye” (1978) by the band Toto, on their debut album.

    I will check back for any comments, replies, questions, etc

Comments are closed.