Muller Monthly Music Meta, May MMXXIV

Title: “Gold-Plated Record” by Will Pfadenhauer, Pete Muller, Mack Meller, and Andrew White
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is a hit single that has been certified gold (or higher) in eight countries.
Answer: “Mr. Brightside” by the Killers

puzzle 10ish mins; meta 2 mins (Matt)



Our title hinted at the letters AU coming into play (Au = gold on the periodic table, of course), and the grid indeed featured many of this particular bigram. Eagle-eyed meta-solvers also noticed that these bigrams always appeared horizontally paired with a non-AU layer in-between, as seen in the graphic above. Take the “gold-plated” bigrams (in blue above) and they spell our contest answer.

Fun and easy, though it does appear to be tripping up more than a few solvers, with just 434 right answers so far with 20 minutes to deadline. For comparison, January and March’s MMMMs had 547 and 540. So certainly a missable meta.

4.25 stars is my rating. Until next month!

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11 Responses to Muller Monthly Music Meta, May MMXXIV

  1. Pete Muller says:

    Thanks Matt-

    439 correct this month. Thanks to Will for joining us this month!

    Difficulty just might ratchet up a little in June :)


  2. Eric H says:

    I initially didn’t see any way into this meta and thought my MMMM streak was over.

    Then the AUs popped out and I thought I had something. The first “gold-plated” pair of letters, MR, weren’t promising. But I followed through and it made sense even though I don’t know the song at all.

    • Matt Gaffney says:

      Ah, that’s a tricky aspect of this that I hadn’t considered. I wonder: how many who missed it got to MRBR and said, “that can’t be anything”?

      • Jonesy says:

        I was very close to doing that (giving up on MRBR) but it felt so right I had to keep going.

        • Me says:

          I really liked this one. I thought it was extremely clever, with the gold-plating symbolized by having gold as outside layers enclosing the meta answers. I got tripped up at first that there were a few AU’s going down as well. Then when I started looking at the letters adjacent to the AUs, the initial MRBR made me toss that idea.

          Then I got a fresh grid, filled in the AUs with a gold pen, and the gold-plated aspect of the acrosses jumped out. Then it was smooth sailing. But this was definitely the hardest of this year so far. I’m not very good at metas, and I’ve never gotten past May yet. We’ll see what happens in June!

          • Eric H says:

            I noticed the AUs in 38D and 48D and thought they were uncharacteristically inelegant for an MMMM, but not a real distraction.

            And I just noticed that I chose a gold highlighter 5i mark up my puzzle.

            Last year, I missed the fairly obvious meta in the February puzzle. This is the first time I’ve made it through May intact.

            Good luck with June!

            • Me says:

              Eric H, thank you! I have never made it through May intact before, either. Hopefully, we’ll both keep up our streak next month!

      • Eugene Faba says:

        That happened to me. I gave up until later I noticed that the bottom was SIDE. Thought it deserved a second look

  3. David R says:

    It would be nice if these metas would be created by four constructors all with last names that end with M.

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