puzzle 6:55; meta -4 minutes (Matt)
Whoops, forgot to blog this one last night when the deadline passed. It fell off my radar since I just blogged January’s puzzle two weeks ago; with the 2013 and 2014 schedules bumping into each other, the first month of the year is top-heavy with Muller Metas (which is fine with me; his year-ending Mega-Meta was one of my five nominees for Crossword of the Month in January).
An easy puzzle for Season 3, Episode 2 of this series: “Name That Tune” is the title, and Pete’s instructions tell us we are looking for a classic rock-and-roll song. And it jumped out of the grid before I was even a third done with entries like BEELZEBUB, MAMMA MIA and GALILEO: has to be Queen’s BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, which prominently contains those and other special words found herein: FANTASY, FANDANGO, BISMILLAH, MAGNIFICO and LANDSLIDE (ugh, that words still reminds me of this painful miss), plus QUEEN themselves across the center.
The fill is slightly less clean than your usual Muller Meta (ERAT, OSHAY, LDRS, ALULA) but this can be forgiven considering the large amount of theme (no square in the grid is more than two letters away from a theme entry). Besides, he does some fancy stepping to get ALBUM, JERRY, WKRP, T-MINUS and FINALLY in the grid as well.
Favorite clue: [One of two women who drive off a cliff at the end of a movie (spoiler alert)] for THELMA.
3.75 stars. He’s given us an easy ride so far but I’m sure the difficulty level will ramp up soon. I’ll see you back here in March to find out.