Muller Monthly Music Meta, July — “Double Time”
puzzle 7:41 minutes; meta DNF (Matt)
Season 3, Episode 7, and once again the Muller Meta is brutalizing my mind and keeping its secrets tightly held. Fortunately I’m not alone, as just 24 right answers appear on the leaderboard with half an hour to go (and that leaderboard is heavy with heavy hitters in the meta-solving world, so you’ve got to be good to get this one). At any rate, I’ll try panic-blogging it now and see if that shakes loose a last-minute save.
Instructions ask for a musical genre, and the four theme clues each include a parenthetical subgenre of rock and roll:
20-A [2003 Helen Mirren movie about a group of women posing nude for charity (country rock)] = CALENDAR GIRLS.
28-A [Piece of financial page info (folk rock)] = BOND YIELD.
45-A [Clothing collections (pop rock)] = WARDROBES.
55-A ["And the full story is even worse!" (hard rock)] = TO PUT IT MILDLY.
I’m guessing there’s an 80% chance that these four clues/answers and the title are all there is to the meta. The grid seems too tightly packed for Pete to have worked any piece of fill into things, and the three sets of double-ish clues don’t seem to lead anywhere: [Italian tourist destination] doubles for ASTI and AMALFI, while both SCOT and LIBRA have a “by birth” tag in their clues, and SFO and LAX are symmetrically placed and clued as [Northern/Southern CA airport]. That last one is highly intriguing, but putting them all together they don’t seem tight enough to be meta-related.
Using the title, I’ve also tried bands with double-word names that fit into the parenthetical subgenres, like Duran Duran for pop rock, but didn’t get very much further.
I’ve also tried coming up with synonyms for the four theme entries. Didn’t work, but it was promising enough that maybe typing out my thoughts will lead somewhere: “Calendar Girls” could = PINUPS; “bond yield” could = RETURN or INTEREST; “wardrobes” could = ARMOIRES; and “to put it mildly” could = UNDERSTATE or DOWNPLAY. But then what do I double?
Other things I’ve noticed/tried: one of the subgenres is “country rock” and ESTONIA at 53-A is a country; the nine double letters in the grid are OO EE GG SS CC LL TT EE DD, which anagram to not much; and that backsolving by looking at a Ranker list of the greatest folk rockers of all time isn’t very helpful.
OK, I give up. I’m guessing prog-rock for no good reason. Someone tell me in comments what I missed so I can have a restful sleep. Second month in a row I’ve missed the Muller Meta. Awful.