A total of 79 solvers got the meta for September, “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones. They noticed that the five theme entries anagrammed to different types of horses: PALOMINOS, MUSTANGS, LIPIZZANERS, ARABIANS, and STALLIONS. The title “In the Mix” provided a subtle hint towards anagramming. In a cryptic sense, all the horses in the puzzle are “wild.” The Rolling STONES were featured in the grid and their lead singer Mick Jagger was used in the clue for SNL PIZZERIAS. “Wild Horses” was on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 greatest rock and roll songs of all time for a while, although it’s not on the current list.
The zz’s threw us! Nice red herring. Spent a long time looking for ZZ Top titles wrote John T, who eventually got the right answer. Other solvers fell for the double Z trap (yes, it was intentional) and sent in ZZ Top songs.
SNL Pizzeria looked so much like Sal’s Pizzeria from Do the Right Thing, I was going for a Spike Lee connection at first. Who knew it could anagram into Lipizzaners? wrote Paul Coulter.
Travis Hime went on a wild goose chase looking up Nas titles after finding the letters NAS in each theme answer… That was an unintentional red herring.
The average user rating for the puzzle was 3.96 stars (on a scale of 1-5) and the average difficulty rating was 3.16 (also on a scale of 1 to 5). On the “clues that could have been musical” front, Pete Mitchell suggested [___ box (guitar distortion device)] for FUZZ.
There are 36 solvers who have solved the first five puzzles correctly, and many more remain eligible for the drawing for the free trip to the ACPT (you need to solve at least 6 out of 9 correctly to be eligible). Thanks for the great comments and feedback, and to Matt Gaffney who blogs the puzzle here. The next MMMM puzzle will be on Tuesday October 2. See you in October!