2014 Puzzle 3: “Making a Splash” Solution

Making a Splash

A total of 160 solvers figured out this month’s meta, a band formed in the ’90s. They realized that the circles in this month’s puzzle grid contained seven different “Waynes” spraying out from the center and “Making a Splash”: Batman alter ego BRUCE WAYNE, singer WAYNE NEWTON, actor WAYNE ROGERS, saxophonist WAYNE SHORTER, General ANTHONY WAYNE, rapper LIL WAYNE, and Eurodance DJ JAN WAYNE. One more step took them to the meta answer: Fountains of Wayne, named after a former store on Route 46 in Wayne, New Jersey. The band’s biggest hit was “Stacy’s Mom.” 

One of my usually infallible test-solvers thought Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders was the meta answer. Even though “Fontana” means “fountain” in Italian, Wayne Fontana is not that good a meta answer. To avoid controversy, I put in a stipulation that the band was formed in the ’90s and asked people if they could figure out the alternate answer. Congrats to the four solvers who figured it out: j, Mohmo, genefaba, and Vraal. A few solvers guessed the fairly obscure metal band Wayne as a possible answer. That band was formed in 2001, which made it ineligible (and there was also no connection to the title, “Making a Splash”).

A few solvers struggled heavily with this month’s meta because the software they were using didn’t display the circles. Ouch! I will mention in the future if a puzzle contains circles – sorry to those affected! You can always check the website for the online version. And for those affected, a software upgrade did the trick.

Some solvers love Fountains of Wayne:

Lisa from Queens writes Not going to try to be clever, just want to say this is one of my favorite bands and I actually shouted in delight when I figured out the meta!

spongeamy writes Love that band. Way underrated. Very funny. They make me laugh out loud every time.

And Erin Milligan-Milburn writes This took me too long given how much I like the song “Stacy’s Mom.” Your visual metas are always wonderful!

I try very hard to make sure every meta is fair, and gettable even if you haven’t heard of the band or song. In this case, googling “Wayne” and “band” together brings up Fountains of Wayne as the third hit. Dannoz, Jeffrey K, Jeff G, and a few others wrote in that they had to google the answer.

Finally, Stribbs writes I like the puzzle a lot, but if I never hear that Stacy’s Mom song again I’ll consider that a win!

Groaning Department:

Golem asked: Did they ever jam with Garth Brooks?

Pancho wrote: Keith Whitley would have liked this one. He always used to say, “I’m no stwanger to the Wayne…”

Abide, glasser, and hbarkin all wrote that the puzzle’s “got it going on,” a reference to “Stacy’s Mom.”

Clues that could have been musical:

Pete Mitchell and flipperista both mentioned that SODS could be clued with the Who outtake album “Odds & Sods.”

And mt reminded me that ISLAM could be clued as the last name of the person who used to go by Cat Stevens.

The average user rating this month was 4.07 stars out of 5 and the difficulty level was easier than average, at 2.8 out of 5. The randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug this month is Steve Bernstein from Flint, MI.

Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend.

Thanks for playing, and see you next month!