2015 Puzzle 1: “Aid Package” Solution

Aid PackageA record total of 262 solvers figured out the first MMMM of 2015, a song from one of the top rock albums of 1978. The six theme entries – ALLY MCBEAL, PERRY MASON, BERETTA, WALTHER, IRAQI DINAR, and SWISS FRANC – can be characterized pairwise as Lawyers, Guns & Money, a Warren Zevon song from 1978, and the meta answer. In addition, two clues indicate that the song features a SPY and a character who RAN to Honduras.

Most solvers had heard of the song, which was on the platinum-selling album “Excitable Boy.” For those who hadn’t, the answer was easily found through a Google search (for example, [ran to Honduras 1978 song]). “Excitable Boy” also featured “Werewolves of London,” a more well-known song, but less suited for a meta.

Lots of solvers this month, and a quick write-up, so I’ll share more comments than usual:

musicguy595   A great start to 2015!

DIS   Five stars because I love the song. The Z in the top left is a nice touch.  (Glad you noticed!)

Alex Bourzutschky   I found it curious that McBeal’s and Mason’s initials were AM and PM. It delayed me from actually looking them up to see what they were.  (Didn’t notice that)

DannyBurk   The s**t has hit the fan! Thanks!

Tyler Hinman   I put in the Oxford comma. I hope it’s still counted as correct.  (It is)

Pete Mitchell   That’s right, I used the Oxford comma. That’s the way we roll in NH. 🙂    (Notice the difference in presentation between Pete and Tyler)

Crusader Steve   Having the light bulb go off made me an ‘Excitable Boy” and I noticed my hair was PERFECT!  (A “Werewolves in London” reference)

Thumper   LGM is one of my fave blogs but I never knew where the name came from..now I do  (I’ve never heard of this blog, so we’re even)

Tommycat   I love much of Warren Zevon’s work. I do not get many metas so it is cause for celebration when I solve one.  (Congrats!)

Cracked Soundboard   Eight themers in there.Awesome. I’m newly subscribed and hooked now.  (Excellent!)

j   listened to it yesterday  (Me too)

JMcC   At my age, fortunately or unfortunately, this was right in my wheelhouse. Enjoyed the trip down memory lane, with minimal junk. Thanks Pete!

Pancho   This one’s a masterpiece, Pete. Great structure! Also nice to be reminded of Warren, who I always got such a kick out of. His songs were like movies that no one else would dare make. I miss him.

Steve H   5 stars because of Warren. I still miss him.

Becky56   Never heard of this song, but my husband has sung a choral arrangement of “Werewolves of London” several times!  (That’s something I’d like to hear)

Redhead64   Starting another meta-contest makes me an “Excitable Boy”!


Clues that could have been musical department: 

I’m always happy to get these.

RockGolf:  CHI [Singer Coltrane]

The Duke of Prunes:  LCD [Dance punk band ___ Soundsystem]

Pancho, Pickleman, Evan, mt, ASB, and possibly others (sorry if I missed you):  MELON [Blind ___ (indie band with the hit “No Rain”)]

Tony_A:  SEDAN [“___ Delivery” (Neil Young song)]


The average user rating for the puzzle was 3.83 out of 5 stars, with an average difficulty of 2.47 out of 5. This month’s randomly chosen winners of an MMMM coffee mug are Steve Watt and Anita Hollister from San Jose, CA.

Thanks for playing. And thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can enter a comment and/or rate the puzzle.

The next MMMM will be coming your way next week, on February 3. In the words of derekallen7One down, 11 to go…

See you then!