2016 Puzzle 3: “Beatlesque” Solution

BeatlesqueThe March meta asked solvers to find a band (with a #1 hit in the ’70s) that would make a good seventh theme entry. The original email didn’t include the parentheses, leaving quite a few solvers confused as to whether they were looking for a band or a song. Sorry about that!

The six theme entries, PLASTICINE, MARMALADE, ROCKING HORSE, KALEIDOSCOPE, TANGERINE, and CELLOPHANE, can all be found in the Beatles classic “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.” There’s one more adjectival noun in that song that’s also the name of a band: LOOKING GLASS (the two-hit wonder band well-known for their classic song “Brandy”), and this month’s meta answer. You see how I used the parentheses there – I’m learning!

A little inconsistent, don’t you think, since all of the other adjectives are song titles?, asks sandirhodes. Guilty as charged – my original clue for TANGERINE referenced the German electronica band Tangerine Dream, but I changed it to the better-known Led Zeppelin song at the last minute.

But, wait. LOOKING GLASS doesn’t end with an “E,” says ant. Pretty interesting coincidence that all other six theme entries do!

Despite a little confusion, solvers seemed to like the puzzle, giving it a rating of 3.97 stars out of 5. The 241 people who solved it found it on the easy side, rating it 2.53 on a scale of 1-5. A total of 19 people sent in incorrect answers. The most common incorrect answer was Elton John, who had a hit with “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” in the ’70s.


Other solver comments:
RPardoe   Only three choices for adjectival nouns (marshmallow, newspaper, looking glass) of which 2 are bands of which only 1 had a #1 hit.   Now that’s how to solve a meta!

Burghman   Love Brandy and the Beatles so this was especially satisfying.

Dave C   Brandy was the first AM radio song I ever loved, way back when I was seven years old, so that elevates this meta to 5 stars.

imfromjersey   One of the worst songs ever written.   There were a few solvers who cursed me for the earworm (but a majority said they really like “Brandy”). Sorry!


Clues that could have been musical:
fheaney asks why I didn’t clue AYERS with reference to Roy or Kevin. No particular reason, but sometimes I shy away from less well-known musical references if there are already many in the puzzle.

Heavy_B suggests cluing REVENANT as John Fahey‘s record label.

ASB and Pickleman suggest the Hole song for VIOLET.


Requisite groaners:
pannonica   Thankee (it’s a fine meta).

slubduck   many marshmallow possibilities, but only one girl wearing the finest silver from the north of Spain.

Ertchin   I’m answering quite slowly, not that you can tell.

Paul Coulter   Peter, you’re a fine gridster. What a good wit you would be.

Paradox28   I’ll celebrate this win with marshmallow pies.


Mega-meta update:
Four brave souls have attempted to guess the mega-meta so far – all were incorrect.


This month’s randomly selected winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Jamie Schreck from Armonk, NY. Thanks as always to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle or leave a comment.

Thanks for playing and see you next month!