2018 Puzzle 3: “Inner Glow” Solution

The third MMMM of 2018 challenged solvers to find a Neil Young song. Clues for six of the grid entries were starred, as follows:


Each of these contains a central “AU.” This is, of course, the chemical symbol for gold, and points to the Neil Young hit Heart of Gold, this month’s meta answer.


Meta Song:

I enlisted my virtuoso violin buddy Russell Farhang to help on this one – I hope you enjoy it!


Selected Solver Comments:

billkatz   Tough grid, easy meta… Especially for us scientists.

peacelisa   The heart of the matter is this was very enjoyable. You get the gold.

Maggie W.   Now to really challenge yourself, use the same idea, but have the answer be “Lead Belly”!   Could I do it? DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’!

Amanda Hugginkiss   Love your work!   Thank you!



heartLove!   Au-some Harvest, Mr. Muller! I’ve had a chemical attraction to Neil since the 60s!

sharkicicles   Rust never sleeps but I don’t know how you’d fit Fe2O3 into a theme answer.

Beth A   I laud your efforts and am not afraid to flaunt it!

RPardoe   No trauma. Beauty of a puzzle. Restaurant solve while waiting for coq au vin. Sipping cafe au lait.

Steve Blais   That was elementary.

Kman23   Beauty! (applauding)


Clues That Could Have Been Musical:

Evan suggests cluing CLAM as [“Do the ___” (Elvis song featured in a “Girl Happy” beach scene)].

Underwood suggests cluing RAUL as [Malo of the Mavericks].

flipper suggests cluing MESS as [“Dance This ___ Around”] and EMMA as [Sweet ___ Barrett].



Five solvers defied expectations and cracked the 2018 mega-meta after just seeing two puzzles! Huge congratulations and props to Louis LanaEric PrestemonRich PardoeBrent Holman, and Jonathan McCue, who are all receiving an extra 30 bonus points on the year. I mistakenly announced that Louis and Eric solved the mega-meta along with last month’s solution (as opposed to waiting until this month). This may have given the three others more incentive to solve it, and I’m sorry for this lapse. There have been more people who’ve cracked the mega-meta since this puzzle came out, but I won’t give them shout-outs until next month.


A total of 356 solvers found their way to the correct answer this month. The average rating for the puzzle was 3.9 stars out of 5, and the average difficulty rating was 2.32. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Jennifer Turney from Walworth, NY. Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle (thanks!) and/or leave a comment.

Thanks for playing and see you in a month!