2020 Puzzle 11: “Picture Perfect” Solution

The November MMMM is billed as the hardest of the year, and this puzzle did not break that pattern, getting the fewest correct answers of the year by far. The clue for PEN [A thick colored one might be useful in cracking this puzzle’s meta] provides a hint to what’s necessary for a solution. You literally need to “Picture Perfect,” meaning color in the letters of the grid in the set [P, E, R, F, C, and T]. Doing this yields the picture to the left. It looks like a smile, but one side is a little more crooked than the other, so it’s more of a smirk. Rocklouder2424 points out that the top of the smirk is (coincidentally!) “CCR.”






OK, so we’re looking for an album cover from 2005 that looks like a smirk. A few lucky solvers  remembered the album in question, but most reported needing to look up something like “2005 album smirk.” Googling that phrase brings up this picture:

which closely resembles the colored grid squares. It’s the cover of the Bon Jovi album Have a Nice Day, and the answer to the November meta. Congrats to all who made it through this month!


Meta Song:

I was with my band in Michigan, and it had been rainy and gloomy for a couple of days. When the sun finally came out we took a little break to learn and record the song “Who Says You Can’t Go Home” from “Have a Nice Day” on an iPhone – enjoy!



Selected Solver Comments:

mpstable   So simple in retrospect, so hard to crack open. This was incredible.

stribbs   I remembered this album, no Googling!

Rocklouder2424   This was the hardest of the year for me, but soooo satisfying when I finally got it!


Alternative Music Clues:

Evan suggests cluing BUCHANAN as [Blues musician Roy].



Gideon Fostick   Have a Nice Day!

TMart   This one made me smile….;)


A total of 60 solvers found their way to the correct answer this month. The average rating for the puzzle was 4.21 stars out of 5, and the average difficulty rating was 4.31, making it the toughest of the year so far. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Dan Valachovic from Jamaica Plain, MA. Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle (thanks!) and/or leave a comment.

See you next month!