2024 Puzzle 7: “60% Solution” Solution

This month’s MMMM challenged solvers to find an alternative rock trio. The key to cracking the meta is found in the puzzle’s title, “60% Solution,” which relates to the composition of certain grid entries. There are exactly eight five-letter entries, and each of them contains three of the same letter, as follows:


These triple letters comprise three out of five, or 60%, of each of the entries. In order, the letters spell out B-E-N-F-O-L-D-S. Bingo! Combining this with the fact that these are all five-letter words yields this month’s meta answer, Ben Folds Five, which is a trio, despite the band name. We also gave full credit for Ben Folds.


Meta Song:

This month I picked Ben Folds’ biggest hit, “Brick.” Enjoy!


Selected Solver Comments:

HPetriJr   I never knew that band was only 60% of a quintet!

Streroto   Love it and love the band.

rachaar  My all-time favorite band, and I’ve seen Ben Folds in concert more than anyone else! I REALLY appreciate making the fact that a band called “Five” is actually a trio into the central mechanic for the puzzle. 

rvkal  This retired math teacher gives you a 100% score for this meta!

Pair-o-ducks  I never like to name drop, but my orchestra got to perform with Ben Folds last summer, and it was one of the coolest concerts I’ve done!    Congrats!


Alternative Music Clues:

pbfrommn suggests cluing SHARPS as [The Be ___, barbershop quartet featuring Homer Simpson, Principal Skinner, Barney Gumble, and Apu Nahasapeemapetilon] and PASSES BY as [“Before the Parade ___” (“Hello, Dolly!” number)].

Evan suggests cluing PARENTAL as [___ Advisory: Explicit Lyrics (warning on some album covers)], SWISS as [Like the composers Arthur Honegger and Caroline Charrière], BUT as [“Missing” duo Everything ___ the Girl], and PLEA as [“Belated Forgiveness ___” (song by Donovan)].



BlindPursuit   I was told there would be no math.   You were misinformed.

Gwinns   LOL(OL).

yack  A perfect 3/5 for this meta!

Lisa K  I wasn’t sure about submitting this solution, but I decided to Do It Anyway.

peacelisa  Exceeds 60% fun.

Allan Patterson   I was ready to submit the only 8-letter alt rock trio I could think of: Green Day. Then it hit me. Like a Brick.

Zoltar   Whatever // And ever //Amen clever.



Totals this month:

308 correct, 31 incorrect

Rating: 4.35 out of 5 stars

Difficulty: 2.94 out of 5

Monthly mug winner: Adam Doctoroff from Brookline, MA.

Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle (thanks!) and/or leave a comment.

Thanks to Tamara Brenner for the graphic.

Thanks for playing and see you next month!