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Famous Last Words (Meta)

· By benchen71 · Published 2023-09-19T06:00:14.094Z

Meta Prompt
The answer to the meta is a two-word phrase
Oscar Wilde's last words were, "Either that wallpaper goes, or I do." Apparently, the wallpaper won out, although it was changed soon afterwards. Of course Groucho Marx couldn't resist one last quip either: "This is no way to live!" he is reputed to have said. And, if you do it right, you'll find the famous last words encoded in this meta puzzle: an apt two-word phrase. Answer & explanation:
Check out "The MOAT Music Meta Pack" here: US$10 gives you access to 12 music-themed metas that will not be published at any time in the future. In other words, this is not a pre-release pack!
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Leaderboard (updated hourly)

  • markhr solved at 6:39 on 9/19/2023
  • Schmeel solved at 9:54 on 9/19/2023
  • Hector solved at 12:18 on 9/19/2023
  • lbray53 solved at 12:34 on 9/19/2023
  • boharr solved at 13:33 on 9/19/2023
  • MatthewL solved at 14:02 on 9/19/2023
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  • DrButtBeard solved at 15:44 on 9/19/2023
  • Meg solved at 17:09 on 9/19/2023
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  • SamKat9 solved at 17:21 on 9/19/2023
  • Laura M solved at 17:46 on 9/19/2023
  • HeadinHome solved at 18:03 on 9/19/2023
  • Gutman solved at 19:40 on 9/19/2023
  • heidi solved at 19:42 on 9/19/2023
  • I K Snamhcok solved at 20:18 on 9/19/2023
  • Bird Lives solved at 20:24 on 9/19/2023
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  • woozy solved at 1:08 on 9/20/2023
  • whimsy solved at 1:20 on 9/20/2023
  • DIS solved at 3:35 on 9/20/2023
  • Berto solved at 10:28 on 9/20/2023
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  • Carolyn solved at 0:00 on 9/21/2023
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  • Pair O Ducks solved at 2:24 on 9/21/2023
  • Spid4567 solved at 3:19 on 9/21/2023
  • Capn Rick solved at 13:28 on 9/21/2023
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  • CPJohnson solved at 22:39 on 9/21/2023
  • ReB solved at 1:28 on 9/22/2023
  • Dow Jones solved at 1:28 on 9/22/2023
  • Jaclyn solved at 13:35 on 9/22/2023
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  • Darth solved at 3:42 on 9/23/2023
  • Ergcat solved at 14:16 on 9/23/2023
  • Danny K Bernstein solved at 22:07 on 9/23/2023
  • Mikey G solved at 14:36 on 9/24/2023


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  • Hector 🤓8:50 · 2023-09-19T12:19:38.616Z
    Nice, thank you. I wanted it to be OK GO.
    • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-19T21:10:56.489Z
      Ooh, that would have been good, too!
    • MatthewL 🤓7:00 · 2023-09-19T14:04:15.734Z
      Very nice! Although I so wanted it to be "Hold my beer". Thanks for another fun puzzle, Ben!
      • imontoo 3s · 2023-09-19T14:11:28.674Z
        Thanks, Ben.
        • Meg 3s · 2023-09-19T17:09:27.207Z
          Fun! Thans a bunch, Ben.
          • SamKat9 🤓10:55 · 2023-09-19T17:21:54.830Z
            Haha, when I finally got it, I laughed. Nicely done!
            • Meg 3s · 2023-09-19T17:10:14.868Z
              I should proofread. Thanks!
              • Laura M 🤓8:19 · 2023-09-19T17:56:37.064Z
                Excellent! I thought it might be "Oh no, not again" like the bowl of petunias in H2G2, but I couldn't justify the "not again" part :-)
                • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-19T21:11:52.152Z
                  That was the inspiration for this meta!
                • HeadinHome 🤓4:23 · 2023-09-19T18:09:10.174Z
                  Ha! I was thinking it might be “watch this!” The giveaway was 19A19AWhere you find this verse: "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"[-------------] (which I knew immediately, I might proudly add!) — that plus the title words and 6D6DCookie brand[----] so close by make this a great puzzle to hand to a rookie as a smooth, gettable meta (though Enid Blyton is brand new to me at least… needed a google). Thanks Ben!
                  • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-19T21:13:32.283Z
                    It's a fun mix of US and non-US knowledge this week!
                  • Bird Lives 3s · 2023-09-19T20:25:25.047Z
                    It took me a minute, and even then I had to do some Googling. Nice shout-out to Meg.
                    • woozy 15:47 · 2023-09-20T01:19:31.358Z
                      You knew I'd assume I would have to find the last words in those books, and ?songs? and t.v. show ???? and ...., didn't you?
                      • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-20T03:29:31.799Z
                        Ah, yes! Which reminds me of your Finnegan's Wake puzzle... ;-)
                      • DIS 🤓6:03 · 2023-09-20T03:39:32.826Z
                        1D1DVoice of Olaf, Josh ___[---] referred to The Book of Mormon, so I spent some time looking for Got It ___, Party of ___ and Brave New ___. Fortunately not too much time :-)
                        • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-20T05:25:50.175Z
                          1D1DVoice of Olaf, Josh ___[---] is a reference to "Frozen", not "The Book of Mormon"!
                          • DIS 🤓6:03 · 2023-09-21T14:37:21.919Z
                            Oh, right. I forgot he was in that too. Thanks.
                        • Berto 2:58 · 2023-09-20T10:29:54.567Z
                          Lol! Tried a wild guess, then went back to basics and AHA!!! Famous Amos is a thing, and a brand of cookies - oh where did I see that earlier…. 💡ding! Fun one!
                          • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-20T12:00:13.473Z
                            That was a good guess! But glad you found the intended path, too. ;-)
                          • Qmark 3s · 2023-09-20T13:14:07.898Z
                            Fun one, Ben...thanks!
                            • Alex Sisti 3s · 2023-09-20T13:38:21.359Z
                              Oh yeah!
                              • DrTom 4s · 2023-09-20T20:18:56.292Z
                                Ben, that was absolutely DEVIOUS to have the ends of the themers be "almost" the same as the prompt. It took me FOREVER and a course correction to stop looking at the last words as if they were copies of the Title, but as words themselves. "Famous Amos...hey wait, sometimes a cookie is NOT an OREO6DCookie brand[----] and then it was off to the races. The FIVE was more difficult I'll admit, but luckily Google knew about them. You are to be severely punished for the endings and rabbit holes oyu sent me down (while I was trying to fix the tragedy of a "stepped on" mechanism for my own puzzle.
                                • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-20T21:29:34.063Z
                                  The similarity of three of the endings to the title was entirely unintentional, I assure you! I've already posted here about the inspiration behind this puzzle. But I also very much enjoyed getting OREO6DCookie brand[----] in as meta-significant, not just fill!
                                  • DrTom 4s · 2023-09-21T04:01:57.405Z
                                    Wow, aren't metas interesting. I swore that was the mechanism (and swore, and swore, and swore) for a very long time. It just seemed too juicy to be coincidental. But like you say, nice to have Oreo be somehting more than a sweet face!
                                • ajk 🤓7:03 · 2023-09-20T23:35:09.455Z
                                  Fun one, thanks. Needed the third nudge because even though I spotted Famous Amos pretty quickly I had somehow convinced myself that MOST was the last word in the second themer. Oops. :) Didn't know the Famous Five despite being very familiar with NODDY43AEnid Blyton creation[-----], so had to google that one, but easy enough.
                                  • Carolyn 3s · 2023-09-21T00:02:32.069Z
                                    Oh no! I needed the nudges. Very funny 😄
                                    • KayW 🤓7:51 · 2023-09-21T02:06:24.207Z
                                      very clever! Thanks Ben
                                      • Pair O Ducks 🤓6:12 · 2023-09-21T02:27:37.018Z
                                        Huh, never heard of ALMOST Famous or Famous FIVE, never would have got there without the nudges on this one. Of course I wondered about Famous Amos right away, but abandoned it when the others didn't work out. Learned some new things today :)
                                        • benchen71 constructor · 2023-09-21T03:35:52.678Z
                                          "Almost Famous" is a classic movie. The scene in the plane alone is worth the price of admission!
                                          • Pair O Ducks 🤓6:12 · 2023-09-21T10:58:14.799Z
                                            Sounds like I've got my next movie night planned!
                                          • ReB 3s · 2023-09-22T03:45:41.156Z
                                            Pretty much what happened with me...
                                          • Capn Rick 🤓9:59 · 2023-09-21T13:31:26.000Z
                                            Fun one, Ben! No nudges needed - just needed time to devote to it. Well done!
                                            • ReB 3s · 2023-09-22T01:39:21.945Z
                                              Needed the 2nd nudge to keep me from trying to utilize the two long multi-word down entries 3D3DExtreme unction[---------] and 32D32DReduce the nominal value of stock or goods[---------] (since I expected a longer phrase that four letters).
                                              I expected that the last word of the phrase was key, but needed the 3rd nudge to add the missing link my (after which I knew the rest of the mechanism) - but I still needed to google to identify the cultural references for the last second and third themers, and then backsolved to prove the last letter. So no way this one was going to come to fruition without much help. Good effort on your part, though.
                                              • Ergcat 11:48 · 2023-09-23T14:18:16.154Z
                                                Good one! Needed the nudges… I was trying to use the “last word” but not with “famous”! 🤦🏻‍♀️ Very clever ! Thanks, Ben!
                                                Fancy party
                                                1. 1A
                                                  Fancy party
                                                2. 5A
                                                  Made off with
                                                3. 9A
                                                4. 13A
                                                  Hans Gruber portrayer, ___ Rickman
                                                5. 14A
                                                  Marie ___, with two Nobel prizes
                                                6. 15A
                                                  Company founded by Gwyneth Paltrow
                                                7. 16A
                                                  Work place
                                                8. 17A
                                                9. 18A
                                                  "I'm so annoyed with you I won't even open my mouth!"
                                                10. 19A
                                                  Where you find this verse: "But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!"
                                                11. 22A
                                                  Best Original Screenplay Oscar winner
                                                12. 24A
                                                  Karate level
                                                13. 25A
                                                  Like Fran Drescher's voice
                                                14. 26A
                                                  (0,0) on a graph
                                                15. 28A
                                                16. 30A
                                                  Close but no cigar
                                                17. 32A
                                                  It comes before Thur
                                                18. 35A
                                                  Yemeni port
                                                19. 36A
                                                  Gorilla or orangutan
                                                20. 37A
                                                  Folk singer, ___ Guthrie
                                                21. 38A
                                                  '80s video-game console
                                                22. 39A
                                                  TV show that launched the careers of Neve Campbell and Lacey Chabert
                                                23. 43A
                                                  Enid Blyton creation
                                                24. 44A
                                                25. 45A
                                                  C. J. Dennis book, "The Songs of a Sentimental ___"
                                                26. 47A
                                                  Actress, ___ de Armas
                                                27. 48A
                                                  "To ___ is human"
                                                28. 49A
                                                  Dystopian work by Aldous Huxley
                                                29. 53A
                                                  Intense anger
                                                30. 54A
                                                  Suffix for techn- or plut-
                                                31. 55A
                                                  Lots and lots of time
                                                32. 58A
                                                  Earth sci.
                                                33. 59A
                                                  "___ a dream"
                                                34. 60A
                                                  Move in the breeze
                                                35. 61A
                                                  Julia Robert's character in "Ocean's Eleven"
                                                36. 62A
                                                37. 63A
                                                  90's sequel to 38 across38A'80s video-game console[---]
                                                1. 1D
                                                  Voice of Olaf, Josh ___
                                                2. 2D
                                                  Type of beer brewed using a warm fermentation method that results in a sweet, full-bodied and fruity taste
                                                3. 3D
                                                  Extreme unction
                                                4. 4D
                                                  What Death wears on a necklace in Neil Gaiman's "The Sandman"
                                                5. 5D
                                                  Pull at, as a sleeve
                                                6. 6D
                                                  Cookie brand
                                                7. 7D
                                                  Sty sound
                                                8. 8D
                                                  Chemicals that your liver produces when it breaks down fats
                                                9. 9D
                                                  "I am agog! I am ___! Is Marius in love at last?" (lyrics from "Les Miserables")
                                                10. 10D
                                                11. 11D
                                                  "Fiddler on the Roof" star
                                                12. 12D
                                                  Erythropoietin-producing human hepatocellular receptors, for short
                                                13. 14D
                                                  ___ boy, male attendant who serves guests on a beach
                                                14. 20D
                                                  Make revisions to
                                                15. 21D
                                                  Fiction's opposite
                                                16. 22D
                                                  "Crocodile Dundee" star, Paul ___
                                                17. 23D
                                                  Undermine, as confidence
                                                18. 27D
                                                  Tonic's partner (make mine a double!)
                                                19. 28D
                                                  E on a fuel gauge
                                                20. 29D
                                                  "Friends" spin-off series
                                                21. 31D
                                                  Cooking fat
                                                22. 32D
                                                  Reduce the nominal value of stock or goods
                                                23. 33D
                                                  Young eel
                                                24. 34D
                                                  "All the Light We Cannot See" author, Anthony ___
                                                25. 37D
                                                  Back on a boat
                                                26. 39D
                                                  Pig in a ___
                                                27. 40D
                                                  Tonsil's neighbour
                                                28. 41D
                                                  Widely known
                                                29. 42D
                                                30. 43D
                                                  Long stories
                                                31. 45D
                                                  "See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate, That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love! And I, for winking at your discords too, Have lost a ___ of kinsmen." (The Prince in "Romeo and Juliet")
                                                32. 46D
                                                  Nigeria's largest city
                                                33. 47D
                                                  "With just ___ of my magic wand, Your troubles will soon be gone" (Fairy Godmother song in "Shrek 2")
                                                34. 49D
                                                  Jemaine's partner in the duo "Flight of the Conchords"
                                                35. 50D
                                                  What comes back to you when you call out in a canyon
                                                36. 51D
                                                  Finish filming
                                                37. 52D
                                                  "More" in a popular saying about writing
                                                38. 56D
                                                  "No," said the Scot
                                                39. 57D
                                                  Betting strategy, for short