Solution to Dorm Row

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by Colin Lu, Jon Schneider, Lewis Chen, Rahul Sridhar, Anderson Wang

This is the metameta using the answers to the individual dorm row metas:

Baker HouseAPOLLO
Burton-ConnerBUDDY CURRY
MacGregor HouseWHITE FANG

We are given an audio clip containing a series of pop songs. The fact that each of them abruptly cuts off in the middle of a line suggests finding the word immediately after the stop (this is also suggested by the reference to musical chairs, in which the music’s stopping point is very important). The songs and cut-off words are listed below:

TimeSongArtistCut-off word
0:00–0:04It Ain’t MeKygo & Selena GomezGrowing
0:04–0:07Fury of the StormDragonforceFury
0:07–0:11Can I Be HimJames ArthurUnbroken
0:11–0:16Will the Circle Be Unbroken?Many artists, version is from Bioshock Infinite soundtrackUnbroken
0:16–0:22Follow the LeaderEric B. & RakimFury
0:22–0:28Take Me to ChurchHozierHigh
0:28–0:29Take Me Home, Country RoadsJohn DenverGrowing
0:29–0:36Baby It’s Cold OutsideMany artists, version by Idina Menzel and Michael BubléRoar
0:36–0:44Young, Dumb & BrokeKhalidHigh
0:44–0:46Bohemian RhapsodyQueenFamily
0:46–0:55ME!Taylor SwiftWinter
0:55–1:01See You AgainWiz Khalifa ft. Charlie PuthFamily
1:01–1:09Here Comes the SunThe BeatlesWinter
1:09–1:23RoarKaty PerryRoar

Each of the seven unique cut-off words appears exactly twice among the 14 clips, confirming that they are relevant. From googling all these words together or recognizing the reference (“Winter is Coming” is probably the most famous), we find that each of them is part of the house words of one of the seven Westeros houses in the Song of Ice and Fire books / Game of Thrones TV series. (This is also hinted by the flavor, as "musical chairs" is a "Game of Thrones" and "western rows" is phonetically similar to Westeros.) Each of these houses’ sigils can be associated with a dorm answer, as follows:

Cut-off wordHouseHouse wordsSigilDorm answerExplanation
GrowingTyrellGrowing StrongRoseSPICE TWICESpice Twice is a variety of rose
FuryBaratheonOurs is the FuryStagPRANCERPrancer is one of Santa’s reindeer
UnbrokenMartellUnbowed, Unbent, UnbrokenSpear piercing a sunAPOLLOApollo is the Greek sun god
HighArrynAs High as HonorFalcon against a moonBUDDY CURRYBuddy Curry played for the Atlanta Falcons
RoarLannisterHear Me Roar!LionRICHARD THE FIRSTRichard I is also known as “the Lionheart”
FamilyTullyFamily, Duty, HonorTroutRAINBOWRainbow is a variety of trout
WinterStarkWinter is ComingDirewolfWHITE FANGWhite Fang is a fictional wolf(dog)

The final step is to use the lengths of each of the clips, each of which is an exact integer number of seconds. This is also slightly hinted at by one of the clips being extremely short (Take Me Home, Country Roads) as well as the musical chairs theming (since you walk around the chairs for the length of the music). We index these lengths into the dorm answers:

TimeLength (seconds)Cut-off wordDorm answerIndexed letter
0:00-0:044GrowingSPICE TWICEC
0:22-0:286HighBUDDY CURRYC
0:28-0:291GrowingSPICE TWICES
0:36-0:448HighBUDDY CURRYR
0:46-0:559WinterWHITE FANGG
1:01-1:098WinterWHITE FANGN

Dorm row needs to CALL EC’S DRAGONS (a pun on Khaleesi, the title of Daenerys Targaryen, who owns some dragons; EC is how the MIT dorm East Campus is often called) to warm themselves up!

Authors’ Notes

The 7 houses used in the puzzle are among the 9 main houses in the series, minus Greyjoy (which is not on the Westeros mainland) and Targaryen (which was kicked out of Westeros prior to the beginning and is referenced by the final answer)

This meta was constructed first based on the answer and west row/Westeros pun, with the other dorm metas (East Campus, Random, and Simmons) written afterwards in order to make a cycle.