We investigated the capacity for two different forms of metacognitive cue to shield against auditory distraction in problem solving with Compound Remote Associates Tasks (CRATs). Experiment 1 demonstrated that an intrinsic metacognitive cue in the form of processing disfluency (manipulated using an easy-to-read vs. difficult-to-read font) could increase focal task engagement so as to mitigate the detrimental impact of distraction on solution rates for CRATs. Experiment 2 showed that an extrinsic metacognitive cue that took the form of an incentive for good task performance (i.e. 80% or better CRAT solutions) could likewise eliminate the negative impact of distraction on CRAT solution rates. Overall, these findings support the view that both intrinsic and extrinsic metacognitive cues have remarkably similar effects. This suggests that metacognitive cues operate via a common underlying mechanism whereby a participant applies increased focal attention to the primary task so as to ensure more steadfast task engagement that is not so easily diverted by task-irrelevant stimuli.