Title: “Song Circle”
Prompt: The meta for this puzzle is the song (of the four) with the shortest title.
Well, that’s an intriguing set of instructions. The four theme entries are conveniently labeled:
20-A [Song #1 singer] = JOHN MELLENCAMP
27-A [Song #2 singers, with “the”] = BEATLES. Erik Agard’s favorite band. He can sing every song on “Revolver” word-for-word, in order.
39-A [Song #3 singers (and last month’s meta answer)] = CREAM
58-A [Song #4 singers, with “the”] = EVERLY BROTHERS
I hadn’t noticed the other theme entry while solving: 47-A, symmetrically placed 27-A, is [What the four song titles you’re looking for do], but I had figured from the title that our song titles would indeed OVERLAP.
My first pass at Googling a loop of song titles from these four was unsuccessful — their catalogs of hits/well-known songs are all pretty large, plus there’s no guarantee that one or more of them wasn’t a deep cut. But on my second pass I noted Mellencamp’s “Hurts so Good,” and realized that “Hurts” was probably a good last word in a song title. And lo and behold, the Everly Brothers (with whose work I’m not highly familiar) did “Love Hurts.” And the rest was easy…the circle of songs are:
HURTS SO GOOD by John Mellencamp
GOOD DAY, SUNSHINE by the Beatles
SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE by Cream
LOVE HURTS by the Everly Brothers
Pete asked us for the song with the shortest title, which is LOVE HURTS, found by 244 solvers as I type this a half-hour before the deadline.
Mama’s got the pipes, but emo kid steals the show.
Some people don’t like Googly meta-hunts solves like this, but I don’t mind then once in a while. Think of Google as an extension of your brain, or imagine you’re on a treasure hunt. Metas don’t have to all be a certain way.
4.25 stars from me. It’s a nice find, and probably tougher to find a tight song circle like this than it appears. But I’m 6-for-6 and don’t feel I’ve really been tested yet this year. But I know it’s coming…
246 correct answers this month.
As you surmise, it is pretty hard to come up with a song loop of reasonably well-known songs. I found a pretty cool one with three songs that I will share in Tuesday’s write-up.
That was a very satisfying meta!
Matt, if you want a bigger challenge, figure out the mega meta now.
The gauntlet has been thrown :)
So far 24 people have found it…
I couldn’t figure this out at first from looking through the 4 bands’ singles discography, so I wrote a program to solve this. Turns out, 2 of the songs in the cycle were not released as singles, so my program didn’t find a solution either.
Then I went and scraped all of the bands’ track listings from all of the their albums from Wikipedia. Once I did that, it found the answer right away.
For the non-programmers in the bunch…I think the easiest way in was through Cream – they don’t have that many hits.
I started at the top, and I was either lucky or it wasn’t all that hard. Looking at a list of Mellenkamp songs, the most obvious final word to start the next one was “good. There were three choices for Beatles songs starting with good, and the first I tried worked out. From there, I knew the next two – helps to be an old guy, sometimes… I thought this meta was a real nice find by Pete. It couldn’t have been easy to come up with this list, and make the lengths work out. Like Matt, I await the headbangers with some dread.
I started with Cream, for the reason Pete gave. Got partially stymied because I didn’t realize Love Hurts was an Everly Brothers song, since I first heard it in “Dazed and Confused.” (Yes I am embarrassed about that, yes I actually prefer the Nazareth cover)
On the other side, for whatever reason, it wasn’t until I started looking through the Beatles discography that I remembered “Good Day Sunshine.” As soon as I saw that, I had the answer in under a minute.
I thought it was a very fun hunt that I would have absolutely hated if I hadn’t figured it out. :)
There’s also a nice version of “Love Hurts” by Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris: