Who doesn't like a little music with their crossword? At 32-Across on Wednesday we had the clue [1978 song with the line "There's no need to be unhappy"] for a four-letter answer, which turned out to be YMCA. Cluing a song title with a line from it is especially fun, since often the solver will think "I know this...but what song is it?" Just seeing the lyric on the page, and then having to put the music to it seems to jog the brain in a new way.
Of course, the entry YMCA didn't have to be clued to the song, but some titles do. The 1998 Sarah McLachlan ballad "Adia" has become a crossword staple, appearing 34 times in the New York Times crossword since its release. Other titles, such as Eric Clapton's LAYLA and OutKast's HEY YA, are also commonly seen in puzzles and almost always clued musically.
Shorter song titles, like SOS (Abba and Rihanna), BAD (Michael Jackson), and LOW (Flo Rida) are of course easy to clue otherwise. Steely Dan's AJA is usually clued to the song,though with A'ja Wilson winning the WNBA's MVP award last year we have a more current way to clue this one now.
At the other end of the song-title-length-spectrum we have this puzzle in which constructor Ardeshir Dalal broke up the letters in the "Mary Poppins" song SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALODOCIOUS in entries throughout the grid. Pretty funny, and you certainly won't see this title as often as ADIA in your puzzles.
Got a song title you'd like to solve? Tweet it to #beastxword and I promise I'll listen.
Play today’s puzzle and sign up for our weekly crossword newsletter on the bottom of the puzzle page.