2017 Puzzle 5: “Body of Work” Solution

The May MMMM, “Body of Work,” challenged solvers to find a band in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The puzzle has five similarly-clued theme entries: LOVESTRONG, PURE HEROINE, SPIRIT, JUST FRIENDS, and FOUNDATION.

The key to cracking the meta is looking up the songs on each album, and noticing that each album contains a song with a one-word title that’s also a body part:

ARMS on “Lovestrong”
RIBS on “Pure Heroine”
HANDS on “Spirit”
EYES on “Just Friends”
TOES on “The Foundation”

Anagramming the first letter of each of these song titles gives H-E-A-R-T: also a body part, a famous band, and this month’s answer.

I knew I might have an issue this month when Norm H submitted ZZ TOP (because of their song “Legs”), but wondered if HEART, or FACES (since it is also a one-word plural body part) weren’t also possible answers. If you make it to the correct meta answer for the right reason, as Norm did, and you’re still not sure you’re correct, I’ve done something wrong. Oops!

Matt Gaffney, Flinty Steve, and glasser also suggested that TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS might be acceptable. While no one submitted this answer, I would have given it full credit.

I’ve decided to give partial credit to solvers who submitted ZZ TOP (2 points) or FACES (1 point). Those who submitted HEART get full credit (3 points) and are eligible for this month’s mug drawing. In hindsight, simply numbering the theme entries in order of the H-E-A-R-T would have completely removed this issue.

There were a few things that made this month’s meta a little more difficult, appropriately so for a month-five puzzle. Both JEWEL and LORDE are in the grid, but the other three artists aren’t. And a few of the albums contain other songs with body parts in longer titles, e.g. “Lovestrong” includes “Jar of Hearts.”

Despite this confusion, 125 solvers managed to find their way to HEART. 10 submitted ZZ TOP, and two submitted FACES.

I received incorrect 7 NIRVANA submissions, probably due to people thinking of “Smells like Teen SPIRIT” and Courtney LOVE.


Selected User Comments:

Steve Blais   I think you should do a piano version of Magic Man this month (their best song in my opinion)   Great song, but I chose differently…see below. Somehow singing “Come on home girl, I said with a smile” didn’t seem quite right.

ant   Had a hard time picking between HEART and ZZ TOP…I gotta say, I’d rather see you sing LEGS.   Who knows, maybe that will be a meta answer one day.

Kevin B   I love Heart!   Me too!

Maggie W   It reminded me of the most underrated song of all time: “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.”  

rachaar   I’m in awe that you found five albums with songs named after body parts – that happened to spell out the theme answer. Which happens to be another body part.

mpstable   I got to the track lists quickly bc I remember the song Hands being everywhere my first year of college.

Ertchin   Great fill this month!   Thank you!



I clued BELA as [First name of a banjo player that rhymes with the first name of a jazz singer known for scatting]. Brent Holman points out that Béla Fleck’s first name doesn’t actually rhyme with Ella. It’s more like Bay-la. Guilty as charged.



Pancho    This puzzle deserves a toast. So, bottoms up!   For ZZ Top’s “Tush” I suppose?

patanga   I got distracted by Jar of Hearts at first but then I wrapped my Arms around it.

peacelisa   It takes heart and strong love to lay the foundation beyond being just friends. In fact, it takes a hero or heroine to get the spirit of this puzzle!

ConvolutED   So this ain’t the end, I solved it again, today A meta for the month of May Waiting for June; ready to name that tune With clues, I never lose! You picking bands from the seventies I’m gonna write the parodies You’d have me stop, stop, stop, stop sending these Now wouldn’t you, Meta Buddha?   …to the tune of “Barracuda”


Clues That Could Have Been Musical:

ab suggests cluing DR DOOM as [Alias for Kool Keith].    Turns out it’s DR. DOOOM. 

rachaar suggests cluing IRAN as [1982 Flock of Seagulls hit].

Redhead64 suggests cluing BALE as [Actor Christian whose rant on the set of “Terminator Salvation” was remixed into a techno song].


I decided to give “What About Love” a go this month – hope you like it.

The average rating for the puzzle was 3.97 stars out of 5. The average difficulty rating was 3.17 out of 5. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is ASB from Portland, Oregon. Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle and/or leave a comment.

Thanks for playing and see you in a month!