The first MMMM Theme Construction contest challenged solvers to come up with a list of songs, whose first words chain together to form the first words of another song. (See the bottom of the page for the full set of rules). Congratulations to Todd Gross, who will receive an MMMM coffee mug for his entry below:
|CRIMSON AND CLOVER||16||Tommy James & the Shondells||Ah, now I don’t hardly know her…|
|FOLLOW THE CROWD||14||Irving Berlin||Look at the crowd up the avenue…|
|I WILL SURVIVE||12||Gloria Gaynor||At first I was afraid…|
|CALIFORNIA DREAMIN||17||The Mamas and the Papas||All the leaves are brown…|
|LIFE IN ONE DAY||12||Howard Jones||The old man said to me…|
|LOVE IS ON THE WAY||14||Saigon Kick||Lonely sidewalks, silent night…|
|DAYS THAT USED TO BE||16||Neil Young||People say don’t rock the boat…|
|Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles)|
There were a number of excellent entries and picking a winner was hard! Todd gets the nod because he had seven (!) theme entries, quite a few well-known songs in the theme entries, and a great payoff song in Eleanor Rigby. My fellow judge said “I was impressed by all – but Todd made me smile.” Thanks to everyone who participated. I will do another one of these next year.
Runners-up are listed below along with their entries:
First runner-up: Faith McDonald
|JUST BECAUSE||11||Elvis Presley||Well, well, well, just because…|
|MANEATER||8||Hall & Oates||She only comes out at night . . .|
|THE SECOND TIME||13||Fleetwood Mac||Was it in my mind . . .|
|SAY WE CAN||8||Diana Ross||Just say we can…|
|COMING CLEAN||11||Green Day||Seventeen and strung out on confusion . . .|
|I Saw Her Standing There (The Beatles)|
Great entry, fantastic payoff song, and a very close second. A few points off for having fewer theme entries and fewer well-known songs.
Second runner-up: David Bael
|TAKE A CHANCE ON ME||15||Abba||If you change your mind…|
|SHADOW DANCING||13||Andy Gibb||You got me looking at that heaven in your eyes…|
|NEW YORK NEW YORK||14||Frank Sinatra||Start spreading the news…|
|CUMBERLAND GAP||13||Traditional||Me and my wife and my wife’s pap…|
|WHAT WOULD YOU SAY||15||Dave Matthews Band||Up and down the puppies’ hair…|
|Start Me Up (Rolling Stones)|
Great entry and great payoff song along with very well-known songs. Points off for CUMBERLAND GAP which doesn’t start with “Me” in most recorded versions.
Third runner-up: Ray Hamel
|DON’T MEAN NOTHING||15||Richard Marx||Welcome to the big time…|
|WESTERN MOVIES||13||The Olympics||To save my soul…|
|BRAND NEW LOVER||13||Dead or Alive||Your sweet nature…|
|LEAVING LAS VEGAS||15||Sheryl Crow||Life springs eternal…|
|Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Tears for Fears)|
Find theme entries for a crossword meeting the following constraints:
- Each theme entry is a reasonably well-known song title.
- The lengths of the theme entries are symmetric (e.g. 15, 13, 13, 15 or 11, 7, 9, 7, 11).
- Chaining together the first words of each song creates an opening line for another song.
- The first word of each song is *not* in the song title.
- The more theme entries, the better. They don’t necessarily have to all fit in a 15x grid – larger grids are ok.
- The more well-known the songs are, the better.
- It has to be the very first word of the song. “Ohs” and the like count.
- If the opening lyric is related to starting things, that’s pretty sweet. For example, finding eight songs that give you Elvis Costello’s “Oh I just don’t know where to begin” would be pretty great.
- Ideally the opening lyric words are in the order of the theme entries, as in “Hey I Wake Trailer” above. Out-of-order words (e.g. “I Wake Trailer Hey” for the example above) will be considered, albeit with some demerits for inelegance.