2017 Puzzle 10: “Move Like the King” Solution

The October MMMM, “Move Like the King,” challenges solvers to find a song from the late 1970s. Three grid entries provide direction:

* CHESS, clued as [Game in which the king starts at the center (well, close) of one side of the board and moves one square at a time horizontally, vertically, or diagonally]

* BEGIN and END (both unclued)

The trick lies in realizing you have to find a path from the center of BEGIN (“G”) to the center of END (“N”), moving as a king does in chess. A total of 137 solvers were able to find the appropriate path and spell out the “classic” lyric “Get down, boogie oogie oogie, get down,” from the 1978 Taste of Honey song Boogie Oogie Oogie, this month’s meta answer.

Bob J points out that using the trick from last year’s mega-meta, the song spells out “BOO,” appropriately for a Halloween-month meta.

Shawn P clued me in to the coincidence that Burger King used this song for an ad, which provides another connection from this puzzle’s title, “Move Like the King,” to the answer. I wish I could say I planned it!

I committed to learning and performing all of this year’s meta answers. I wanted the challenge of learning and performing a song over a day or two, and it’s helping make me a better musician. So thanks for putting up with these!

Selected User Comments:

Gwinns   When I was tracing the answer, I was smiling ear to ear. Great meta!

glasser   I was convinced for hours that the answer had to start with GEORGE. (BrainBoggler said the same thing.)

Blind Pursuit   I haven’t used the three long answers at all so I know I’m missing something!   Nope – the fill surprisingly constrained me enough so that if I wanted three long answers, they weren’t going to connect to the theme. I did have a version that used SOLID GOLD DANCER and IT’S A ZOO OUT THERE but I couldn’t get the fill to where I wanted it.

mathdanmom   It’s always nice when my age is an advantage.

Qatsi I hope this one doesn’t turn into an earworm.   Sorry!


Clues That Could Have Been Musical:

Evan and Mike W suggest cluing TOM as [Singer Petty (1950-2017)]. So sad to lose him early.

andeux and chnest suggest cluing PARANOIA as [Destroyer of Kinks?].

jagoandlitefoot suggests cluing SPIN as [Music magazine founded by Bob Guccione, Jr. in 1985].

Redhead64 suggests cluing FAINT as [With “the,” electro-indie band that did “Desperate Guys”].



jefe   Hard to Google-oogle-oogle!

pannonica    Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll!

jeremiahsjohnson   Great lyrics.   I’m thinking this might be sarcastic :).

azmat   Path resembles my worst dance moves, which are probably also my best.

Ira   Sweet meta! Was tempted to get a Bit-O-Honey bar!


The average rating for the puzzle was 4.2 stars out of 5, and the average difficulty rating was 3.16, easier than last month’s. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Emily O’Neill from Vancouver, CA. Congrats Emily on your second mug! Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle (thanks!) and/or leave a comment.

Thanks for playing and see you in a month!