2017 Puzzle 7: “Let’s Do It A Cappella!” Solution

The July MMMM challenged solvers to find “a type of musician.” The clues for ORCHESTRA [Musical group] and for BRASS BAND [Musical group that’s augmented in this puzzle, in more ways than one] provide a hint as to what’s going on. Seven musical instruments show up in the grid, augmented by one letter, as follows:


Four of the instruments (TRUMPET, TUBA, CORNET, and HORN) are found in a BRASS BAND, which is augmented with the addition of a HARP, FLUTE, and SAX. The added letters are symmetrically placed in the grid, and, when read in order, spell out S-O-L-O-I-S-T. SOLOIST is this month’s meta answer.


Selected Solver Comments:

wowfie   This is my first time on this website and I really enjoyed this puzzle!   Thanks!

Amanda Hugginkiss   I loved this one. Just enough of a challenge to be fun, but not frustrating.   Thanks!

Becky56   I am impressed with the way you got the extra letters to be symmetrical and in order.   Qatsi, Al, mpstable, and many others noticed too – thanks! 

JanglerNPL   So basically any song you sing for this one will be thematic. 🙂   Actually, I have something different planned for this month. See below.

Dave C   STRUMPET felt like it was gonna be related, even before the “revealer” came into play.   Using STRUMPET was intentional – I wanted to give solvers a foothold. Perhaps it made it a little too easy!


Clues That Could Have Been Musical:

Mike W suggests cluing SOHO as [Scene of a werewolf with a Chinese menu].

rachaar suggests cluing ASPCA as [Group whose tear-jerking commercials use Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel”], while Redhead64 suggests [Animal-friendly org. mentioned in Napoleon XIV’s “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!”].

mmurphy suggests cluing DIESEL as [“Sausalito Summernight” band], while Veep suggests [“___ and Dust” (Midnight Oil hit album)].

Finally, andeux mentions that Doug FLUTIE is also a drummer in the Flutie Brothers Band.



TeamDelphiRune   What? No trombone?

Rishi   Banjour! Felt sharp and was never rattled on this one. Wanted to ensnare your theme in this comment and cover all the bases, so it’s more cymbalic than accurate! See you luter!


Here’s a video of the seven (!) players in my band taking their turn as a soloist during soundcheck for our Summertide Festival gig Saturday night (David Silliman on drums, Skip Ward on bass, John Whoolilurie on sax, Timba Harris on violin, Katie Jacoby on violin, Missy Soltero on vocals, and yours truly). We had a blast!


A total of 215 people found their way to the answer this month, the second-highest total of the year so far. The average rating for the puzzle was 4.13 stars out of , close to the highest of the year so far. The average difficulty rating was 2.37 out of 5, on the easy side of the scale. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Lisa Singh from Lebanon, OH. 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!