2018 Puzzle 6: “Song Circle” Solution

The grid for June’s MMMM, “Song Circle,” contains four artists as theme entries: JOHN MELLENCAMP, (the) BEATLES, CREAM, and (the) EVERLY BROTHERS. The final theme entry, OVERLAP, is clued as [What the four song titles you’re looking for do]. As stated in the instructions, the meta for this puzzle is the song (of the four) with the shortest title. So we’re looking for four songs by the artists in question whose titles overlap in some way.

The easiest path to the solution is through the Cream catalog, since Cream doesn’t have as many hits as the other artists. Many (but not all) solvers had to google to come up with the four overlapping songs:

HURTS SO GOOD John Mellencamp
LOVE HURTS The Everly Brothers


Love Hurts has the shortest title of the four, and is this month’s meta answer.

A small number of solvers got to the Everly Brothers and then picked “Love Her” or “Love Is Strange,” not realizing that the fourth song needs to connect to the first song to complete the circle. Some solvers made sure I saw their full song circle just in case there was an alternate solution. Rest assured, there are not many loops out there containing four reasonably popular songs!

If you enjoyed trying to find the songs, here’s another challenge for you. I found a similar loop of three songs connecting the following artists: Sting, the Rolling Stones, and R.E.M. See if you can find it! If you’re stuck, click here for the first song.


Meta Song:

I had a blast learning “Love Hurts” with a couple of folks in my band (Melissa Soltero and John Whoolilurie, who were both also in last month’s video). Enjoy!


Selected Solver Comments:

BobJas   Whew, finally! I spent more time looking at song lists than I care to admit.

ant   Frustrating meta, but incredibly easy in hindsight. The best kind!

Amanda Hugginkiss   I loved how it all came full circle.

bschoner   …a new addition to my “songs you never knew were covers” list!   A lot of people are more familiar with the Nazareth version of “Love Hurts.”

jagoandlitefoot   I very nearly submitted “Hurts So Good” before I took another look at the title and realized the fourth song had to connect back to the first!

pannonica   But the Everlys had a B-side in ’63 called “Love Her”. Isn’t that strange?   Even stranger that the Everly Brothers have a song called “Love Is Strange” too!

Rich O’Malley   When I was a college DJ, I put together a “Jigsaw Puzzle Day” … Whole Lotta Love Comes Walking In n Out Of Jailhouse Rock n Roll With It Ain’t Me Babe I’m Gonna Leave You May Be Right Now Here Comes the Sunshine of Your Love Me Do You Remember Rock n Roll Radio Radio Radio Song Remains The Same Old Song And Dance.   Very cool. But too many for a grid 🙂



jeremiahsjohnson   The Everly Brothers covered that Nazareth song?

Laurabrarian   I really learned a lot.

kaymook   It’s gonna hurt if I didn’t get this right.

Mehitabel   Let it be easier.


Clues That Could Have Been Musical:

Redhead64 suggests cluing TACO as [“___ Grande” (Weird Al parody of a Gerardo song)].

rachaar suggests cluing SMILE as [“The ___ Sessions” (Beach Boys compilation album)].

Evan suggests cluing COAT as [“Sell Me a ___” (David Bowie song that alludes to a garment with “little patch pockets”].

fheaney suggests cluing SNAP as [1983 greatest-hits collection by the Jam].


A total of 246 solvers found their way to the correct answer this month. The average rating for the puzzle was 4.09 stars out of 5, and the average difficulty rating was 2.91. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Tom Moosbrugger of Cincinnati. Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle (thanks!) and/or leave a comment.

A total of 24 solvers have cracked the mega-meta so far – congrats!

Thanks for playing and see you next month!