2021 Puzzle 11: “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” Solution

November’s MMMM, billed as the toughest of the year, challenged solvers to find a song from the ’70s. The puzzle title, “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon,” refers to a popular Paul Simon album from the ’70s. It turns out the meta answer is the most popular song on the record. Pretty sneaky! But how do you get there?

Most solvers quickly found the first step. The grid has five entries that can precede the word “Simon”: SIMPLE, NEIL, CARLY, SAINT, and (can’t forget him) PAUL. In addition, each of these five words have easy-to-find rhymes in the grid: DIMPLE, SEAL, BARLEY, PAINT, and SAUL. Now what? I figured the next step would be really challenging, so I offered an optional hint, in exchange for getting fewer points and losing eligibility for the mug drawing. 126 people took me up on the offer. Here’s the hint:

Start with Simon and end with rhymin’, putting together what you find inside. One more rhyme remains.

The hint suggests the mechanism for the next step. Take each rhyming pair and find the unique word in the grid that starts with the first letter of the “Simon” and ends with the first letter of the rhyme.

As shown in the graphic above, there’s SYD for SIMPLE/DIMPLE, NODS for NEIL/SEAL, CAROB for CARLY/BARLEY, SAP for SAINT/PAINT, and PMS for PAUL/SAUL.

Next, take all the inside letters and concatenate them, giving Y-O-D-A-R-O-A-M, or YODA ROAM. What’s a YODA ROAM? An obscure reference to the Mandalorian?

As the hint suggests, one rhyme remains, and it’s the song on “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon” that rhymes with YODA ROAM: Kodachrome, this month’s meta answer.


Meta Song:

We learned this really quickly and only had time for a couple of takes before the sun set in our treehouse location. But I’m happy with how it turned out – enjoy!


Selected Solver Comments:

Wendy Walker   And to think that initially I rejected the idea of the meta answer being ANY song on that album!   Sneaky, I know. Originally I had constructed the puzzle to have the answer be “Stressed Out” by Twenty One Pilots, since the song talks about rhyming, with the step before being REST SPOUT…but I figured more people would enjoy the “Kodachrome” reveal.

Rocklouder2424   No One: I wonder what rhymes with “Kodachrome”? Pete: YODA ROAM!!!

Katiedid   Flora/Dora was distracting, since googling brings up a singer named Flora Simon.   Evan mentioned the same thing. Turns out there is a (fairly obscure) Assyrian singer named Flora Simon. Sorry!

Evan   I just saw on Wikipedia that apparently Paul Simon originally titled the song “Goin’ Home.” That’s a near-rhyme for “Kodachrome,” so was that the inspiration for this puzzle?   No, but that’s a cool coincidence!

I. K. Snamhcok   I liked the wording of the hint. Like something from an Agatha Christie mystery.   Thanks!

Leslie   Darn, I should have had it without the hint. Gave up too easily!

andeux   Tough even with the hint. No idea how anyone got it without.   Turns out 47 people did…we’ve got some crack meta solvers in this group!


Alternative Music Clues:

pbfrommn suggests cluing SIRE as [Record label for Talking Heads and the Ramones] and CASE as [“Blacklisted” musician Neko].

Pete Mitchell suggests cluing EYED as [“Brown ___ Girl”].

Evan suggests cluing LONE as [“___ Star State of Mind” (1987 Nanci Griffith album)].



BrennerTJ   It was a sunny day when the answer appeared.

TMart   When I think back on this meta, it’s a wonder I can think at all.


A total of 78 solvers found their way to the correct answer this month (47 without a hint!). The average rating for the puzzle was 4.5 stars out of 5, the highest of the year, and the average difficulty rating was 4.68, the hardest of the year. This month’s randomly chosen winner of an MMMM coffee mug is Hesky Fisher from NYC. 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 next month!