2024 Puzzle 4: “Unleash Your Inner Diva” Solution

The April MMMM challenged users to find a musical term. The puzzle has five theme entries, each containing a different color:

The first letters of each of these colors spell out A-T-U-R-A. Now what? The trick is to append those letters to “color” to create the operatic term COLORATURA, this month’s meta answer.

For those solvers familiar with the term, the meta was fairly straightforward. Those that hadn’t heard the term “coloratura” but googled “color” and “atura” found an easy path as well. Others had more of a struggle.

A number of people submitted NATURAL, reasoning that the letters ATURA are “inside” the word “natural” and natural is a musical term. I didn’t find this argument compelling enough to give credit as an alternate answer (sorry!).

I did, however, come very close to giving David Stein credit. He submitted FORTE. Why? For Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour, she wears a different nail polish color on each fingernail, to represent 10 albums in her career. Five of those colors are similar to the five colors in the puzzle grid: gold (AMBER) for the album “Fearless,” light blue (AQUA) for “1989,” red (RED) for “Red,” green (TEAL) for “Taylor Swift,” and tan (UMBER) for “Evermore.” The first letters of those album titles spell out “FORTE,” which is indeed a musical term. But for this to work you need to say that “O,” not “N,” is the first letter of “1989,” which is a stretch, and in addition, some of the colors are not great matches. But it’s still a crazy coincidence!

Click + to see the relevant diagram.











Meta Song:

Quite the challenge this month to figure out what to record for COLORATURA. Not the 10-minute Coldplay song. Not a purely classical piece. How’s about a hybrid jazz band + opera singer take on Mozart’s “Queen of the Night,” one of the most well-known coloratura arias? Enjoy!


Selected Solver Comments:

BirdBrain   Thanks for the new vocabulary word!

syoustra   LOVED this one!!!!!

Hollie   Very clever and satisfying meta!

BarbaraK   Wasn’t one of your goals in recording the meta answer each month to expand your musical horizons? I think this one will really really do that.

hoover   Almost fooled me with (N)ATURA(L). That fits “inner” but not “diva” or why they would be color names in the first place.


Alternative Music Clues:

Evan suggests cluing KEMP as [Spandau Ballet bassist Martin].

shirk suggests cluing HORSE as [“A ___ With No Name” (1972 America hit)].

EasyNow suggests cluing EVIL as [“___ Ways” (1970 Santana single)].

Redhead64 suggests cluing YEAR as [Story of the ___ (emo band that did “Until the Day I Die”)].

Eric H suggests cluing LONER as [With “The,” Neil Young’s first solo single].

pbfrommn suggests cluing WHEEL as [“___ in the Sky” (track that opens side two of Journey’s “Infinity” LP)].



mpf004   Color me impressed!

AWise   Aria nice puzzle!

billkatz   And of course PDQ Bach wrote for the “off-coloratura”

FunkyPhD   You Colour(Ed) My World with this one. I put on my Blue Suede Shoes, drank my Red Red Wine, got a little Mellow Yellow, and sang Paint It, Black to my Brown Eyed Girl, The Lady in Red. We have the most Rainbow Connection.


Totals this month:

301 correct, 83 incorrect

Rating: 4.06 out of 5 stars

Difficulty: 3.11 out of 5

Monthly mug winner: Ethan Budin from Deerfield, IL

Thanks to Matt Gaffney for blogging the puzzle at Crossword Fiend, where you can rate the puzzle (thanks!) and/or leave a comment.

Thanks to Tamara Brenner for the graphic.

Thanks for playing and see you next month!