Word Count: 72
Average Length: 5.08
Difficulty: Between 2 and 3.5/5, depending on the breadth of your musical knowledge
I hope you all enjoy solving this as much as I enjoyed constructing it. After 63 years immersed in rock, jazz, and classical music I figured I’d zero in on something I love, which accounts not only for the theme but also 8 of the non-theme answers. Anyway, please have fun and share the puzzle extravagantly if you liked it. Constructive comments and suggestions are always appreciated!
On the road to Nordkapp, Norway, the northernmost inhabited point in continental Europe. The surrounding area is populated by 31A and their reindeer herds.
20A: The Dylan album in the answer is way up on my top 10 all-time favorites. The first two cuts (Tangled Up in Blue and Simple Twist of Fate) are brilliant; Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts is fantastic; and Shelter from the Storm is a classic.
23A: In my first draft of the puzzle, the final letter in the answer was an “L,” which made both 23A and 21D dull. Then I realized I could change the last letter and give a shout out to a world music giant, while also marginally improving 23D.
27D: This song has the most hilariously self-deprecating lyrics I’ve ever heard, starting with the first verse:
I have a mansion, forget the price
Ain’t never been there, they tell me it’s nice
I live in hotels, tear out the walls
I have accountants pay for it all
30D: For the most part, Joan Baez has interpreted other artists’ songs, but she wrote the gorgeous yet scathing song (about her ex-lover, Bob Dylan) whose title forms the answer. She truly deserves her recent Kennedy Center Honor.