Set List

Set List 5

Words:  70

Average Length:  5.29

Here’s a concert line-up for you:  the immensely talented Justin Timberlake, metal gods AC/DC, grunge idol Soundgarden, the magically-reformed Beatles, the ever-innovative Police, a reincarnated Otis Redding, more grunge from Nirvana, and closing the show, those giants of American music, the Grateful Dead.  I’d go for sure, and tickets would undoubtedly be cheaper than seeing Taylor Swift.  Enjoy the solve and the tunes!

(The photo has nothing to do with the puzzle. It’s from the Fathala Nature Reserve in Senegal, which I visited last week.)

online | puz | pdf | solution

Set List

Set List 4: Raitt/Brubeck/Hall & Oates/Grateful Dead

Words:  76

Average Length:  4.87

Difficulty:  Easier than finding four less similar acts to perform in the same concert

Florence’s river (63 Across)

Persuading smushed-together song titles to divide symmetrically is a non-trivial undertaking.  My other Set List puzzles had symmetrical theme answers spanning three long entries.  For this puzzle, try as I might, I could only create a set list spanning two long, symmetrical entries.  I’d been thinking of using the made-up rumored collaboration at 38 Across in a different puzzle, but I decided a shorter set list would be fine provided that the collaboration had a central spot in this grid.

online | puz | pdf | solution

Set List

Set List 3:   Springsteen/Bryan Adams/Bee Gees/Springsteen/Katy Perry

Words:  74

Average Length:  4.95

Difficulty:  Mostly easy listening with an occasional #9 chord

Two years ago today, I was on the Celebrity Constellation – decorated with the requisite statue of gorilla holding a fish – on my way from Dubai to Singapore.

puz | pdf | solution

After several months, here’s another Set List puzzle.  (The first two are available here and here.) As the note says, assume these musicians are playing a concert together (Bruce gets two songs because he’s Bruce, after all).  Bruce starts it off, Bryan Adams continues, and the songs run into each other.  Your job is to figure out the set list.  Please enjoy, share, etc.  Next up (1/9) will be a tough themeless.

Set List

Set List 2: The Who/Cat Stevens/The Beatles/REM/Andy Williams

puz | pdf | solution

Word count:  84 (grid is 17×15)

Average Length:  5.07

Difficulty:  Between 3 and 4 out of 5, depending on the overlap between your musical memories and mine.

Statue of The Beatles, taken in July 2019 in Liverpool.

Enjoy this musical mash-up, and please share freely with kith and kin alike.  Comments and suggestions are welcomed.  Question for constructors using CrossFire:  is there a way to specify the type of symmetry, or are you stuck with rotational unless you hand-insert the blocks to create central symmetry?

26A:  The long-ago anthropology major in me finds it fascinating how various cultures have disparate takes (and bestow different significance) on very similar foods, as with the dishes in this clue and answer (cousins of which appear in cuisines from around the world); crepes/blintzes/blini/enchiladas are another example. 

62A:  The last song in the set list was first performed by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but Andy Williams is most closely identified with the tune.

71A:  In cluing this, it just occurred to me that several common synonyms for “try” are pretty violent – this answer, “shot,” and “tackle” come immediately to mind.  I wonder if that’s true only in English or whether other languages have similarly aggressive formulations.  Any ideas?

76A:  My favorite Steely Dan album, containing my favorite Steely Dan song (the deliciously paranoid and gentrification-bemoaning Kid Charlemagne). Several years ago, I saw them on back-to-back nights at DAR Constitution Hall.  They played this complete album the first night and Aja the second.   I’m (Can’t-Buy-a) Thrill(ed) to see the recent proliferation of Steely Dan references from independent constructors.

45D:  My apologies if you like this stuff, and no offense intended, but this is one unappetizing flavor combination as far as I’m concerned.

Set List

Set List 1: Swift-Dylan-Robinson-Clapton-Summer

puz | pdf | solution

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.

Specific comments:

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.