Swimmer Kristin / WED 11-5-14 / 1954 hit for Chords / Cary who played Robin Hood / 1965 hit for Dixie Cups / Modern acronym meaning carpe diem / BP merger partner of 1998 / 1973 song by Rolling Stones subtitled Heartbreaker / Pre-1939 atlas name / Song of South appellation

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Constructor: Gareth Bain

Relative difficulty: Easy

THEME: songs with nonsense titles

Theme answers:
  • "DO WAH DIDDY DIDDY" (17A: 1964 hit for Manfred Mann)
  • "OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA" (26A: 1968 song from the Beatles' "White Album")
  • "IKO IKO" (37A: 1965 hit for the Dixie Cups)
  • "SH-BOOM" (39A: 1954 hit for the Chords)
  • "MMM, MMM, MMM, MMM" (46A: 1994 hit for the Crash Test Dummies)
  • "DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO" (60A: 1973 song by the Rolling Stones subtitled "Heartbreaker")
Word of the Day: MT. COOK (47D: Highest peak in N.Z.) —
Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Until 2014, its height was officially listed as 3,754 metres, but new measurements have given a revised height of 3,724 metres (12,218 ft). It lies in the Southern Alps, the mountain range which runs the length of the South Island. A popular tourist destination,[2] it is also a favourite challenge for mountain climbers. Aoraki / Mount Cook consists of three summits lying slightly south and east of the main divide, the Low Peak, Middle Peak and High Peak, with the Tasman Glacier to the east and the Hooker Glacier to the west. (wikipedia)
• • •

There's something cute about this, I suppose, but I think I found it less charming that I was supposed to.  I think my interest in the puzzle waned considerably when I hit the Crash Test Dummies clue and just pounded the "M" key over and over and over again. Perhaps the pleasure is in remembering the songs, if you happen to be fans of them. It's an interesting set, albeit an odd one. Four of the songs are "hits," but two … aren't. Or they sort of are because they're by legendary bands, but they're not clued as "hits" because … I don't know. "DOO DOO DOO DOO DOO (Heartbreaker)" got as high as #15 on the Billboard Hot 100. I think that's a "hit." "OB-LA-DI etc." wasn't even released as a single til 1976, and only got as high as #49. Five sixths of these answers feature repeated sounds, leaving "SH-BOOM" out in the cold. I dig the nonsense, but the coherence factor seems slightly lacking.

Then there's the grid, which is brutally segmented, resulting in a slew of (mostly gruesome) three-letter answers. Seriously, tons of them. The middle is especially intolerable, with its BOK LAO IDE and its ISMS and its EMI RMN SIM. RAI and ANI and HOR above, OTT and ONT and POR below. It's pretty rough. No long(er) Downs to add spice to the grid. So it's a fine puzzle if what you're looking to do is take a little nostalgia tour of novelty songs, but as a puzzle, it's a little lacking in heft, oomph, zip, sh-boom.

Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld


Whirred Whacks 12:07 AM  

Fun puzzle with a happy melodic trip down memory lane.

It's always nice to see a swimmer cited in the NYT X-word. Kristin OTTO dominated the Seoul '88 Olympics (she would've won 7 Golds had the 4x200 relay been part of the program then). She would've also been the golden girl at the 1984 LA Olympics as well, but East Germany boycotted those games.

If you talk to most serious swimming fans, they'll say about Otto: "A very good swimmer but her accomplishments will always be tarnished by her state-administered steroid use."

BTW: tonight is a great day for America!

Billy 12:08 AM  

This impressed me with the number of silly song names I knew and didn't know.

Unknown 12:23 AM  

Easy? Or impossible. I didn't know any of the songs, so this was like solving downs only. I ended with 7 errors.

vIALIS/vAl/OAlER. I guess vIALIS is not a thing. vA_ and OA_ER were just ungettable combo. What's an OATER, anyway?

tIM/tHBOOM was the best I could guess there. Better than jIM/jHBOOM. So, SHBOOM was a song? Alastair Sim was a man? OK, if you say so.

DOODOODmODOODOO/mNT is my bad. Manitoba doesn't border the Great Lakes. ONT clearly does. (I'd started with Michigan...)

If these songs have been played on the radio in the passed 50 years, they've been on stations that don't announce song names or performers. Not sure where one goes to learn this stuff.

You'll get me every time on these. Ho hum.

Steve J 12:40 AM  

The most amusing thing with this puzzle is watching Rex try to find some sort of Platonic ideal of nonsense and not find it.

Either that, or "I dig the nonsense, but the coherence factor seems slightly lacking" is one of the best lines of sarcasm/satire/irony/parody/Poe's Law ever.

This was a fine little bit of fluff. Nothing much stood out, but it was fun to remember the bits of musical fluff the puzzle celebrates.

chefwen 12:49 AM  

I'm with @Casco Kid on this one, only knew two DO WAH DIDDY and OB LA DI. Not my favorite Gareth puzzle. Saw all the M's in 46A and just filled the rest in on a guess.

Casco, an OATER is a cowboy/horsey kind of a movie.

DOO DOO DOO just reminded me of new puppy Bucky who seems to want to DOO that often during the course of the day.

Viagra CIALIS commercials drive me crazy during football games. Are those really necessary?

jae 1:00 AM  

Much easier than yesterday's for me.  Knew all the theme answers except MMMMMM... and had no erasures.  

@Rex different generations.  I stopped paying close attention to pop music in the early '80s, but I'll bet my daughter knows Crash Test Dummies.  My granddaughter, not so much.  Now Pharrell Williams is another story.

Liked what ever the theme was, made me chuckle.  Nice one Garth

Jisvan 1:17 AM  

Didn't really know all of the songs, but the pattern was clear in the south, so I just filled in the M's and the DOO's. I wanted to get a dum diddy do in the DOWAHDIDDYDIDDY, so I think that one came back to me, and OBLADI, OBLADA, well, those were the wonder years...
I'm starting to know a whole lot more Crosswordese. Things like OATER, @cascokid. It's almost an Oreo. Or an eel! And I couldn't help but notice (ahem) the ORAL SEX PRO hanging around EROS on the east coast. Easy Wednesday. (Will not say hump day, that's enough!)

Lee Coller 1:21 AM  

I can see if you knew the songs how this would be easy, but not knowing the songs (I have never heard of any of them) puts several Naticks in this puzzle, especially the SIM/SHBOOM cross.

John Child 1:54 AM  

Hands up for being Naticked at SIM SHBOOM. I went with a K there because Kim looked like a name. Otherwise a quick solve, though it felt harder because of the unknown songs.

I had an "I hope it's not..." moment when I considered that 46A might be all Ms.

George Barany 1:56 AM  

I very much appreciated @Rex's review. This was an interesting exercise, because even if the solver "kinda" knows the song, it can still be anyone's guess on how exactly to implement the nonsense spelling. One is left hoping for some kind of internal consistency [with MMMMMMMMMMMM, a song I had never heard of by a group I had never heard of being an extreme example] that might make at least some of it inferable. Like knowing either RAI or ANI might give two shots at the I, and knowing either YOLO or STYX might give two shots at the Y, in the repeated DIDDY refrain of the Manfred Mann song title. IKOIKO was another WOE that was pieced together by a similar strategy.

Nice to see a chemistry clue for IDE to make up for a non-chemistry clue for ATOM. Add RADON, and we have a chemistry trifecta.

The constructor, @Gareth Bain, informed me earlier this evening, via an exchange of Facebook messages, that this is the third time in his cruciverbal career that he has authored both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times offerings for the same day. So congratulations on that!

Questinia 2:21 AM  

Rex nailed the sentiment- *Gruesome* three letter fill but which could not lure me beyond DO WAH DIDDY so I stopped the TIME SUCK right there and abandoned crossword.
Sorry Gareth.

Questinia 2:28 AM  


Questinia 2:30 AM  

So I committed cruciverbiciIDE.

Questinia 2:37 AM  

AERIE kari.
Yes it took me seven minutes to come up with that one.

jae 2:48 AM  

Sheesh! That would be Gareth. @Questinia - Delight in the fact that you are way too young...the rest of the lyric is DUM DIDDY DO.

Clark 2:49 AM  

The only song I knew was OBLADI OBLADA.

So I did not get

DO?AHD??D?D?DDY crossing
EL?ES or
RA? or
ET? (coulda been ETA) or
?OLO or
AN? or
?HBOOM crossing

My worst Wednesday ever.

Charles Flaster 3:52 AM  

EZ because I lived the songs.SHBOOM remains one of my all-time favorites. It was also recorded early on by the Crew Cuts.
Never heard of Crash Test Dummies but first three MMMs were easy to see from the downs.
CrosswordEASE---ANI, EMI and OATER.
Liked cluing for NEST and ELOPE.
Any pop culture clues leave me cold so I feel for the younger set. All the songs were very popular in their day so it's good to see them in puzzle together.
Thanks GB even with beaucoup 3's.

GILL I. 5:06 AM  

Is there a song called Shitty Shitty Bang Bang?
Well, lets see, I liked...nope, didn't really like that one either.
@chefwen: Yes, damn it - I want to see Estroven at half-time.

Danp 6:06 AM  

Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm is one of my favorite songs. It so aptly describes the Republican election strategy, so the timing was perfect.

Peter in Chicago 7:00 AM  

In retrospect, this puzzle was charming, or maybe I just felt a sense of relief, post-solve. Relief in contrast to my pre-solve and mid-solve discomfort when I saw that the long acrosses would be nonsense syllables the majority of which I did not know.

The Manfred Mann, Dixie Cups, Chords, and Crash Test Dummies titles are all new to me.

The Beatles title I knew. The Rolling Stones title I only know from previous crossword puzzles.

I had considerable doubt that I would finish this one without errors, but I did. If I had been thwarted by a nonsense phrase I would have felt fundamentally aggrieved.

Fortunately the crossings were fair, and the nonsense syllables themselves proved to be inferrable in their own right, so I give this one positive feedback.

LHS 888 7:09 AM  

My experience seems to have been the opposite of most of the commenters thus far. I found the puzzle very easy. Like others I only knew 1.5 of the songs: OBLADIOBLADA & DOWAHDIDDY-----, so it was largely a downs-only solve for me (Hi! @Casco!). I guess I was luckier than others in that I knew ELWES, SIM, ONT. I was able to infer RAI, ANI. The last letter in the grid was the inferred O at the IKOIKO/LAO cross.

Only write-over was MOping before MOROSE.

I was with @John Child on the "I hope it's not" MMMM... moment. ^_^

I am always intrigued by the various ways NEST is clued. Overall, I really enjoyed this puzzle. Nice mix of words I didn't know balanced by words I did. Thanks GB / WS!

Unknown 7:26 AM  

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Leapfinger 7:36 AM  

@Questinia: Naticked the 2nd DIDDY? I almost blewthe 1st, because RAY. Small type, so I wondered why it took 7 minutes to come up with AERIE kaN. Save qui peut, and you did. Dy wah.

@Gil, you pre-empted my reaction perfectly, better than I would have.

A couple of years ago, I thought I didn't know IKO IKO either, though I did (dy wah). It's the soundtrack to that great "Rain Man" scene: driving the Nevada desert hwy, arguing over buying underwear at KWalMart. Lovely, both.

Thought 46A a big cheat (for the solver): get one for the price of twelve. Thought (DOO)x5 only marginally better than (MM)x6. Or (MMM)x4. Whichever is the case.

Then there was OTT OTTO INTERSECT, and A TO M crossing A TO P. REELy?? All that stuff @jisvan mentioned just barely makes up for it.

In spite of it all, Gareth, you're still the guy who brought up 'flense', so thanks. Just don't doodoo it againgain.

Unknown 7:45 AM  

Surprised by how it all fell out. First thought was "Blinded By the Light", but saw "iddy" and remembered Stripes abs Bill Murray singing "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" and flashing on Mann. The Stones "Heartbreaker" is a favorite. Don't know the Dummies but the "Mmmmmm's" revealed themselves in the downs. Beatles White is a great album and after the OBL it gave itself away. Never heard of either Shboom or Ikoiko and had Jhboom as well. Alleviate was enjoyable uptop. Interesting Wednesday for sure.

Lewis 7:49 AM  

Oh yes, lots of dreck threes, but this puzzle had lots of fun and zip as well. To begin with, 18 double letters, highest since I've been tracking. If that's not exciting enough, we had CIALIS neighboring SEX, we have a high TIDE and a closed DOOR, plus a column that reads SUDS ATOP RIDER (which is fun to imagine). This is a tribute to the value of crosses, at least for me, because I didn't know four of the songs, but the crosses got them for me.

Two possible Naticks for some, I think: SHBOOM/SIM and MTCOOK/CSA.

For me, the zip outweighed the dreck; I had a grand old time. Thank you sir Gareth!

Dorothy Biggs 7:59 AM  

So disappointed that the Police's "De do do do de do do da" was left out. I mean seriously...Crash Test Dummies v. The Police? It's no contest.

While I personally had no problem with the puzzle (I knew most of the songs), it makes for one ugly grid. Just look at it all filled out. Ugh. ly.

My own (personal) problem with the three-letter fill is the amount of abbreviations: ETD, SSN, CSA, EMI, RMN, ABC...these aren't even words...on top of the title ISMS of whacky lettering which aren't really words either.

Hey, maybe someone should create a puzzle filled entirely with no words...just letters. Obviously there would be lots of roman numerals in there, but no sense letting function get in the way of form.

Only nit is that STEAK is not a "dish." "Steak au poivre" is a dish. Chicken is not a dish, "Chicken Kiev" is a dish. I'm going to say that meat, in and of itself, is not a dish. If someone can explain why it is a dish, by all means I'd love to hear it.

Lewis 7:59 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dorothy Biggs 7:59 AM  

EDIT: De do do do de da da da.

Lewis 8:02 AM  

Factoid: One of the first CIALIS ads aired at the 2004 Super Bowl. Although many parents objected to the Cialis ad being aired during the Super Bowl, Janet Jackson's halftime "wardrobe malfunction" overshadowed Cialis. In January 2006, the Cialis ads were tweaked, adding a doctor on screen to describe side effects and only running ads where more than 90 percent of the audience are adults, effectively ending Super Bowl ads. (Wikipedia)

Quotoid: "When a man opens a car door for his wife, it's either a new car or a new wife." -- Prince Philip

Moly Shu 8:04 AM  

@Gareth, Hanson's MMMbop or De Do Do Do De Da Da Da by the Police didn't want in on this? Awesome puzzle. Especially liked INTERSECT and the clue for REDHAIR. So, some less than stellar 3's got in there, small price to pay IMHO. Liked it tons.

AERIE kari, effing brilliant, @Questinia. Don't care how long it took

Unknown 8:09 AM  

This was cute and fun...perhaps because I am a woman of a certain age. Gotta agree with @Steve J on this one,

AliasZ 8:21 AM  

I loved this puzzle, I did, I did, I did. True, it requires a little sensayuma to enjoy it, but I did anyway. I find sound-effects songs fun, playful and charming, and having a crossword constructed around them a fresh and ingenious idea. If however you feel that a crossword puzzle is a serious endeavor that must be approached as a dry, scholarly vocabulary exam, than this one was a useless exercise in frivolity.

Even though I knew the Manfred Mann hit, I had no idea how it was spelled, so figuring that one out was half the fun. I know OBLADI OBLADA and DO WAH DIDDY, the others not, so figuring those out was the other half of the fun.

The Alistair SIM version of A Christmas Carol (1951) is a classic, and in my opinion is the best on ever made. If you don't know it, you owe it to yourself to catch it during the coming month. It will probably be on TV six times between now and Dec. 25, guaranteed.

I liked the suggestive CIALIS, ELOPE, with ORAL, SEX, PRO, HOR sub-theme (I DUNNO if you can call it that). I didn't even mind the cluster of threes: ONT, OTT, POR, PRO, RAI etc. due to the fresh cluing for most of them.

I thoroughly enjoyed this puzzle, thank you Gareth. One of the best Wed. puzzles in memory.

To close with some joyful noise, here is "DEO Gracias" and the Recession from A Ceremony of Carols, Op. 28 by Benjamin Britten.

But life goes on, brah, and I gotta go too.

David 8:31 AM  

Minor correction of Rex re Obladi Oblada. Song was released as a single in 1968 in some countries. It was no. 1 in Australia when I was there in April 1969.

Unknown 8:40 AM  

Easy. Knew all the songs because, well, I guess I listened to a lot of different FM radio stations before the advent of the iPod. I was chagrined to see Kirstin OTTO celebrated in the puzzle. What the DDR did to those girls was, literally, criminal. None of those swimmers' accomplishments are valid IMHO.

And no anti-Nixon rants in the comments? Must be early. 😉

Leapfinger 8:40 AM  

@Lewis et alii: SH-BOOM, SH-BOOM, ya da da da da da da da da da SH-BOOM, SH-BOOM. I think that's right.

No really, I liked most of it just fine, esp the NEST being a home in the STYX. MISO sad ALL EVI ATE was STEAK au poivre, while ALL the solvers got were those dang M&Ms.

CIALIS is kind of self-explanatory: See, All Iss fine, I can pass a football through a tire! Isn't it odd that CIALIS is an ORAL med? IDE have thought that a topical issue.

Oh, and thanks for the Great Lakes clue. I bet all former Canucks were ONTop of that one!

Sir Hillary 8:42 AM  

Enjoyed this, never noticing the dreck. Like others here, I kept thinking of additional theme entries:
-- The Police - "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da" (one letter too long)
-- Phil Collins - "Sussudio"
-- Roy Orbison - "Ooby Dooby"
-- Iron Butterfly - "Inna Gadda Da Vida"
-- [original artist] - "Rama Lama Ding Dong"

The SHBOOM/SIM cross was brutal.

"Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm" has to be one of the oddest hit songs of the last 50 years. Three bizarre stories of misfit children who are really just misunderstood, sung by Brad Roberts in a deep bass almost never featured in a lead vocal. The melody and arrangement are quite beautiful, however. The entire God Shuffled His Feet album shown by @Rex (and produced by Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads) is filled with similarly quirky songs, albeit none as catchy as "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm".

joho 8:44 AM  

Loved it! Had a great beat and easy to dance to!

Along with Gareth's obvious sense of humor and whimsy it's great to also see Will's lighter side in publishing this delightful puzzle.

Like @Moly Shu, now I've got MMMBop in head which is my ultimate take away today ... not a bad thing!

Ludyjynn 8:48 AM  

Pretty much what @AliasZ just said. A nice little mid-week bon bon.

Even if you were unfamiliar w/ any of the silly song titles, they were all gettable via crosses, IMO.

Not much to ADD so I'm out the DOOR.

Thanks, GB and WS.

joho 8:48 AM  

"in my head"

picking nit 8:51 AM  

Did anyone else find the "Hollywood's" in the "Hollywood and Vine" clue redundant/unnecessary? I thought the clue would have been better without it.
I did learn something today, though--I always assumed he song was "Sha-boom." Wait that sort of rhymes!
Fun puzzle despite the high Natick potential.

Anonymous 8:59 AM  

The DOORs! The DOORs!! Any way to work in "Jeremiad Was a Bullfrog"?

@joho, re Gareth's obvious sensayuma and whimsy: I spose it's better he takes it out on us, rather than on the defenseless animals.

Now I'm off to listen to 3MMM and 2IKO, about 4x each. I may end up dancing.


quilter1 9:06 AM  

The only song I knew was OBLADI OBLADA (oddly the recessional song at my pastor's wife's funeral) but I was able to get everything from crosses and had a good time so that is all that matters to me. Thanks, Gareth, now I'll do the LA Times.

Mohair Sam 9:07 AM  

Well that was different and fun. Didn't know a few of the titles, but crosses made life easy.

Apparently @Casco and a couple of others don't know they know Alastair Sim. He's the wonderful Scrooge in the 1951 black & white version of "A Christmas Carol" you'll see all over TV next month, probably the best Scrooge ever.

@David - thanks for clearing up the OBLA DI thing, I remember it as a huge hit and was surprised by Rex's #49 statement. I was overseas in 1968 - hence the single was in my purview.

George Martin once said that John Lennon didn't want the McCartney written OBLADI on the White Album for political reasons (it celebrates capitalism he thought "happy ever after in the market place"). I wonder if that has something to do with it not being released as a single in some countries?

SUCKS yesterday, SEX and CIALIS today. Yoicks! Is the Times getting edgy?

Z 9:07 AM  

Who says pop music lacks great lyrical content?

I had SHBOOM/SIM but didn't trust SIM Alastair so I ran the alphabet. kHBOOM looked reasonable so a DNF. If I'd been solving on my iPad or in AcrossLite I would have gotten the "success" signal before "correcting" my right answer.

@Whirred Whacks - Two years of a Neo-confederate dominated legislature is hardly something to celebrate. The beauty of our system, though, is that the damage they can do to anyone but themselves is pretty limited. I hope that this will be the swansong of RMN's southern strategy and moderate progressive republicanism will again become ascendant in the Party of Lincoln.

there will be time 9:08 AM  

"God Shuffled His Feet" was one of the first CD's I owned. I had just gotten my first player, and of course I joined one of those "10 Cd's for 99 cents" clubs from BMG or Columbia Music or something, and Crash Test Dummies was one of my first purchases. It will always hold a special place in my heart. I especially love "Afternoons and Coffee Spoons," a lovely tune with wonderful Prufrock references.
Loved the puzzle for the trip down memory lane it provided.

jberg 9:11 AM  

Oo ee oo ah ah - ting tang, walla walla bing bang, what a fun puzzle! I didn't know most of the songs, but all you have to know is the rules of English nonsense syllables and you can suss them out. And I especially didn't know the song at 46A, which @Rex (who does know this stuff) parses as "MMM, MMM, MMM, MMM." Up to then, I'd been assuming it was a cover of Major Lance's great "MM MM MM-MM MM MM." Although come to think of it, he might have use "um."

Other nice things: finally getting a bit of useful knowledge from all those spam emails about CIALIS; and a new way of cluing OTTO!

Fortunately I either guessed right or vaguely remembered SIM; had it gone otherwise you'd see me here panning the puzzle!

Nikolai Ivanovitch Lobochewsky 9:19 AM  

In case anyone is wondering about a couple of appearances of 'sensayuma' in the preceding comments:

a. The source is "Auntie Mame", by Patrick Dennis. In the same work, he also coins the phrase 'one swell foop'.
b. There was no conspiracy or collaboration behind the multiple appearances. That I'm aware of.

chefbea 9:26 AM  

Couldn't do the puzzle. Didn't know any of the songs.
Did like all the food references though. Just last week I made an asian soup with bok choy. yummm

RooMonster 9:28 AM  

Hey All !
Quick comment on yesterday's puz, thought it easy, had no writeovers and zero mistakes! Yea for me! :-)

Today's was easy also for me. Have heard all the songs but SHBOOM. I'm 45, so I might be at the correct age to know both older and newer songs. Or I just happen to listen to too much music!

Wasn't MMMM... an answer previously? I seem to remember that. It's the kind of answer one would remember. Agree about the segmented grid, but when you put a whole bunch of themers im a puz, ya gotta do what ya gotta do to make any kinda sensicle answers. (Probably get a hand-slap from the "correct english " person on my grammer in that sentence! )

Only one do-over, wavE for TIDE. Check that, had bMI for EMI.


Mr. Grumpypants 9:34 AM  

I nominate this for worst puzzle of the year. A bunch of stupid song titles made up of mainly non-words. Ugh.

Whipped Cream Lover 9:38 AM  

@jberg - Yabba dabba dabba dab, said the monkey to the chimp. Now we're getting someplace!!

@Lewis - Your SUDS ATOP RIDER tickled my MIDRIB, though IDE leave off the SUDS in favor of whipped cream. And no passing off any of that KoolWhip, either! Hmmmm, whip...

SenorLynn 9:51 AM  

This almost-Medicare-aged guy got the entire range of songs, even if I couldn't sing (hum) some of them.
Loved the puz, just right for a rainy Wed.
MIDRIB was a new one

Masked and AnonymoUUs 10:03 AM  

All right then. Nonsense syllables. thUmbsUp. It's kinda like "Weejects -- The Musical". sorta.

@63: for what it's worth, in the song's lyrics, they do always repeat the shboom. Followed by a whole snootload of ya's and da's, as I recall.

fave weejects: DOO. MMM. WAH. IKO. Honrable mention to the oh-so-tricky OTT/OTTO meld; shoulda gone for a TOTO tack-on, somehow. We'all don't ask fer much here, huh, Gareth dude?

RMN. (Sorry, just clearin my throat)

@Sir Hillary: yep. Rama Lama Ding Dong was primo. But, ultimately, Concerned Cross Word Solvers have gotta ask... who exactly did put the bomp in the bomp bah bomp bah bomp? And who on earth put the ram in the rama lama ding dong? Or put the bop in the bop shoo bop shoo bop? Let alone put the dip in the dip da dip da dip? Not to mention PEWIT DA WIT DA WIT.


Nancy 10:07 AM  

I seem to be in the minority, but I found this puzzle hateful and dropped out early, having better things to do with my time than trying to suss out nonsense songs I never heard of. The kind of puzzle I truly loath the most. I'm glad it made other people happy, though.

Arlene 10:10 AM  

I know lots of people love pop culture song-themed puzzles. I look at them as a special challenge because I don't know any of them. So I appreciate the constructor's effort - I actually filled in almost everything. It's just that the thrill just wasn't there for me - but now I know there are song titles like this.
I"m sure I'll be able to discuss the relevance of MMMMMMMM at some social event soon.

old timer 10:11 AM  

"Looked good, looked fine, wedding bells are gonna CHINE" Then you have the musical question posed by Ry Cooder (not in the puzzle): "Can anyone tell me what ditty wah ditty means?

ShBoom was a hit when I was a kid. "Iko Iko" has been covered by Marley's Ghost and the Grateful Dead, so that song I knew. Did not know mmm mmm mmm, but it was inferable. Obladi Oblada was my first musical answer, because I wasn't sure just how the Manfred Mann song was titled, seeing as I had "Tent" instead of "Nest" for that home in the woods. But that became clear enough.

I'm surprised I don't remember that Rolling Stones song *at all*. But the crosses made it obvious enough.

Anonymous 10:27 AM  

I filled a number of the downs on the "M..." answer and it clicked. Finally the song titles theme made sense.

Carola 10:35 AM  

Cute idea, but the delight factor for me was low, as the only "Song" in the puzzle that I knew was the one that has BRER in it and my knowledge of nonsense syllable lyrics seems to have stopped with Old MacDonald's farm.

As far as the titles being gettable from crosses goes...not for me at RAI x DIDDY - I guessed RAo.

Bob Kerfuffle 10:50 AM  

Fun, easy puzzle, even though OB LA DI . . . is the only one of the songs I could sing a line of.

Biggest stumbling block (actually quite tiny) was thinking that the first syllable of 17 A should be DOO instead of DO, but as with every other unknown letter, crosses settled the issue.

La, la, la, la, la, life goes on.

Z 10:56 AM  







Anonymous 11:48 AM  

RADON "poisoning". I've heard of lead poisoning. Never radon. Yes, it's statistically linked to lung cancer. But you can find not a soul and say, "aha, he's been poisoned by radon" or even confirm that radon caused his lung cancer. Maybe a miner. But for the rest of us that don't mine and don't live in our unvented basements, not likely. Winning back to back lotteries is more likely.

And how the heck is an ATOM a small wonder? Yes, it's small. But a wonder? Blecch.

RooMonster 11:49 AM  

You da man! Thanks a bunch for the links!


Mohair Sam 11:51 AM  

Thanks @z.

The three I thought I didn't know:
Thought IKOIKO was "Hey, Now", recognized the Stones tune, but heard the MMM... song for the first time.

Steve J 12:01 PM  

@LF: Three Dog Night sang "Jeremiah was a bullfrog", not the Doors.

@Z: Thanks for posting the songs. I've been a bit surprised at how many people have said they didn't know these songs, but I'm guessing when hearing them, many will be familiar. As someone who's terrible at remembering song names, I can empathize.

Zeke 12:11 PM  

This puzzle reminded me of SNL at any of its various nadirs. They would take something intrinsically annoying, then thing that repeating it over and over and over, with escalating volume and emotional intensity would somehow make it funny. It just made it less funny.

In unrelated nonsense news, I was driving down the main drag in our nearest town. There was a blind man walking on the sidewalk (that's how you know it's a town, it has sidewalks, or at least one), tapping his cane, left, center, right, center, left over and over. The problem was, his head was turned about 75 degrees to the right. I yelled at him, "Hey-watch were you're going".

Martel Moopsbane 12:12 PM  

OTTO today, OTTO yesterday.

Possible clues for the rest of the week:

00 for the Raiders
Browns' Graham
Sarge's dog and Beetle's bane

M and Also 12:13 PM  

Thanx, @Z.

What pewit-breathed so and so with poor memory skills said that the Chords sang "shboom, shboom" in their song lyrics? This place is sure a hotbed of questionable nonsense syllable information...

That MMM+ song wasn't the one I'd thought it was, either. At least the four others were what I was expectin.

"Rama Lama Ding Dong" was by the Edsels, btw.
"Who Put the Bomp" was by Barry Mann.
Please feel free to let the M&A Help Desk know, if there was anything else U didn't want to know about.



mathguy 12:40 PM  

I think Rex's criticisms are right on.

Naticked at the Bollywood star and the first DIDDY.

I take it that WOE refers to an entry the commenter doesn't know. Is it an acronym for "what on earth?"?.

That may be the first time I sandwiched a quotation mark between two question marks.

Unknown 12:54 PM  

@mathguy Word Of Error, I think. That's a suss on my part.

RooMonster 1:10 PM  

Word Of Eclisiasticalism?


@Mathguy, the sandwiched quotation mark thing cracked me up!

Z 1:15 PM  

What On Earth, 'tho it may result in a Word Of Error. WOE is the politer version of WTF, i.e. What The ..., which is the still politer version of Word Of Ecclesiasticalism. Shboom.

Of the songs, IKO IKO and SHBOOM were new to me, but the only name I knew was the Beatles tune.

Leapfinger 1:25 PM  

Dang, @SteveJ, Thank You! Don't know how I came to versmush that one. Part of me knew that 3-D ogNight cut Jeremiah, but obviously not the part that was posting!... And here I was thinking that you skipped my posts...

@mathguy, me too, for liking your ?"?. Good move to have mentioned it.

LaneB 2:51 PM  

Easier than yesterday IF you knew the songs. I knew 2, so the solve was a bit of a slog. But no DNF.

Questinia 2:56 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Questinia 2:58 PM  

It's the disconnect between music brain and verbal brain. At the risk of losing @jae's delight, Of COURSE I know DIDDY DO @ Steve J after hearing it. I usually hear music to the exclusion of words.

Guess I don't like nonsense lyrics congealed in *gruesome* three letter words.

However upon closer look the sexy words are cool and I suppose many pop songs are about sex so this puzzle could be seen to be about musical SEX sounds.

Bravo Gareth.

RooMonster 3:43 PM  

Ah, thank you @Z for the spelling clarification. Andd to thinnk I ussed to bee a gud speeller...




Fred Romagnolo 4:05 PM  

Didn't know a single one of 'em. @Senorlynn: it's cause I was in college before you were born, stopped listening to radio when LP's came in. @Jberg: now Yabba Dabba I would have known. @Z: "moderate progressive?" isn't that like a "moderate Trotskyite?" For all who didn't know SIM, a superb actor who made many, many films besides the superior Christmas Carol, check them out, particularly "An Inspector calls." In spite of my chronological distance from these songs, acrosses and lucky guesses let me finish.

Fred Romagnolo 4:09 PM  

@Z: Word of Existencialism?

Anonymous 4:20 PM  

This puzzle probably sent Oisk to an early grave. ; )

Ludyjynn 4:26 PM  

@RooMonster, sorry to nitpick, but Kelsey = GrammEr; grammAr = linguistic set of structural rules. Common mistake.

Danp 4:49 PM  

@Sir Hillary - the meaning of Mmm Mmm is that an unfortunate child is only welcomed into the group after another more unfortunate or exotic child comes along to be the object of scorn and ridicule.

The X Man 4:56 PM  

I thought it was fun but easy. Knew the songs and got the theme early.

RooMonster 5:06 PM  

Grammar police!!!!! :D

(Think I was typing too fast, or I like the show too much! )


Z 5:24 PM  

@ RooMonster - I copied and pasted into Google, it was the google that fixed the spelling. I know ALL of my misspellings are because of fat fingers so I always assume other's are from the same condition.

@Fred - Like your WOE. I was going to make a T. Roosevelt comment, but he was hardly a "moderate" progressive.

Teedmn 6:53 PM  

@Carola, good catch, we are sorely lacking the classic crosswordese "eieio" today.

I had a DNF due to missing the H in WAHDIDDY, had VdS instead of VHS. Me too for MOping before MOROSE. Ran the alphabet trying to get Le-TS for pillages and finally realized PRIMO, not PRIMe, leading to the obvious LOOTS.

Husband played the Crash Test Dummies CD to death so that fell right in. I tuned out in the eighties in favor of learning the fifties and sixties songs I had missed by being too young or not born so SHBOOM was a gimme. I have yet to master singing along with it though!

@Rex's point on the fill has merit but it was fun anyway. Thanks, GB.

Anonymous 2:18 AM  

Remarkably, this is not the first occurrence of DOODOODOODOODOO in a NYT puzzle.

Fred Romagnolo 3:39 AM  

@Z: today's "progressives" on a different planet from TR's time. Witness (e.g.) Di Blasio!

Anonymous 10:36 AM  

Fun concept, but beyond "easy" -- I filled everything in upon sight, without even needing letters. This is certainly the easiest puzzle I've ever seen on a Wednesday. Appropriate for a Monday, even for a Tuesday it's a little easy. The constructor could have disguised his clues better and gotten it up to the level of a Wednesday (in which case it would have been very good), but he didn't bother. Too bad. BTW, too bad he left out Major Lance's big hit "Um Um Um Um Um" -- definitely deserved to be here.

Vincent L 9:01 AM  

This puzzle was garbage. Rex is right to call the incoherence of the nonsense. On the lower half, you have repeated letters or syllables. A coherent theme would have the same up top. You might expect DiddyDIDDYDIDDY, but DOWAH? That's incoherent and also no fun. *HBOOM crossing a nonentity *IM? Where's the joy?

rondo 12:33 PM  

Well rumpapumpum for all you syndi drummer boys and girls. Hope you knew your music today.
This one was really easy and fell together while I was in a waiting room while my wife was in a job interview. Didn't know IKOIKO but the crosses solved that.
Seems to me that I've seen something similar to this before, but my deja vu (CSNY) might just be acting up.
All in all easy but not a ton of fun. And by now you might know that a preponderance of 3 letter words rubs me the wrong way. I think I'm better with 4 letter words, he-he.

Captcha = untine 1st - so I guess I'll take the 1 - I DUNNO

spacecraft 12:46 PM  

What, no "Da Doo Ron Ron?" As the ESL class might have said: "Sheet. Son of Beetch." Oh well, "Stripes" is duly represented by 17a.

Weirdly fun. While OBLADIOBLADA (I think the actual title is just "OBLADI") may not have reached hit status, it's certainly a Fab Four fan favorite--this one, anyway. I'm not sure how legitimate a puzzle is if it lines up 12 M's in a row, but what the hey, it's humpday, anything to get over the hump.

Fill is fine, and it never hurts to STIRIN a little CIALIS (but please tell me how those two, each in a separate bathtub, are supposed to get together?!? That's the dumbest image I've ever seen in an ad). A great effort at taking some of the woe out of Wedensday. Give it an A.

1246. Lalalala life goes on.

spacecraft 12:48 PM  

@Rondo: think the opening of "Rain Man." That's IKOIKO.

2027; MOROSE again.

DMG 1:22 PM  

I gather this puzzle was a trip down memory lane for some. Not so much fun for me. I recently read an article that said the music you remember is that of your teen years. Well for me that was the days of Crosby, Como, Martin and the like. Even Merve Griffin and his "lovely bunch of coconuts". So I found this puzzle a trip to never-never land. Did work out most of it, but no idea of the Indian gal and the "modern acronym" (twitter speak?), I was left with holes in DOW..and OBLADI..... When will crosswords get back to dealing with words? Think I've said that before.

@Lewis: enjoy your Factoids.
@Z: I remembered OTT with a bat!!

6420 = not much!

rondo 1:25 PM  

@spacey: Thanks for the reference. I sorta remember hearing that version, there's a repitition in it that made me think the title was Jackamo or Jockamo or some such. I guess we can learn and/or re-learn alot from xwords. Cool.

1419 = 15 = 6 that ADDS up better

Anonymous 3:19 PM  

Easy and fun puzzle but DNF. I have 3 little boxes blank. Just two too too too too many little letters missing from my grrrrrrrrid.

Ron Diego , Old Shboomer

Dirigonzo 4:08 PM  

I liked it, but I like pretty much all things musical and most of these tunes were right in my wheelhouse. The comments added to the fun with all the suggested additional titles. Bonus points to Gareth Bain for opening the grid with a lively Virginia REEL and including ANI DiFranco, and he just missed having Louis PRIMa make a guest appearance.

109 - Terrific PT boat, terrible game score.

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