Netanyahu’s Ready for More Puzzling?


Really Difficult Puzzles


Every month, the Daily features a puzzle by Dylan Hicks. The first list of correct answers wins a year’s subscription to The Paris Review. (In the event that no one can get every answer, the list with the most correct responses will win.) Send an e-mail with your answers to [email protected]The deadline is Thursday, September 29, when we’ll post the answers. Good luck!  

Early last year, the novelist, editor, and wordplay master Ed Park energized and distracted his Facebook circle with the post “Hall and Joyce Carol Oates,” which as of this writing has prodded 5,853 comments. The responses imagined other incongruous supergroups and amalgams—Umberto Eco and the Bunnymen, Howlin’ Virginia Woolf—and ventured into kindred puns and portmanteaus such as the answers to this month’s puzzle. Aside from recycling or reformulating a few of my own contributions, I haven’t knowingly plagiarized from Park’s thread, but neither have I reviewed more than a fraction of its comments, so quite likely there’s some overlap. (Great minds and so on.) Though there are several musical-literary pairings here, I’ve rarely mingled writers with musical acts on Park’s precise model. Most frequently, the title of a movie, book, album, song, TV show, or poem has been joined with a celebrated figure from any field, but you might run into a tagline or some other familiar phrase instead of a title, or the answer might blend two titles. Homophones are welcome. The clues try to provide some context, often anachronistic or absurd, for the pun. A few examples:

  1. Popeye Doyle chases Irish suspense novelist.
  2. Kiss Me Kate, staged as will and representation, kicks off with a twist.

The answers would be (1) The Tana French Connection (though I’m sure French is as law-abiding as her books are addictive); and (2) Another Op’nin’, Another Schopenhauer (which would present singers with phrasing hurdles). As must be clear, answers lean heavily on given names and surnames that are also everyday English words (Moscow on the Hudson Yang) and names that include meaningful syllables (as in our groaner headline, or The Danny McBride Stripped Bare By Her Bachelors, Even).

Okay, that should be enough explanation; I’ll let you John Kerry on. 

  1. Loyal to Crimson Tide helmsman, cinematic Neanderthals don houndstooth fedoras.
  2. Wild star masters monologic poetry collection.
  3. Hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and a-writing histories of Alexander the Great.
  4. Terminator bids adieu to Dutch starchitect.
  5. Easy listening bandleader and recording innovator travels to Yoknapatawpha County.
  6. Chic swashbuckling sequel.
  7. Revising Donne, peeved spouse asks triune deity to rough up Coloradan politician and onetime presidential hopeful.
  8. Hoboken indie heroes play farewell gig on Bertolucci set.
  9. Fresh air! Times Square! The End of the Affair!
  10. Christian Scientist heads to the dark side with silver-screen rockers.
  11. Few finish this multipart Freddie Prinze novel, set in an Austro-Hungarian garage.
  12. Statistician bonds with moneyed man-child pops in sitcom reboot.
  13. Reading a Ripley book on Mount Elbert.
  14. In recurring dream, pop pianist mugs with Don Knotts in Old West comedy.
  15. South Central MC
    Is also great
    And would suffice.
  1. Ben Marcus debut inspires jam band.
  2. The Great Commoner narrowly escapes the Spanish Inquisition.
  3. Unification Church founder crashes Pavese novel.
  4. Adolescent star of paranormal series changes keys in mop-topped comedy.
  5. Chicago-born comic actor commandeers sub in little-known Cold War thriller.
  6. Zimmie tries boudoir hit on French composer-conductor.
  7. Fleabag star goes overboard in Attenborough remake.
  8. German novelist lives for today with San Francisco pop group.
  9. Photographer, filmmaker, and writer gives Shaft to Poehler comedy.
  10. Cuban painter takes breather in Genesis concept album.
  11. Ohio-born Greenwich Village satirist monkeys around with 2014 sci-fi hit.
  12. British PM gives uncertain performance of Buddy Holly toe tapper.
  13. Choral conductor leads Christmas concert in fictional New England hoosegow.
  14. I once had a Staffordshire pot, or should I say …
  15. Bantering detectives revived by activist QB.

Dylan Hicks is a writer and musician. His second novel, Amateurs, is out now from Coffee House Press. He contributes a monthly puzzle to the Daily.