Musical Wordplay to Soothe the Savage Puzzler…

Oh yes, it’s that time again! It’s time to unleash our puzzly and punny imaginations and engage in a bit of sparkling wordplay!

You may be familiar with the board game Schmovie, hashtag games on Twitter, or @midnight’s Hashtag Wars segment on Comedy Central.

For years now, we’ve been collaborating on puzzle-themed hashtag games with our pals at Penny Dell Puzzles, and this month’s hook was #PennyDellPuzzleLyrics, mashing up Penny Dell puzzles with lyrics from songs of any and all genres!

Examples include: “Lucy in the sky with Nine of Diamonds“, “If I leave Here and There tomorrow, would you still remember me?”, and “’cause the times they are a-Changaword.”

So, without further ado, check out what the puzzlers at PuzzleNation and Penny Dell Puzzles came up with!


Let’s start with some Puzzly Lyrics!

“Woah, Black Betty, Anagrams.” (Black Betty, Ram Jam)

“I’m still Jenny from the Blockbuilders” / “I’m still Jenny from Around the Block” (Jenny from the Block, Jennifer Lopez)

Abacus think this song is about you. Don’t you? Don’t you?” (You’re So Vain, Carly Simon)

ABC’s, it’s easy as one These Three, or simple as A to Z Maze, ABC’s, one These Three, baby you’re a solver!” (ABC, The Jackson Five)

“I put a Spelldown on you because you’re fine” / “I put a Starspell on you” (I Put a Spell on You, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)

Give and Take another little Bits and Pieces of my heart now, baby.” / “A Little Piece-by-Piece of My Heart” (Piece of My Heart, Janis Joplin)

“It’s hip to be Circles in the Square.” (Hip to Be Square, Huey Lewis and the News)

“Tea for Two for One and Two at a Time for tea.” (Tea for Two, Doris Day)

“I have become comfortably Number Square.” (Comfortably Numb, Pink Floyd)

“All in all you’re just another Brick by Brick in the wall.” (Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, Pink Floyd)

“When you’re thick as a Brick by Brick” (Thick as a Brick, Jethro Tull)

“Plenty of room at the Hotel Cancellations” (Hotel California, Eagles)

“Growing up leads to growing old and then to Tie-In, Ooo, and Tie-In to me don’t sound like all that much fun.” (Authority Song, John Mellencamp)

One and Only is the loneliest number that you’ll ever do” (One Is The Loneliest Number, Three(somes) Dog Night)

Chain Reaction of Fools” (Chain of Fools, Aretha Franklin)

“Animal Crackers in my Alphabet Soup” / “Animal Crackers in my Alphabet Soup for Two” (Animal Crackers in my Soup, Shirley Temple)

“‘Cause I knew you were Double Trouble when you walked in, So shame on me now” (I Knew You Were Trouble, Taylor Swift)

“The Anagram Magical Mystery Word Grand Tour” (The Magical Mystery Tour, The Beatles)

“Domo Arigato, Mr. Sudoku” (Mr. Roboto, Styx)

Diamond Rings are a Girl’s Best Friend” (Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, Carol Channing/Marilyn Monroe)

Diamond Mine-Eyes Adored You” (My Eyes Adored You, Frankie Valli)

“Ricky don’t lose that Number Seek, it’s the only one you own” (Ricky Don’t Lose That Number, Steely Dan)

“Jenny I got your Number Seek.” (867-5309/Jenny, Tommy Tutone)

“She’s a Brick by Brick House” (Brick House, Lionel Ritchie & The Commodores)

“Love in an Escalators, living it Ups & Downs” (Love in an Elevator, Aerosmith)

“I Go to Extreme Sudoku” (I Go to Extremes, Billy Joel)

“It’s a Family Ties Affair” (It’s a Family Affair, Sly & the Family Stone)

“Living in the Shadowbox of Love” (Standing in the Shadow of Love, The Four Tops)

“Jump in the Line ‘Em Up Rock Your Body in Time” (Jump in the Line, Harry Belafonte)

“Don’t Get Around the Block Much Anymore” (Don’t Get Around Much Anymore, Duke Ellington)

“You spin me Right Angles round, baby, Right Angles round, like a record baby” (You Spin Me Round, Dead or Alive)

“Beauty school Drop-Outs, no graduation day for you…” / “Beauty school Drop-Outs… Go back to Shuffle” (Beauty School Drop Out, Frankie Avalon)

“Cold iron shackles, ball and Chain Words” (Tennessee Jed, The Grateful Dead)

“Here I come Red-dy or not, Here I come Red-dy I go” (Ready Or Not, Lou Gramm)

“Quaint little villages Here and There, You’re sure to fall in love with Old Cape Cod” (Old Cape Cod, Bette Midler)

“…Gotta Lip Service, get it while you can, Hot, sweat ‘n’ nervous love on demand” (Rock! Rock! Til you drop, Def Leppard)

“We’re goin’ up Around the Bend” (Up Around the Bend, Credence Clearwater Revival)

“I wanna live where the Good Deal grows, watch my Combos pop up in Rounders” (Where the Green Grass Grows, Tim McGraw)

“I wanna swing from the Consonant Search, from the Consonant Search” (Chandelier, Sia)

“I’ve got 1, Two by Two, 3, 4, 5, senses working overtime” (Senses Working Overtime, XTC)

“It takes Two at a Time, baby, it takes Two at a Time, baby, just me and you” (It Takes Two, Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston)

Say That you, Say That me, Say That for always” (Say You Say Me, Lionel Richie)

“I’m back in Blackout! I hit the stack.” (Back in Black, ACDC)

“I see a red door and I want to paint my Blackout!” (Paint it Black, The Rolling Stones)

“You go back to words, and I go back to Blackout” (Back to Black, Amy Winehouse)

“There’s a man In the Funny Papers we all know (Alley Oop, oop, oop-oop)” (Alley Oop, the Hollywood Argyles)

Hare we go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever know… like a drifter I was born to walk alone” (Here I go again, Whitesnake)

Movin’ On Over… Rockin on over… move over little dog the big old dog is movin in” (Move It On Over, George Thorogood)

“The fire’s in their eyes and their words are really clear, So beat it. Just Beat the Clock” (Beat It, Michael Jackson)

“It doesn’t matter what they solve. In the letter games people play. Our Blips are sealed” (Our Lips are Sealed, The Go-Go’s)

“Can, my darling, can you Picture This?” (When Doves Cry, The artist formerly known as ‘The Artist Formerly Known As Prince’)

“It’s time to Scramble on Across” (Ramble On, Led Zeppelin)

Combos number five. Look Across and Down and move them all around” (Mambo Number 5, Lou Bega)

“Will we ever leave the maze again? It’s the final Countdown” (The Final Countdown, Europe)

“Hit the road Crackerjacks” (Hit the Road Jack, Ray Charles)

“Can you Fill-In above and right? It is where they are” (Can You Feel the Love Tonight?, Elton John)

“It’s the Circle Cross of Life, it’s the Wheels of fortune” (Circle of Life, Elton John)

“Another All Four One bites the dust” (Another One Bites the Dust, Queen)

“No time for Loose Tiles cause we are the Champions… of the Domino Theory!” (We Are the Champions, Queen)

“It takes Two at a Time to make a thing go right” (It Takes Two, Robe Base/DJ E-Z Rock)

Three From Nine, damn she fine!” (Get Low, Lil Jon)

“If Rhyme Time was a drug I’d sell it by the gram” (Ice Ice Baby, Vanilla Ice)

“I just can’t get you out of my Headings. Boy your letters are all that I think about” (Can’t Get You Out of My Head, Kylie Minogue)

Line ‘Em Up up up, I’m on fire” (My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark, Fall Out Boy)

“I Walk the End of the Line” (I Walk the Line, Johnny Cash)

“Will the Circles in the Square be Unbroken” (Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Johnny Cash)

And of course Johnny Cash had the immortal, “A Boy Named Sue-doku,” with the line “Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sudoku.”

Simon Says: “the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.” (The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel)

Simon Says: “you’re so vain, you probably think this song is about you.” (You’re so Vain by Carly Simon)


Some players were a bit more ambitious, so we’ll call this section Puzzly Verses!

“She’s so lucky… a Lucky Star but she try try tries in her only chart thinkin’ if there’s nothin’ missing to the right then why don’t these terms come out right” (Lucky, Britney Spears)

I heard there was a Secret Word, that David played and it pleased the nerd
But you don’t really care for puzzles, do ya?
Well it goes like this the Foursomes, the Fitting Description, the minor Quotefall, the major List-a-Crostic
The Battleships composing Hidden Word Squares
(Hallelujah, Leonard Cohen)

He says, “Bill, I believe this is killing me.”
As a smile ran away from his face
“Well, I’m sure that I could be a movie star
If I could get out of this Places, Please.”
(Piano Man, Billy Joel)

For five long years
I thought you were my man
But I found out
I’m just a link in your Chain Words
(Chain of Fools, Aretha Franklin)

Cellophane flowers of yellow and green
Towering over your head
Look for the girl with the Sunrays in her eyes
And she’s gone
(The Beatles, Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds)

Hey now, you’re an all-star, get your Bowl Game on, go Word Play
Hey now, you’re a rock Guest Star, get the show on, get paid
And all that glitters is gold
Only shooting stars break the mold
(Smash Mouth, All-Star)

Carry on my Right of Wayward son
For there’ll be Piece by Piece when you are done
Lay your weary Headings to rest
Don’t you cry no more
(Kansas, Carry On Wayward Son)

You wouldn’t even know a Diamond Rings
If you held it in your hand
The things you think are precious
I can’t understand
(Steely Dan, Reelin’ In the Years)

You’re the First and Last One
When things Turnabout bad
You Know The Odds I’ll never be lonely
You’re my only One and Only
And I love the things
I really love the things that you do
You’re my best friend
(Queen, You’re My Best Friend)

Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper book.
They slither wildly as they slip away Across and Down the universe…
Nothing’s going to change my word…
(The Beatles, Across the Universe)

Every breath you Give and Take
Every It’s Your Move you make
Every Common Bond you break
Every Step by Step you take
I’ll be watching you.
(The Police, Every Breath You Take)

Oh you know, you know, You know the Odds
I’d never ask you to Changaword
If Perfect Fit‘s what you’re Circle Searching for
Then just stay the same
(Bruno Mars, Just the Way You Are)

We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and Around the Bend
In the Circle Sums game
(Joni Mitchell, The Circle Game)

In a world that keeps on pushin’ me Around the Bend
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down
Hey baby there ain’t no easy Word Ways out
Hey I will stand my ground
(Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, I Won’t Back Down)


Pete Seeger wrote “Little Boxes,” about about a range of variety puzzles with a chorus imploring puzzlemakers to create digest-sized Boxes Word Seeks… here’s a sample:

Window Boxes on the hillside
Letterboxes made of ticky tacky
Little Boxes
Little Boxes
Shadowboxes all the same…


The Puzzles of Your Mind

(Puzzle in the) Round,
Like a circling Bull’s-Eye Spiral,
Like the Wheels within Spinwheel,
Never ending or beginning like a Flower Power feels,
Like a snowball down some Word Trails or a Dart Game done too soon,
Carousels Tossing and Turning, running Ringers ’round the moon,
Beat the Clock who’s hands are sweeping past the minutes of its face,
And Star Words is like an apple whirling silently in space,
Like Full Circles that you find in the puzzles of your mind.

(The Windmills of Your Mind by Michel Legrand with English lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, winner of the Academy Award for Best Original Song, as sung by Noel Harrison in the movie The Thomas Crown Affair)


Here is the first verse of Bob Dylan’s classic “Tanglewords in Blue,” although known to some as “Tangled up in Blue.”

Early one mornin’ the Sunrays shinin’
I was layin’ in bed
Wonderin’ if she’d Changaword
If her hair was still red
Here and There folks said our lives together
Sure was gonna be rough
They never did like mama’s Home Runs dress
Papa’s Bookworms wasn’t big enough
And I was standing on the side of the Crossroads
Quotefalls on my shoes
Heads & Tails for the east coast
Lord knows of paid some dues
Getting through
Tanglewords in blue


Two intrepid puzzlers went above and beyond, conjuring up entire Puzzly Songs!

Nice Nice Puzzles
(Performed in the Style of Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”)

Word to your mother.

Yo! PDP! Let’s kick it!

Nice nice puzzles
Nice nice puzzles
All right stop
Grab your pencils and hear it
Penny/Dell’s here with some puzzly spirit

Hold on to your magazines tightly
Solvin’ some word seeks daily and nightly

Will I ever stop?
Yo, I don’t know.
My love of words is something I just can’t let go

To the extreme I rock crosswords like a boss
Hang on a sec while I write in three across

When on the go…
Gotta download Daily Pop
Or pick up some Logic at the airport gift shop

Sorry, were you talking to me?
Didn’t hear a thing ‘cuz I’m on a solving spree

Puzzles? I love them.
I do ’em all day
From the time the sun rises until I hit the hay

Crostics, Tiles, and Fill-Ins
Sudoku, Piece by Piece
With each new type I try
My solving skills increase

Nice nice puzzles to solve…to solve
Nice nice puzzles to solve…to solve


Ode to the Casino
(Fool’s Paradise by Buddy Holly)

You took me up to heaven
When you sounded that sweet alarm
I was dazzled by your Diamond Rings
Blinded by your charms
I was lost, in a Roll of the Dice
Good and lost, in a Roll of the Dice

When you told me that you loved me
I gave my coins to you
And I wondered if there could be
Any cherries in my view
I was lost, in a Roll of the Dice
Good and lost, in a Roll of the Dice

The whole world was my Circle Sums
And I love the Ups and Downs
Then I saw you glance at a new romance
And my love tumbled Across and Down

Though you treat me kind-a coolish
And may never let me know
That you think I’m being foolish
Because I love you so
I’ll still get lost, in a Roll of the Dice
Lost with you, in a Roll of the Dice

Though you treat me kind-a coolish
And may never let me know
That you think I’m being foo-oo-oo-lish
Because I love you so
I’ll still get lost, in a Roll of the Dice
Lost with you, in a Roll of the Dice
Lost with you, in a Roll of the Dice


Have you come up with any Penny Dell Puzzle Lyrics entries of your own? Let us know! We’d love to see them!

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