Solution to At A Loss For Words

Back to Puzzle


by Andy Hauge

When we open the puzzle, we see seven images which depict different syllables, some of which are numbered. For example, this one is the fifth image:

bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum (1 under third bum, 5 under seventh bum)

This image is one possible break-in point; the ascending and descending "bum bum bum" is the well-known introduction to the classic song Mr. Sandman by the Chordettes. In fact, each image clues a section of a famous song which has nonsense syllables instead of lyrics. The height of the syllables corresponds to their pitch in the song, and their spacing corresponds to the rhythm. The songs, which are given ordered by title, are:

  1. All the Small Things (Blink-182)
  2. Blue (Eiffel 65)
  3. Hey Jude (The Beatles)
  4. Mahna Mahna (Piero Umiliani, as popularized by The Muppet Show)
  5. Mr. Sandman (The Chordettes)
  6. Semi-Charmed Life (Third Eye Blind)
  7. You'll Be Back (from the musical Hamilton, as performed by Jonathan Groff)

In addition, the number of letters in each song title matches the number of syllables in the clue; if we take the letters that correspond to the numbered syllables, we get the following letters:


Arranging the letters in the order of the numbers gives the answer, SOLE MEUNIERE.