My wedding day approaches. So we are choosing songs for the reception. D.I.V.O.R.C.E springs to mind. Or ‘Suspicious Minds’. ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’. Or ‘Run For Your Life’.
Or perhaps not.
Songs are like smells. Songs trigger memories such that we are at once back where we heard them first. Or smelt them. ‘The Only Way is Up’ by Yazz and the Plastic Population (deserving of a good clue, if not a good listen) and I’m back on Tenerife, in the 1980s, desperate for female attention. ‘Don’t Speak’, by No Doubt, and I’m clinging on to life by a thread battered by a Tibetan blizzard in 2005 – the song was on a tape loop in my head for three fraught hours. ‘The Winner Takes It All’ by ABBA, blared through a rusting PA system, and I am crossing Hove Park en route to a Brighton FC game at our old Goldstone Ground on the Old Shoreham Road.
So which songs merit inclusion in a cryptic crossword? Yazz? No Doubt? ABBA?
For me, it depends on the idea. I once clued a puzzle with consecutive 15-letter ABBA hit entries ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’, ‘Money Money Money’ and ‘I Do I Do I Do I Do I Do’.
In the end, I’m afraid I will always have to do it ‘My Way’.