Papa Go Seek
"Midrash" by Steve Bachman and George Barany (February 2014)

GB:  At the time this puzzle was constructed, Steve Bachman  and I had never met in person, even though our homes are less than five miles apart. Click on his name for Steve's biosketch and puzzling bona fides. To date, Steve had written a handful of puzzles, several with musical themes, for just a small circle of family and friends, and posted them on his blog. One of these, based on Gustav Holst's "The Planets", struck me as really promising despite several problems that would doom it for a MSM audience. I encouraged Steve to persevere, and several weeks later he challenged me with a puzzle that included nicknames for seven of Haydn's symphonies, plus a reveal of the composer's full name. It was a creative grid, with symmetry and some interlocking Across and Down answers. Intrigued, I reconfigured the grid, following which Steve filled it (adding some black squares that increased the word count and introduced other shorter words). After Steve fully clued his puzzle, I made a few more suggestions, and hope that you like the final version — which I am proud to post on our website.

SB:  Joseph Haydn wrote more than one hundred symphonies (104 of which are numbered). He is often called the "Father of the Symphony." Mozart and others referred to him as "Papa Haydn."

At least 19 of Haydn's symphonies are popularly known by their nicknames. None of these names, as far as I know, were suggested by Haydn himself. Nevertheless, as a fan with no formal musical training, I find them useful mnemonic devices. I have recordings of 72 of his symphonies and can only seem to recognize the named ones.

In this puzzle, seven answers allude to the names of Haydn symphonies. In some cases, the name of the symphony may include the word "the," as in Symphony #82 "The Bear," while the answer does not. I intended the clue for the composer's name, "... hinted at by answers to parenthetically numbered clues," to allow for this.

English names for the symphonies are used here. In each case, these are the norm in English-speaking countries. Others not used in this puzzle are often referred to by German or French titles. For example, Symphony #85 is almost universally known as "La Reine" (reputedly because it was a favorite of Marie Antoinette).

Some of the names we use in English are straightforward translations of titles originally adopted in other languages. There is at least one notable exception. Symphony #94, "The Surprise," is known in German by the title "mit dem Paukenschlag," literally, "with the drum stroke." Both titles refer to a sudden fortissimo chord sounding at the end of the otherwise piano opening theme to the second movement. There seems to be no truth to the tale that he wrote this to "wake the ladies in the audience."

GB: We interrupt Steve's accounting to list, in Haydn's order, the symphonies that this puzzle showcases. In each case, the name of the composition is linked to a YouTube video performance.

Symphony #22 in E-flat major, Philosopher

Symphony #38 in C major, Echo

Symphony #82 in C major, Bear

Symphony #92 in G major, Oxford

Symphony #94 in G major, Surprise

Symphony #103 in E-flat major, Drumroll

Symphony #104 in D major, London

SB: Late in the editing process, we changed the clues for 35-Across and 46-Across to directly reference the composer. Originally, FIFTHS was to have been an "Easter egg," hidden in the puzzle for the amusement of those Haydn fans familiar with his String Quartet #61 (click here for the first movement), which almost fit the theme.  [Side note: this may be the first occurrence of the term "Easter egg" in a midrash.]

As George wrote, this is the first of my puzzles created for an audience wider than family and a few friends. If it is any better than my earlier efforts, George's help has made the difference. Working through the editing process with him has been an education. He deserves a lot of credit for his patience in the face of my sometimes reluctant concessions to good advice. Thanks, George! I am also grateful to the beta testers, named on this puzzle's main page, who offered helpful suggestions.

GB: The title of the puzzle is a twist on the childrens' game that has been the basis of numerous musically punny puzzles. Click here (18-Across), here (61-Across), here (83-Across), or here (11-Down) for just a few examples from the New York Times.  Shortly before posting this puzzle, we came across this 1995 puzzle [requires privileges to gain access] that played Haydn symphonies "straight."

This puzzle brought back memories of my childhood, when the theme of Haydn's Surprise Symphony was used for a simple piano piece with the unforgettable words, "Papa Haydn's dead and gone, but his memory lingers on ..." followed by two more lines that I have forgotten (although the internet reminds). I was discussing this with my good friend Ken Leopold, who told me that the very first piano piece he ever learned was to the same melody, but with the following lyrics:

Porcupines have prickly quills.
Don't go near their favorite hills.
If you do you'll have bad luck
'Cause you surely will get stuck.

In closing, it has been a real pleasure to get to know Steve and to encourage his creativity.  I'm fortunate to have some truly brilliant friends, and Steve fits right in.  I am confident that his future efforts will improve on the already high standard of the present one. [Added in proof: Steve has blogged about this puzzle and his experiences constructing it.  A followup blog post discussed the solution and included further reflections on the construction process.]

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