Solution: Wah-wwa Wia

Written by Alison Chang & Akira Baruah

Each of these clues refers to a song from a musical (could be Broadway or movie-only), but one of the words in the song’s title has been replaced by a rhyme. The answer, PIRATES OF PENZANCE, comes from the first letters of each modified word; as a comic opera, you could say it’s an older form of musicals.

ClueOriginal Song Title (Musical)Rhyming Song TitleFirst Letter of modified word
That young and sweet pony is really having the time of her life.Dancing Queen (Mamma Mia)Prancing QueenP
This tattoo will remind you of our haunted arias when we've said goodbye.Think of Me (Phantom of the Opera)Ink of MeI
There are 525,600 explanations for why I adore you.Seasons of Love (Rent)Reasons of LoveR
It's simple: in nature’s book, bears need oxygen to survive.Bare Necessities (Jungle Book)Air NecessitiesA
I wanna get wealthy streaming games, but the only good signal is on the roof.If I Were a Rich Man (Fiddler on the Roof)If I Were a Twitch ManT
Certain as the sun will rise (and where it rises).Beauty and the Beast (Beauty and the Beast)Beauty and the EastE
It sounds like the beating of your heart is coming from the top of a French church spire.Do You Hear the People Sing (Les Miserables)Do You Hear the Steeple SingS
Every turn I take, whether at sea or home on the island, I always end up with gambling debt.How Far I’ll Go (Moana)How Far I’ll OweO
When I'm feeling sad, I look at brown paper packages from my past romantic dalliances.My Favorite Things (Sound of Music)My Favorite FlingsF
Even if I have to revise my numbers, I want to be the greatest golf man.Rewrite the Stars (The Greatest Showman)Rewrite the ParsP
I can take you on a magic carpet ride... with sheep.A Whole New World (Aladdin)A Whole Ewe WorldE
I need something to help me catch the frozen fractals all around.Let It Go (Frozen)Net It GoN
Where Burr wants to be when he works from home.The Room Where It Happens (Hamilton)The Zoom Where it HappensZ
Soarin' and flyin' is fun and all, until your back is sore the next day.Breaking Free (High School Musical)Aching FreeA
Oh yes, oh yes, my Illinois cellmate and I both tried to contact Mother Teresa.We Both Reached For the Gun (Chicago)We Both Reached for the NunN
I hope you're happy, because it's hard to fly above it all when your tooth is turning black.Defying Gravity (Wicked)Defying CavityC
For regal cats, is it amore or a moray?Can You Feel The Love Tonight (Lion King)Can You Eel The Love TonightE

Author’s Notes

As native New Yorkers, we try to fit Broadway musicals into most trips home. As current Californians (yes, we had to learn to drive when we moved), musical soundtracks are our go-to for every road trip. We both enjoy word and music puzzles, so writing something that combined both was a lot of fun.

Given this past year of working from home and way too many video calls, it’s no surprise that the phrase “The Zoom Where it Happens” was Alison’s initial inspiration for this puzzle. We cracked ourselves up repeatedly while coming up with these puns (and singing loudly the whole time - mostly Alison) and also tried to make each clue reasonably searchable for folks who are less familiar with musicals by including some allusion to the lyrics. Hopefully you had as much fun puzzling and singing along as we did. 😊