This very difficult crossword contains the White Stripes' new greatest hits track list


  • Fabio Diena /

Jack White likes it when things are challenging. He has said that the inspiration behind his iconic rock band the White Stripes was to push his creativity with self-imposed rules and limitations — like playing and recording using vintage equipment and bandmate (and ex-wife) Meg's simplistic drumming style.

In keeping with that theme of delayed gratification, White has declined to immediately release a track list for the rock duo's previously announced Greatest Hits compilation, due Dec. 4 on Third Man Records. The 26-song, career-spanning track list will be released Friday, but before then, Third Man Records is teasing it with a good old-fashioned crossword puzzle.

The puzzle was devised by White's nephew and White Stripes historian (and former Metro Times contributor) Ben Blackwell, now at Third Man Records. Be forewarned: it's not easy. According to Rolling Stone, even Third Man Records co-founder Ben Swank was stumped.

Blackwell told the Detroit Free Press that he comes from a family of crossword puzzle aficionados, and that the idea was to do something as quirky as the band was that would also get people talking.

"Great band deserve greatest hits. And the White Stripes are a great band," he told the paper. "The fun thing for me has been seeing all the speculation and chatter about the songs (potentially on the album). Some of this music has been out more than 20 years, and people are still talking about it. I like people engaging like that — not just listening to the music, but having conversations, talking about what captivates and grabs them."

You can try your hand at the crossword puzzle over at the Detroit Free Press, or wait until the final track list gets revealed on Friday.

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