Taylor Swift gave her fans another puzzle on Thursday, releasing the names of the vault tracks on her upcoming album Red (Taylor’s Version) via a crossword puzzle. Like she did with Fearless (Taylor’s Version), Swift shared a video of letters being released from a vault, only this time, each line had the same number of letters.
Swift dubbed the clue’s difficulty as “casually cruel in the name of being honest,” referencing her song “All Too Well.” Fans quickly deduced that the lines made up a crossword puzzle, and two of the words in the puzzle were “Chris” and “Stapleton,” naming country star Chris Stapleton as one of Swift’s collaborators on a song from the vault. Other suspected collaborators, found via the puzzle, include Swift’s longtime friend Ed Sheeran and Phoebe Bridgers. Several fans noted that Swift may have chosen a crossword puzzle as this album’s reveal method because of a line in “Red” that reads, “Fighting with him is like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer.”
Level: casually cruel in the name of being honest pic.twitter.com/Tf0ahCMql8
— Taylor Swift (@taylorswift13) August 5, 2021
Tapping big names to accompany her on vault songs appears to be a tradition Swift will continue for her re-recorded albums, as she collaborated with Keith Urban and Maren Morris on Fearless (Taylor’s Version) earlier this year. That album was the first of six albums Swift released on Big Machine Records, and she is in the process of re-recording all six on her new label, Republic Records. The Grammy announced in June that Red (Taylor’s Version) will be released on Nov. 19 and will feature 30 songs, including a 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” considered by many fans to be one of her best songs.
TAYLOR SWIFT REALLY WANTS US TO PLAY CROSSWORDS WITH HER HUH??? pic.twitter.com/yF6EmW0gnf
— benjy🧣 (@cowboylikebenjy) August 5, 2021
“Musically and lyrically, Red resembled a heartbroken person,” Swift wrote at the time. “It was all over the place, a fractured mosaic of feelings that somehow all fit together in the end. Happy, free, confused, lonely, devastated, euphoric, wild, and tortured by memories past. Like trying on pieces of a new life, I went into the studio and experimented with different sounds and collaborators. And I’m not sure if it was pouring my thoughts into this album, hearing thousands of your voices sing the lyrics back to me in passionate solidarity, or if it was simply time, but something was healed along the way.”
“Sometimes you need to talk it over (over and over and over) for it to ever really be… over,” she continued. “Like your friend who calls you in the middle of the night going on and on about their ex, I just couldn’t stop writing. This will be the first time you hear all 30 songs that were meant to go on Red. And hey, one of them is even ten minutes long.”