Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6638 / Phi Where was Les SylPHIdes?

Posted by tilsit on January 25th, 2008


Pirouetting into sight today is Phi with a puzzle containing some well-known (and not so well-known) ballets.

Solving time: 20 Minutes, (plus a couple of Google checks for titles).

Very enjoyable with the usual mix of fine clues.  One tiny query about 3 down.


1  BIG APPLE    GAP + P inside BILE

5 BALLET   ALL inside BET

10  CHECKMATE    CHECK =  stop   MATE =  China (plate)  – Cockney rhyming slang for mate.  Checkmate was a one-act ballet by Ninettte de Valois

12  ABDOMEN  AB’s (sailor) +  DOME (rounded shape) + N (note)

14  SWAN LAKE  WAS* + L inside NAKE(D).  The most famous of all ballet.

19  ACRID   AC +  RID(E)

21  COPPELIA   COPPE(R) + ail (R)   My personal favourite ballet by Delibes.

24  MARTINI  MAR + TIN + I   _  A new one on me.  I wasn’t aware that a Martini is a type of rifle.

27  NUDGE     (EG + DUN) (R)

28  FANCY FREE  FANCY!  =  Well I never!  +  R in FEE  This was a ballet by Jerome Robins, with a score from a young Leonard Bernstein.

29  AROUND    A round of golf = 18 holes

30  LES NOCES  ENCLOSES*  A ballet from Nijinska with music from Stravinsky.


 1  BUCHAN     German word for Book =  BUCH  + A + N   -John Buchan wrote amongst other thrillers The 39 Steps.

2  GLENDOWER   END in GLOWER   –  Owen, the Welsh hero of that ilk.

3  POKEMON  Was this a computer game?  PACMAN Yes.  POKEMON was a dreary Japanese TV cartoon, plus collection of trading cards.  POKE +  NO M (R).

4  LEARN  A lovely clue   –  LEAN with R (one-third of the basics – The Three R’s) inside.

6  AUGMENT   AUG + T (“Summer time”  with MEN inside.



9  SELF-HELP  Another clue I liked.    FLESH*  + L inside E P.



18  RAYMONDA  R A DYNAMO*    Silly me!  I looked at the anagram and thought  NORMANDY, which of course it isn’t.  It’s a less well-known ballet by Glazunov and Petipa.

20  DRIVE IN    I’VE inside  DRIN(K)

25  RODEO  RODE + O  Aaron Copland’s splendid work with some memorable music.

10 Responses to “Independent 6638 / Phi Where was Les SylPHIdes?”

  1. nmsindy says:

    My knowledge of ballet is v limited, but thanks to Phi for clueing them in a friendly manner. At the end, I was left with three which meant nothing so I keyed my guesses for them from the wordplay and ‘ballet’ into Google and all was confirmed.

    One thing I do not understand (maybe I’m out of touch with something everyone else knows) what’s nudge (v clear from the wordplay) got to do with a fruit machine?

    Bullet proof clueing as always from Phi.

  2. tilsit says:

    If you play a fruit machine it sometimes offers you a “Nudge” feature, to drop reels to possibly produce a win.

  3. rightback says:

    A ‘nudge’ is something you can do on a fruit machine to move one of the scrolling fruity things by one item, to change a cherry to a strawberry (say) and thereby try to make a line or increase your chance of doing so. Or something. I’m afraid I’m no expert, having lost all interest in fruit machines as soon as I was old enough to play on them.

  4. nmsindy says:

    Thank you both – you might think from my comment that I never played them, but I did, and left my money in them.

  5. NealH says:

    I finished this one, but there were a couple of clues I didn’t quite follow. I didn’t entirely follow 26 dn – “Drunken affair, note in Estonia’s capital ?”. Obviously, the answer is binge (=drunken affair), so it’s looks as if we’ve then got b (note) + in + E. But where does the g come from ? Or have I misinterpreted it ?

    I didn’t follow 23 down either. Clue is “Take surplus though not by holiday period”. I think the answer is “recess” (holiday period). So, presumably r (take) + excess. So does “x” = “by” ?

  6. nmsindy says:

    X = times (by) multiplication Note (n) in Big E

  7. neildubya says:

    3d – Pokemon is indeed a computer game. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl are the latest incarnations for the Nintendo DS system.

  8. tilsit says:

    Some of us are still stuck on Level 6 of Chukie Egg on our BBC Micros!

  9. petebiddlecombe says:

    Good stuff – knew the ballets except Raymonda, but hadn’t spotted the outrageous ‘Big E’ in BINGE.

  10. Phi says:

    Just to answer Dave’s titular query: the ballets are all specifically composed for the stage, Les Sylphides is a choreographed selection of pre-existing music. If I go the ballet, it is generally for the music, so I approach it from the composer’s side. This happily keeps me away from anything by Minkus.

    If Eimi’s keeping to my submitted order, you’ll have even more fun next week…

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