Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 6897/Phi (22-11-08 Prize Puzzle)

Posted by neildubya on November 28th, 2008


It’s not often we see a preamble in an Indy puzzle, and I’m not really sure we needed one here. If the X in the thematic clues was replaced by 7 then surely that would make it clear what was going on? That’s a minor gripe though, and it certainly didn’t spoil my enjoyment of the puzzle, which I thought was first-rate. It’s a shame Benjamin Britten couldn’t have been fitted into the grid as he was actually born on 5/6’s Day.

5/6 C in (INITIAL CASE)* – SAINT CECILIA. The patron saint of musicians and music.
8 CHA(BRIE)R – Emmanuel to his friends. Heard of him but I couldn’t name any of his works.
9 (HARLEM)* – MAHLER. One of the more famous composers in the grid.
10 WI(SEA,C)RE – the COED defines this a person with an “affectation” of wisdom or knowledge, so I guess that could be an “unwitting fool”.
12 OPTICS – TOPICS with the T moved along. Loved the surface reading of the clue.
18 hidden in “deriDES SAU” – I’ve never heard of Paul DESSAU but it was a pretty easy one to spot.
21 I,R,RIBS< – SBIRRI. Last one in for me. Tough word, easy(ish) clue. The SBIRRI were a police force that existed in the “pope’s dominions”.
25 [-d]ROSS,IN,I – another of the more famous 7 in the puzzle.
26 IS in BaLeS – Arthur BLISS was an English composer who faded into obscurity for a while but whose work has recently undergone something of a revival
2 ([-q]UITE)* – an ETUI is a small ornamential case for holding needles and suchlike.
3 [-b]OLD [-c]HAT
4 hidden in “makinG A DEcision” – Niels Vilhelm GADE was a Danish composer. Never heard of him I’m afraid.
5 T in (KITCHENS)* – Alfred SCHNITTKE was a Russian composer who died in 1998. I think I’ve heard some of his stuff and I’m fairly sure he’s the one who wrote a symphony “No 0″.
6 C[-h]ARTER – Elliott CARTER is a very prolific American composer, born in 1908 and still working I believe.
11 CHERUB,IN,I – Luigi CHERUBINI was an Italian born composer who lived and worked mostly in France in the 19th century.
13 (CLUES IRON)* – CORNELIUS. Another one where I know the name from somewhere or other but couldn’t tell you anything about him.
16 SCRI(A)BIN[-g] – Alexander SCRIABIN.
17 L,I,GET,I – probably my favourite of all the 7 in this puzzle. You may not of heard of him, but if you’ve seen 2001: A Space Odyssey you’ve heard his music as excerpts from some of his works were featured in it. Not the sort of music you can whistle along to though.
19 [-di]STRESS
22 DRY,B – William BYRD, English Elizabethan composer.
24 B in SUP (going up) – PUBS.

4 Responses to “Independent 6897/Phi (22-11-08 Prize Puzzle)”

  1. eimi says:

    There’s no way of including a preamble in the online Indy crosswords at present, so people doing this puzzle tomorrow will see that Neil is correct.

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    10a Chambers gives ‘a simpleton quite unconscious of being one’.

    13d Carl August Peter Cornelius, a 19th century German composer.

  3. Phi says:

    X rather than 7 because 7 was plural, while each X was singular, and using ‘One among 7′ 13 times over would have extended the clues more than somewhat – a preamble was shorter.

    The composer with a reasonably familiar zeroth symphony is Bruckner. However, in much the same way, an early discarded symphony by Schnittke has recently been unearthed (and recorded) and given the number 0.

    Elliott Carter is indeed about to celebrate his own centenary. There’s been quite a bit of bustle about this in classical music circles (to add to the fun, Messiaen – who popped off as a mere octogenarian – has his centenary the day before) as 100-year-old working composers are fairly rare (I can think of only one precedent).

  4. eimi says:

    Yes, the version with the preamble works better, but it wasn’t an option for the online version. Experienced a rather wonderful Carmina Burana at the Barbican tonight by the bye. I’m Orff now

Leave a Reply

Don't forget to scroll down to the Captcha before you click 'Submit Comment'

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

eight + = 12