Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7,148 by Radian (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 12/09/09)

Posted by Simon Harris on September 18th, 2009

Simon Harris.

First impressions are that this is a funny-looking grid, I'll expect a Nina or two here. Aha, but it's Radian, who favours quality over quantity in clueing if I remember correctly, hence the relatively high proportion of black squares. This should be a good one.

Well there's clearly a theme here: three mentions of "composer" and one of "conductor" in the first four clues. That's the second music-themed Independent crossword in two days, after Friday's notable Phi puzzle. Despite the GCSE music, my knowledge of composers is pretty thin. Luckily 1 across falls straight in and we’re off…

While this was a pleasure to solve, I’ll primarily thank Radian for a very pleasant blogging session spent acquainting myself with some wonderful music.

Oh, and I wonder if the Electric Light Orchestra across the middle is an intentional Nina…

*=anag, []=dropped, <=reversed, hom=homophone, cd=cryptic definition, dd=double definition.

Across
1 PURCELL – LUCRE* in PL. Henry Purcell, composer, 1659-1695.
5 HANDEL – HAND + EL. George Frideric Handel, composer, 1685-1759.
9 HAYDNJoseph Haydn, composer, 1732-1809.
10 MARINERS – MAR[r]INERS. Sir Neville Marriner, conductor, b. 1924.
11 CREATION – from REACTION. The Creation, by Joseph Haydn.
12 COMBO – B in (Perry) COMO.
13 INSISTENT – [bernste]INS IS TENT[ative]. Probably Leonard, but maybe Charles.
16 EDIT – [m]EDIT[ation]. Possibly a reference to Méditation from Massenet’s Thaïs, but classical buffs may have other ideas. Either way I’ll link to it, since it’s absolutely wonderful, plus I’m off to see Sarah Chang play next week.
18 MASTERFUL – (MARS FLUTE)*. Of course, a reference to Mars, the Bringer of War, from Gustav Holst’s The Planets.
21 BLUES – dd.
22 ONE-ON-ONE – I think this is (ON + ON + ON + E + E)*.
23 CAMPAIGN – C + (MP in AGAIN*).
24 TIARA – T[his] I[s] A R[oyal] A[dornment] &lit.
25 TETCHY – ETC in THY.
26 CATSEYE – YEATS* in CE.
Down
2 UNHURRIED – (H[o]UR RUINED)*.
3 CAYMANS – MAN in CAYS &lit. A type of alligator.
4 LENTILS – SILENTL[y]*.
6 APRICOT – APRIL, with COT for L[emons]
7 DYNAMIC – (CID “absorb” MANY)<.
8 LARGO – [regu]LAR GO[lfers].
10 MENDELSSOHN – MEND + (LESSON* “about” H[ebrides]). The familiar Hebrides Overture by Felix Mendelssohn, composer, 1809-1847.
17/15 TRUMPET VOLUNTARY – TRY “hiring” (PAUL MERTON + UTV). A baroque piece originally attributed to Henry Purcell, but later found to have been composed by Jeremiah Clarke, composer, 1674-1707.
18 MESSIAH – (IE SMASH)*. Handel’s Messiah needs no introduction.
19 ELECTRA – [s]ELECT RA[vel].
20/14ac FINGAL’S CAVE – (L + FACE SAVING)*.
21 BLAST – dd.

14 Responses to “Independent 7,148 by Radian (Saturday Prize Puzzle, 12/09/09)”

  1. anax says:

    I solved this while having my bottom pulley sorted out. Thankfully the only pain involved was the garage’s fee afterwards.

    Took me a long time to get beyond the first ten or so answers – very frustrating at one point because I had several checkers for the 17/15 combo but just couldn’t unravel the ‘gram. It turns out that garage waiting rooms are by no means replete with works of literary or musical reference and I think something needs to be done about it.

    In the end, working out MENDELSSOHN (entry first, wordplay parsing later) proved to be the clincher and much of the rest fell into place very quickly. A very entertaining puzzle crammed with difficult but fair clues, and very satisfying to solve especially as my knowledge of classical music is a tad thin.

  2. nmsindy says:

    Think this is not the first Indy puzzle from Radian with a classical music theme. The clues were friendly which was good for names that might be less familiar to some – while I knew the names of most of the composers, the more detailed references mentioned by Simon passed me by, as my knowledge of that music is fairly thin too.
    Excellent puzzle, which I found quite a bit easier than some Sat Indys.

  3. Ali says:

    Anax – apart for the bit about the garage, I’d say my experience with this was exactly the same as yours, so thanks for saving me some typing! And thanks to Radian for a neat puzzle.

  4. kenmac says:

    I didn’t actually make any real attempt to finish this one when, after solving two clues, I noticed that the solution appeared below in the “Friday’s Solution” panel.

  5. Duggie says:

    Sorry for the recent surfeit of musical themes. Yes, I’m to blame for two, but the Proms season was a long one and Saturday was the Last Night. All four composers’ anniversaries fell in 2009 (births or deaths, as Simon confirms), and were celebrated during the Season, though not necessarily with these four pieces. I promise to mute my trumpet, at least until next Proms. “You have delighted us long enough …” comes to mind (including the sarcasm).

    Having just seen kenmac’s comment, I imagine the competition entry was quite high!

  6. Radian says:

    Whoops! There’s half my cover blown.

  7. eimi says:

    That’s baffling, kenmac. The solution to Phi’s notes puzzle is in my copy of the newspaper.

  8. Simon Harris says:

    Having scampered to find it, I can also attest that my copy has the Friday Phi solution below the grid.

  9. Radian says:

    I can confirm kenmac’s right. Perhaps he and I get our copies from an earlier print-run outside London or SE?

  10. kenmac says:

    Quite possibly. I bought mine in Derry Airport (aka Londonderry.)

  11. eimi says:

    I suspect there may be a few winners from Northern Ireland then.

  12. nmsindy says:

    Mine had the Phi solution, so spending the Sat in NE England and buying the paper there was a wise decision…

  13. kenmac says:

    I thought that maybe The Indy was dumbing down. You know, like GMTV:

    Which of these is a former Prime Minister?

    A. Jordan
    B. Tony Blair
    C. Peter Andre

  14. anax says:

    I can confirm my copy (bought in Cheshire) didn’t have the solution error. It is odd, though, how these sorts of mistakes can creep in – things seem worse now than they were when Mr Andre was PM.

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