Fifteensquared

Never knowingly undersolved.

Independent 7369 (Sat 29 May) by Klingsor – an orgy of Wagner

Posted by petebiddlecombe on June 3rd, 2010

petebiddlecombe.

This puzzle made a nice coincidental side dish for Stephen Fry’s excellent program (3 days to watch as I write this, if you missed it) on Wagner. Klingsor is an evil magician in Wagner’s Parsifal, so the crossword Klingsor has to be the same person as the more obvious Wagnerian baddie Alberich in the FT – Neil Shepherd, who has a website here.

Anyway, on to the puzzle. I found this a bit tricky compared to an average daily paper puzzle but gentle compared to many Saturday Indie puzzles. I made one mistake but it was entirely my fault. I enjoyed the Wagnerian stuff, though I can imagine others thinking “not again” – in my late 1980s / early 1990s Listener solving period, at least one Wagner puzzle a year seemed to be pretty much compulsory.

Across
1 SCR(ipt)(AWL),ED – nice start with a surface hinting at the setter/editor relationship
5 P(A),LING – P=”heart of vamPire”
9 BUN FIGHT – definition (noisy occasion) plus an allusion to warrens as homes of bunnies. bun = “a playful name for a rabbit” is in Chambers, though I solved it from my parents using bunny/bun as alternative pet names
10 MANTRA(p) – “powerless” indicating the removal of the P.
12 TO A ST. – an &lit, though I think this uses up the setter’s chestnut ration
13 LOHENGRIN – HE in (girl on)*,N=note – Lohengrin being more Wagner of course
14 MOLL FLANDERS – N=new, in (small folders)*
18 I.R.,RAT (I)ON,ALLY – the tricky bit here is “rat on” = betray
21 RHEINGOLD – HE in (girl on)*,D=note – the clue being exactly the same as for 13A – “He’s captivated by girl on high note in opera”, which suggests something like Brunnhilde’s “lachender Tod” at the end of Siegfried – I can’t find a really good version on Youtube so you’ll have to imagine Birgit Nilsson nailing the top B flat.
23 GHANA – hidden word
24 TRI(p)=slip,VIA=through
25 LACE=Spike,WI(N)G – “Spike Milligan” is good material, with “Milligan” providing the N. Apologies to Edward Elgar for the clip – if you want some mockery of Wagner, it’s only fair to recommend searching for “Anna Russell” on Youtube.
26 SO=note,L=left,VER(y) – the definition being just “you”
27 S(KIN,HE)AD – how many meanings of “with little up top” are intended in the def., I leave to you to decide
 
Down
1 SUB,I-(T)O – a bit of “musical mafia” stuff here – “subito” is Italian and musical for “suddenly” – “subito piano” is a request/reminder for an instant drop in voume rather than the diminuendo that many performers come up with when f changes to p.
2 RUN(a)WAY – strip as in “landing strip”
3 WAI(STCO=cost*,A)T
4 ETHYL ALCOHOL – (hooc(h),lethally)* – another &lit
6 AGA = chief officer,IN=elected
7 I,N(TERN)ET – possible confusion here from ERNE also being a candidate for “flying creature”
8 G,LAS(NO’S)T
11 CHALK AND TALK = ‘traditional teaching’ – (Knack all had, T)* with the T coming from ‘trusted’
15 N.I.,LEG=supporter,REEN=rev. of ne’er
16 NITRITES = “night rites” – this was my downfall as I hastily put in nitrates and had to wait until writing this report to realise where I’d gone wrong, when building up for a moan about rates=services
17 FREE WILL = “Free Will” as the Elizabethan version of “Bill Stickers is innocent”
19 DATIVE=case – IT rev., in DAVE=Cameron – congratulations to Klingsor on getting in first with this one, which would have the potential to rival Princess=DI if Dave were shorter or didn’t have a V in it.
20 BARGED – reversal of (har)D,E(ngine),GARB
22 NA(I)VE

11 Responses to “Independent 7369 (Sat 29 May) by Klingsor – an orgy of Wagner”

  1. anax says:

    An outstanding and richly deserved debut from this top setter. My knowledge of Wagner extends little further than spelling his name correctly but it didn’t stop me from solving this.

    Writing identical clues with different answers is tough enough (murderously so, I’d say); having the two answers so closely related is just astonishing.

    Congratulations Klingerich; the Indie is all the richer for your addition to the squad.

  2. nmsindy says:

    An excellent puzzle, particularly impressed with the two clues for the operas being exactly the same. Favourite apart from those, BARGED. Like you, I found it easy for a Saturday by Indy standards but harder than the daily Indy puzzle normally is. Not sure if your comments re the setter (and with your interest in classical music, I guess you have a headstart on some of us) is an informed guess or something you have had confirmed. If you’re right, welcome to the new setter whose puzzles I’ve enjoyed solving in other publications.

  3. jmac says:

    A very entertaining, albeit pretty straight-forward puzzle. Loved the identical Wagner clues,but SOLVER was my favourite.Look forward to other crosswords by this setter in the future.

  4. petebiddlecombe says:

    nms: I guessed right, but took the precaution of getting confirmation from Neil just in case.

  5. Ali says:

    A very enjoyable solve over a mid-morning café coffee. Being a complete opera dunce, I had no idea that both operas were by Wagner and was convinced fairly early on that the duplicated clue was a printing error. Was very impressed when I realised it wasn’t, and equally impressed with the rest of the puzzle. I hope we get more in future.

    Excellent blog too, Pete.

  6. Quixote says:

    This new boy looked like an experienced hand — and indeed he was. Enjoyed it.

  7. Kathryn's Dad says:

    Like Ali, I had a double take on seeing the same clue twice, and like Ali I’m an opera eejit; but I still managed it, albeit with a bit of help from the internet. Specially liked the chemistry answers – NITRITES and ETHYL ALCOHOL – but a good all-round puzzle from a setter whom I’d definitely have a second helping of in a Saturday Indy in the future.

    Thanks for the very full and helpful blog, Peter.

  8. flashling says:

    Odd, did this one quickly despite being an opera loather. Like Peter I had doubts about nitrates or nitrites. Nice to see a new addition to the Indy setters clan.

  9. Klingsor says:

    Many thanks for the kind words. In honesty I can’t really take much credit for the Cameron reference. This was the one change suggested by editor Mike Hutchinson – originally I had something like “bloke” to define the name. Rest asssured I shall be submitting another fairly soon!

  10. NeilW says:

    Thanks for this – I only get to see these puzzles online so have to wait until the following weekend.

    I don’t suppose anyone will see this but, for the record, you got the parsing of 11dn a bit wrong….

  11. petebiddlecombe says:

    Well spotted – now corrected. I had the anag fodder as ‘knack all had’, and was counting “trusted” as part of the def. (Sloppy analysis as this left “introduction of” not doing anything.)

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