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Subject: "Cryptic conundrum" Archived thread - Read only
 
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Conferences What's Happening Topic #2379
Reading Topic #2379
Richard Jones

25-12-01, 11:58 PM (GMT)
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"Cryptic conundrum"
 
   LAST EDITED ON 26-12-01 AT 00:01 AM (GMT)

Christmas is a time for puzzles, so here’s a cryptic conundrum just for fun.

See Nan anguish; feet become a problem in this balletic comedy of manners. Any apparent connection with the four temperaments is a red herring. How is it that war-time work begun in Chelsea took nearly 60 years to reach completion?

(This is a starter; anybody game to offer similar puzzles for the festive season?)



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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
  RE: Cryptic conundrum Bruce Madmin 26-12-01 1
     RE: Cryptic conundrum Richard Jones 27-12-01 2
         RE: Cryptic conundrum Richard Jones 30-12-01 3
             RE: Cryptic conundrum Richard Jones 01-01-02 4
                 RE: Cryptic conundrum Richard Jones 02-01-02 5
                     RE: Cryptic conundrum Brendan McCarthymoderator 02-01-02 6
                         RE: Cryptic conundrum Helen 02-01-02 7
                             RE: Cryptic conundrum Richard Jones 02-01-02 8
                             RE: Cryptic conundrum AnnWilliams 02-01-02 9
                             RE: Cryptic conundrum Richard Jones 06-01-02 10

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Bruce Madmin

26-12-01, 01:12 PM (GMT)
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1. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #0
 
   more please!

Jane SImpson has also produced her regular quiz for the Christmas magazine:
http://www.ballet.co.uk/magazines/yr_01/dec01/js_quiz_2001.htm
(should keep you busy for a while!)


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Richard Jones

27-12-01, 07:11 AM (GMT)
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2. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #1
 
   >more please!

Glad to oblige!

What kind of a ballet scenario is this?! Royalty is discovered altering part of a rhythmic phrase; legs lie in disarray; and oh! Ira!! - nil gained by giving the game away?? It sounds like something highly unprofessional anyway: explain all!


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Richard Jones

30-12-01, 10:31 PM (GMT)
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3. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #2
 
   LAST EDITED ON 30-12-01 AT 11:04 PM (GMT)

The next instalment!

Stop! Scan video! Alan has lost his top, and the headline has been scrambled. A Russian royal, captured during an operatic adventure, is honoured by lavish entertainment, but we seem to have lost the plot. Why is this? (Kismet might provide a musical solution - but how?).


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Richard Jones

01-01-02, 11:17 AM (GMT)
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4. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #3
 
   LAST EDITED ON 01-01-02 AT 11:18 AM (GMT)

And finally, a New Year special! – two ballets in one conundrum…..

The queen of dreams, with no robe, in disarray....One has been replaced by Another, initially, leading to metamorphosis from the insubstantial to a different estate. Emotional problems in the physical world are caused by single spirits in a state of confusion!

Who are these ladies, hidden above?
And who are their men? There's turmoil in love!


Happy New Year! (Answers soon)


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Richard Jones

02-01-02, 12:13 PM (GMT)
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5. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #4
 
   The answers!

See Nan anguish; feet become a problem in this balletic comedy of manners. Any apparent connection with the four temperaments is a red herring. How is it that war-time work begun in Chelsea took nearly 60 years to reach completion?

Any apparent connection with the four temperaments is a red herring. The four temperaments include sanguinic, related to blood; this is a red herring as far as the four temperaments are concerned, but the word sanguine is essential, as the hidden ballet is The Sanguine Fan. ‘Nan anguish feet’ is an anagram of the title of this, Elgar’s only ballet; the fan is mislaid in the course of this short work, which is rather like an Oscar Wilde comedy of manners. The first performance was given as a mimed play in Chelsea in 1917 in aid of war charities; the London Festival Ballet gave its first performance as a ballet (ch. Hynd) in 1976.


What kind of a ballet scenario is this?! Royalty is discovered altering part of a rhythmic phrase; legs lie in disarray; and oh! Ira!! – nil advantage gained by giving the game away? It sounds like something highly unprofessional in any case; explain all!

Royalty is discovered by altering part of a rhythmic phrase to find Myrtha (Queen of the Wilis).’Legs lie’ is an anagram (hence in disarray) of the ballet’s title, Giselle, and ‘oh! Ira!! – nil’ is an anagram of Hilarion, the gamekeeper who tells the villagers (and Giselle) of Albrecht’s true identity (a count engaged to Bathilde). For his pains, Hilarion is driven into a lake by the Wilis, so he gains nothing by giving the game away (and, being a gamekeeper, you presumably wouldn’t expect him to do that!).


Stop! Scan video! Alan has lost his top, and the headline has been scrambled. A Russian royal, captured during an operatic adventure, is honoured by lavish entertainment, but we seem to have lost the plot. Why is this? (Kismet might provide a musical solution – but how?).

Kismet = fate, so this might help the captured royal; but Kismet is also the title of a well known Musical, using music by Borodin. The best known ballet with music by Borodin (who wrote no ballet as such) is probably the one hidden in the opening here (the ‘headline’), i.e. The Polovtsian Dances (Alan has lost his top, so take the first A off his name to find the anagram. The Russian royal is Prince Igor, whose campaign against the marauding Polovtsy tribe is the subject of Borodin’s opera ‘Prince Igor’. The dances are performed in his honour when he is captured by Khan Konchak. They are often performed apart from the opera (so we lose the plot). Originally ch. by Ivanov for performance in the opera, they were re-ch. by Fokine for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes as a separate entity, and have been re-ch. many times since.

And finally, a New Year special! – two ballets in one conundrum…..

The queen of dreams, with no robe, in disarray…One has been replaced by Another, initially, leading to metamorphosis from the insubstantial to another estate. Emotional problems in the physical world are caused by single spirits in a state of confusion!

Who are these ladies, hidden above, and who are their men bringing turmoil in love?

The queen of dreams is Titania, from The Dream; ‘no robe’ is an anagram for the king of the fairies, Oberon. One (i) in her name is replaced by a (the initial letter of another); ‘Tatania’ in disarray becomes an anagram of Tatiana (hence the metamorphosis to another estate – Tatiana lives in another estate – the real world – and lives on an estate!). The Dream is based, of course on Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer night’s Dream’. The spirit in a state of confusion in this play is Puck, whose muddled use of love potions succeeds in causing the wrong man, Lysander, to fall in love with Helena. (Titania is also ‘in disarray’ with Oberon - king of the fairies - as they argue over an Indian boy).). Tatiana’s problem’s are caused by “one-gin” – a single spirit in a state of total confusion. Cheers!


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Brendan McCarthymoderator

02-01-02, 12:30 PM (GMT)
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6. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #5
 
   I should hate Richard to take lack of response to his quiz for lack of interest. I have to say that I have been mesmerised by it. Now that I see the answers, I wish I had had the courage to attempt some of them.


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Helen

02-01-02, 02:31 PM (GMT)
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7. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #6
 
   I agree, Brendan - I've been fascinated too, but I've never been any good at difficult crosswords or anything of that ilk. Very, very clever, Richard, and I do believe The Sanguine Fan was lurking somewhere in my brain for See Nan Anguish - just not near enough to the surface!


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Richard Jones

02-01-02, 09:09 PM (GMT)
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8. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #7
 
   LAST EDITED ON 02-01-02 AT 09:43 PM (GMT)

Thanks, both - it's been fun doing it, and I wasn't at all bothered that nobody posted anything; I just guessed that some might have liked the opportunity for the grey cells to be goaded into a bit of exercise between meals! - (or while waiting for that rarity, a dance programme on TV!).

PS The Polovtsian Dances are sung in the opera, so the performers have a right royal time, with singing and dancing, and the orchestra at times going full pelt. They are also performed sometimes as a concert piece for chorus. It's a long time since I've seen the Musical 'Kismet', but I seem to remember that the opening tune of these choral dances is prominent in it (as "A stranger in Paradise"). According to Balanchine's Festival of Ballet, the Polovtsian Dances when first performed by the Ballets Russes (with chorus as well as orchestra)introduced to Western Europe "the unimagined colour of Russian music and dancing".

PPS Formulating the question about Prince Igor and the Polovt. Dances helped to fill up some of the time on the coach journey to London for The Snow Maiden. My wife asked what on earth I was scribbling! (My mind was still whirring on the subject while she was flitting through the sales!).


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AnnWilliams

02-01-02, 10:54 PM (GMT)
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9. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #8
 
   Well, Richard, I loved having a go at these conundrums of yours, even though I got absolutely nowhere. Many years ago I was a whiz at the Times crossword so I thought your competition would be a pushover. Not so. But now that I know what the answers are, I know how your brain works so the next time you set some puzzlers for us....


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Richard Jones

06-01-02, 09:41 PM (GMT)
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10. "RE: Cryptic conundrum"
In response to message #9
 
   LAST EDITED ON 06-01-02 AT 09:43 PM (GMT)

Ann - thanks for the feedback; sorry if I was being a bit too obscure! I've been away for a few days, so I've not been able to reply before now. Perhaps, on reflection, it would have been better to have accompanied each new puzzle with the answer to the previous one, so that you could get into the style of them. And perhaps an extra clue would have been helpful, such as "a very English affair, but without pomp and circumstance" for The Sanguine Fan. Next time!....


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