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I am solving crossword and one of the clues says, Airs composed by priest in Hebrew perhaps

The answer to which is Israeli, as found on the Internet.

Could someone please explain it to me, what does “Airs” mean in this context and why is the answer “Israeli”? Does this have a mythological base ?

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  • It is an allusion to one of Bach's famous compositions, entitled Air.
    – Lucian
    Jun 9 '20 at 13:48
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"Airs composed" indicates an anagram of "airs". "By" indicates concatenation. "Priest" refers to Eli (from the book of Samuel). That's the cryptic half of the clue, and it yields ISRA+ELI. And "Israeli" = "in Hebrew perhaps".

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  • Thank you so much :)
    – Noeshel
    Jun 8 '20 at 13:06
  • It also constitutes an allusion to Bach's famous composition Air.
    – Lucian
    Jun 9 '20 at 13:45
  • I doubt that allusion is intentional, @Lucian.
    – msh210
    Jun 11 '20 at 14:23
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"Airs" is another word for "tunes." Sometimes, not often, used for a song with words.

Why this ends up "Israeli" I do not know, but it is the only meaning I can see that applies to the clue.

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