# Hard mode wordplays

1. Early scientists see major progress.
2. Gray scale picture subject?
3. Midas tunes up this hangman cheat.
4. Endlessly in Whiterun; Croesus is the key.
5. Shuffle mode of 4?
6. With a minor change, sounds like garlic mayo.
7. Made successive notes in his ancient Opus.

Bonus question: which tag is intentionally missing from this puzzle?

These are

the musical modes (note title) in their traditional order, though I confess I don't understand all the wordplay here. Readers in tune with their inner punster will note the harmony between the theme and the wording of the clues, which is key to the puzzle.

1. Early scientists see major progress.


IONIAN; something to do with the ancient Greeks? (And the Ionian mode is more or less the same thing as our major scale.)

2. Gray scale picture subject?


DORIAN (reference to Oscar Wilde)

3. Midas tunes up this hangman cheat.


PHRYGIAN (Midas was king of Phrygia; perhaps the "hangman cheat" bit is a reference to the "Gordian knot", though that doesn't seem to involve anything hanging?)

4. Endlessly in Whiterun; Croesus is the key.


LYDIAN; Croesus was king of Lydia. In the game Skyrim, Whiterun is home to Lydia, a prominent follower for the player.

5. Shuffle mode of 4?


MIXOLYDIAN (mix, ouch)

6. With a minor change, sounds like garlic mayo.


AEOLIAN (aioli, ouch squared; and the Aeolian mode is more or less the same thing as the natural minor scale)

7. Made successive notes in his ancient Opus.


LOCRIAN but I confess I don't yet understand why.

The missing tag is obviously

[music]

and

the OP's username is most appropriate.

• Yup, that's it. The cheat is that you aren't supposed to use proper nouns (or demonyms), but because 3 has its place in this puzzle, one could argue that it also has a purely adjective meaning, so it should be OK to reap the benefits of its unusual letter pattern in the game. The Whiterun thingy refers to this central character that always returns to Whiterun, should you lose sight of her.
– Bass
Apr 23 '18 at 13:06
• Here are some spoilers for those willing to delve deeper into the ever darkened playgrounds of ancient Greek historical geography puns.
– Bass
Apr 23 '18 at 13:20