As a detective, my first step in solving the mystery of the elusive crossword clue ‘Repeated musical phrase’ was to examine the length of the answer. With five letters, it was unlikely to be a complex musical term, which led me to focus on more common musical terms. ‘Chorus‘ initially came to mind given its association with repetition in music, but it was too long for the answer. This led me to consider other terms that could describe musical repetition, such as ‘loop‘ or ‘sample‘. However, neither of these fit within the five-letter limit. Finally, the ‘if‘ in ‘Repeated’ caught my attention, and I immediately considered ‘riff‘. A riff is a brief, repeated musical phrase that is often used in rock, jazz, or blues music. It’s a term that matches the length of the answer and fits perfectly with the clue’s overall theme. The process of elimination and careful attention to the wordplay ultimately led me to the answer ‘riff‘, and the mystery was solved.