Posted by rightback on December 23rd, 2007
Solving time: 18 mins, one mistake (20dn)
This Mona Lisa-themed puzzle might have been straightforward for any art scholars who knew the ten-word phrase at 24ac (anyone?), but I had to work it out painstakingly from the anagram. The rest of the clues were probably a bit easier than usual for Araucaria.
Music: The only song I can think of that mentions the Mona Lisa is ‘Aire and Calder’ by Ultrasound, but sadly I can’t find a recording anywhere online, so here’s I’ll Show You Mine instead.
* = anagram.
|1||SUP + [h]ERB|
|9||BELT (double definition)|
|11||VI + KRAM (rev. of MARK) – I think I read somewhere that Vikram Seth is a crossword fan.|
|12||G + IO (= ’10’) + CONDA (= ‘Rice’, as in Condoleeza) – not sure what ‘portions’ is doing in this clue. La Gioconda is the Mona Lisa. I believe the spelling of this answer caught a few people out once in the final of a Times Crossword Championship.|
|13||A + S(IAN)PEAR|
|16||M(ON)ALI’S + A|
|21||WOLF NOTE; rev. of ETON FLOW – a noise that occurs when an instrument resonates – see here.|
|22||D + URBAN (= ‘of city’)|
|24/29/23 10/1dn||SHE IS OLDER THAN THE ROCKS AMONG WHICH SHE SITS; (LEONARDO’S WORK – HIS HIGHEST – MATCHES HITCHENS’S)* – a comment on the Mona Lisa by the essayist Walter Pater (see 2dn). Three quarters of a very good anagram; a pity that ‘Hitchens’ spoils it somewhat, unless I have missed a reference. [And perhaps I have – see comments.]|
|26||NELSON (triple definition) – referring to Horatio Nelson, the wrestling hold (named after him) and Nelson Mandela.|
|27||BYSSHE (hidden) – good job I knew Shelley’s middle name name. Totally inadequate hidden indicators, as here, is one of the things I dislike most about Araucaria’s puzzles.|
|2||PATE + R (= ‘for tail’)|
|3||RO(AD)MA + P|
|6||APHRODITE; (OPRAH TIED)*|
|8||ROUGH-AND-READY; (GHAN[a] + DREAD) in (YOUR)*|
|14||ANNA FRIEL; (N + rev. of FAN) in ARIEL|
|16||MOO + RHE (= HER*) + N|
|20||K.O. + SOV + O – ‘end fight’ is ‘K.O.’ (‘knock out’), ‘pound’ is SOV[ereign] and ‘love’ is O. I rushed into ‘Komodo‘ here, which of course isn’t a country – but then, I don’t think Kosovo is, either.|