A whirling double-star, the Cook Islands and a pointillist

Our children think we’re eccentric, but at the weekends we copy the large general knowledge crossword from the newspaper so we can each have a go at it. Usually my husband gets more right than I do – he knows more about music and there always seem to be more music questions than literature which I know more about. Every week, however there are a few which stump both of us. This week I ‘beat’ him, but we were both totally bamboozled by some of them.

Here are the ones which I had, in the end, to look up:

  • the capital of the Cook Islands (I did guess this and by a fluke got it right) – 9 letters
  • whirling double-star distorted into an egg-shape by gravity which is the brightest body in Virgo – 5 letters
  • gems worn by Audrey Hepburn in the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s  and often by designer Gabrielle Chanel (I can’t believe i didn’t get this one!)  – 6 letters
  • species of thrush sometimes singing during the night or at dusk – 9 letters
  • type of courtyard within a cloister at the centre of a medieval monastery – 5 letters
  • the Furnace constellation – 6 letters
  • French pointillist who painted Breakfast, The Milliner, and Sunday (not Seurat!) – 6
  • metaphor in which an object is used to describe something closely related to it – 7 letters
  • a calyx and corolla collectively – 8 letters
  • word linking ‘leet for a jargon originally developed by hackers – 5 letters
  • My featured image by the way is for a leat – not leet as in the last clue!


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