The Fly constellation, a city in Rajastan and a dormant volcano

I do a general knowledge crossword most weeks and I don’t do too badly, but I always come unstuck on particular areas. There are some things which would take a lot of concentration to learn – capital cities of the world for example and other geographical features, often quite obscure. However there are some things which crop up regularly… The Greek Muses – if I could learn their names and aspects it would certainly fill in a few blanks –

  • Calliope – Epic poetry
  • Clio – History  Scrolls,
  • Euterpe – Music, Song, and Lyric Poetry
  • Erato – Love poetry
  • Melpomene – Tragedy
  • Polyhymnia – Hymns
  • Terpsichore – Dance
  • Thalia – Comedy
  • Urania – Astronomy

So what else crops up? Sauces – yes I know, it it’s a strange subject – but there are often questions about obscure sauces with unusual ingredients. What else should I learn, warships, yes the names of famous warships – famous to people who are interested in warships maybe, but not to me! Cheese – I love cheese and I know many cheeses, but the crossword compiler always manages to find one I have never heard of. Countryside flowers and countries national flower.

Here are some clues from a recent crossword set by Kate Mepham:

  • second largest city in Rajastan
  • the Fly constellation (constellations are another favourite!)
  • gold coin during the reign of James I – first worth 20 shillings and later 22
  • Dormant volcano in Tanzania with three cones – Shira, Kibo and Mawenzi
  • croquet ball ready to peg out
  • visual style usually associated with Erté, Rene Lalique and Tamara de Lempicka

The thing is it would be so easy to cheat! Especially these days when you don’t have to reach for the dictionary or encyclopaedia but just google! But I don’t!


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