Time to steal a quiet moment and flex your brain with Friday’s puzzle pages
1 Italian polymath noted for his use of the techniques sfumato and chiaroscuro in paintings including Mona Lisa, The Last Supper and Lady with an Ermine (8) 5 Forming part of a knot garden, the culinary and medicinal plants described in books by Nicholas Culpeper (5) 8 Author first published when she was 70 whose novels include Jumping the Queue, The Camomile Lawn, Harnessing Peacocks and A Sensible Life (6) 14 Also known as granny’s bonnet, a self-seeding, clump-forming flower with blooms in pastel shades of pink, lavender, peach, lemon, mauve or cream (9) 15 First name of the character played by Marilyn Monroe in Some Like it Hot; or, linked with “craft” for an art form used to decorate cakes and desserts (5) 16 Immortalised in Gerald Durrell’s autobiographical trilogy that includes My Family and other Animals and Birds, Beasts and Relatives, one of the greenest of the Greek islands (5) 17 Described by Ovid as “living death”, state of banishment forced upon figures including Dante, Napoleon Bonaparte, Imelda Marcos and the Dalai Lama (5) 18 Pen name of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, the French dramatist who wrote Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, The School for Wives and The Bourgeois Gentleman (7) 19 In Greek mythology, the destination of Jason and the Argonauts in their quest to find the Golden Fleece (7) 20 Postage —; item collected, studied or appreciated by a philatelist (5) 22 General name for an outdoor area associated with figures including Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West, Sir Roy Strong, Percy Thrower and Alan Titchmarsh (6) 24 Italian architect, humanist, artist, and cryptographer whose De pictura (On Painting) was the first account of the theory of linear perspective during the Renaissance (7) 27 Country with the capital Abuja (7) 29 Domestic task or chore involving the use of an appliance usually with a steamer, spritzer and thermostat (7) 30 Medieval three-stringed instrument (5) 32 Celebrated in a folk song and forming part of the region that contains the Great Trossachs Forest, the largest freshwater lake in Scotland by surface area (4,6) 34 The __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _; Johannes Vermeer painting, part of a collection in the Louvre (10) 37 Explorer who died on his return from a failed attempt to be the first to reach the South Pole (5) 39 Personified by the Greek goddess Iris, the manifestation of a spectrum of colours ranging from red to violet (7) 41 Another name for valerian (3-4) 42 Any one of the around 4,000 chemical compounds/elements in crystalline form such as chalcedony or quartz (7) 44 General name for a bistro, restaurant, taverna or a trattoria (6) 45 The negative part of an electric battery,
symbolised by a minus sign (5) 49 Removable circuit board (standard, micro or nano) acting as the “brain” of a smartphone or mobile device (3,4) 51 Author of Crowds and Power (7) 52 Strongest bone of the human body (5) 53 Italian musical term meaning “very” (5) 54 Actors Studio co-founder who directed A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront and East of Eden (5) 55 A workforce collectively (9) 56 The __ _ _ _ _ science; economics, according to historian Thomas Carlyle (6) 57 Animals with tails known as brushes (5) 58 First name of one of the Larkin sisters in The Darling Buds of May; a pale yellow colour; or, a woodland flower (8)
1 Flat leather shoe with styles including boat, driving, penny, horsebit, kilted, tasselled and Wildsmith (6) 2 Old name for an ophthalmologist (7) 3 Depicted in a chestnut tree painting by Alfred Sisley, a French word for a tree-lined driveway, walk or path (5) 4 Portuguese explorer; the first person to sail directly from Europe to India (2,4) 6 Festival celebrating Welsh culture (10) 7 Brass instrument used for signalling; a tube-shaped bead; or, the plant Ajuga (5) 9 The legendary sword of King Arthur (9) 10 Non-pedigree sighthound that can be bred for tasks in the field according to the working needs of its owner (7) 11 Traditional way to sign off a letter or other correspondence when it is addressed to a named individual (5,9) 12 The capital of Sardinia (8) 13 Informal name for a carnivorous semi-aquatic reptile related to alligators (4) 21 Highly-prized wild mushroom (5) 23 Rosehead _____; tacks used to secure horseshoes or solid wood flooring or to make ledge and brace doors (5) 24 Native or inhabitant of the largest country in North Africa (8) 25 Served in sandwiches, with cooked meats or in vinaigrette, a condiment flavoured with turmeric, either as powder or ready-prepared (7,7) 26 Castle and estate near Crathie; a Scottish home to the Royal family (8) 28 Lizard that can walk up walls (5) 31 A type of ice-cream dessert; or, a machine developed by Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman during their time code-breaking at Bletchley Park (5) 33 Unwanted form of the audible waves measured in decibels (5) 35 One of the artists who formed part of the Angry Penguins movement (5) 36 Practice of refraining from alcohol (10) 38 An Italian verse form in triplets first used by Dante in Divine Comedy (5,4) 40 Kitchen surfaces, either laminate, granite or wooden butcher block style (8) 43 Greek goddess of retribution against those who succumb to hubris (7) 46 One of the Three Tenors (7) 47 Reflective item forming part of a heliograph signalling device (6) 48 The county town of Kerry (6) 50 Derived from the Latin word “dux” (leader), the highest of the five ranks of the peerage (4) 51 One of the spellings of the Inca capital in modern Peru (5) 52 Psychoanalyst who wrote The Art of Loving, Escape from Freedom, Man for Himself and The Sane Society (5)
Solutions will be given next week. The last date for entries is June 27. The winner of this crossword will be announced on July 7. The winner of the June 9 crossword is Tony Alvares, Ajman.