Crossword Genius

Spy Indian princess rejecting article without thanks (4,4)


I believe the answer is:

mata hari

I'm a little stuck... Click here to teach me more about this clue!

'spy' is the definition.
(I know that Mata Hari is a spy)

'indian princess rejecting article without thanks' is the wordplay.
I cannot quite understand how this works, but
'article' could be 'a' (the indefinite article in English) and 'a' is present in the answer.
'thanks' could be 'ta' (UK informal version of 'thank you') and 'ta' is found within the answer.
This may be the basis of the clue (or it may be nonsense).

Can you help me to learn more?

(Other definitions for mata hari that I've seen before include "World War I spy" , "Dutch femme fatale executed by the French in 1917 as a German spy" , "Exotic Dutch dancer, executed by the French as a German, 1917" , "Dutch dancer and secret agent, executed in 1917" , "Infamous dancer executed as a German spy" .)

I've seen this clue in The Guardian.
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