3D Crossword Solution – April 2022

April 2022 puzzle page

Clues by Tramp and Grid by Gin

Theme: I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Radio Four Programme first broadcast April 1972

The winners of the April puzzle are Monica Jeffrey & Denise Brocklehurst of Weston Under Wetherley.

Review of the April 2022 3D crossword

We were told that this puzzle celebrates a 50th anniversary. At each level there are two 8-letter solutions which cross the dial. The two central letters are placed together in the circular core. Both solutions share the same two letters, though not necessarily in the same order. The two other 5-letter diametric solutions at each level employ only one of the two core letters.

The completed grid contains 14 core letters which anagram to the theme (2,5,1,6,{1},{4}) except for the last two words, which are (appropriately) missing (though our calendar is full of such things). This phrase must be submitted with your entry. Twelve asterisked thematic clues lack thematic definition. Eight of these are characters associated with the theme, three are thematic activities and one is the home of the theme.

Setting as Mang I have created a number of 7-dial grids for the calendar. I’ve always felt that the core solution reveals itself far too easily, often without the need to solve its clue. Gin has, with this grid and the two core letters at each level, found an inspired and elegant way to avoid this weakness. I shall certainly use something along theses lines in future 7-dial designs.

I made good progress on the normal clues but struggled to get into the asterisked clues. In fact clue 7 44di-3* Short, bottomless river (3) totally confused me for some time. It seemed to solve as a normal clue with DEE as the river and short bottomless DEE(P) as the word play. This interpretation however conflicted with the ‘no definitions’ element of the rubric. I put it to one side and a short while later solved clue 40 RUSHTON which, coupled with DEE and stealing PD’s apt contribution in the comments section, I thought “I know where this is leading”.

As a long time fan of the ‘antidote to panel games’, I loved the theme and each of the asterisked solutions as they emerged. Like lots off you, I missed Tim Brooke-Taylor and dear old Humph but there is a limit to what can be fitted into a grid and Gin packed lots into his.

A clue I had trouble with was Clue 35 33di Tart with room: working model in NY village (8), which was also the picture clue. After a string of recent successes with the picture clue, I drew a blank with the priest and his boat shaped speech bubble, so no joy there. Likewise I struggled with the written clue (although in retrospect I shouldn’t have) and eventually, armed with a few letters, resorted to an internet list of NY villages in order to complete the grid.

Once again lots of positive comments and praise for both Gin and Tramp, and thoroughly well deserved too.

Grid solution

April 2022 grid solution

Visual clue

A priest speaks from the depths of a pit. The speech balloon shows the beginning of his sermon is cut, giving:


Visual clue for PIERMONT
Drawing by Frank Paul

Clues and explanations

Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.

DaySolutionDirection, Clue, CountExplanation
1ASSET5AC-5 Property is a small place (5)A+S+SET
2ATTACHE37up Diplomat for Thailand’s smart (7)FOR (at) (they sell for/at £1) T (Thailand) ACHE (smart)
3BONESEED40di Weed from Britain with one top player? (8)B+ONE+SEED
4CLEANISH20di Lance his boils: reasonably hygienic (8)LANCEHIS*
5CLYTRA8AC-6 Beetles caught inside part of flytrap (6)C+[f]LYTRA[p]
6CRYER*10di* Weep at TV show (5)CRY+ER
7DEE*44di-3* Short, bottomless river (3)DEE[p]
8DEFORMS45up Mars in diet regularly appears (7)D[i]E[t]+FORMS
9ECOTYPES7di European company forms: they’ve had to adapt to survive (8)E+CO+TYPES
10ETHIC32di Stupid mostly following electronic code (5)E+THIC[k]
11EYRIE35di High flyers here watch over group of scientists (5)RI in EYE
12FATHOM31AC-6 Get measurement of 6 feet (6)Double definition
13FETAL31C-5 Cheese left in a form that’s not mature (5)FETA+L
14GARDEN*38AC-6* Georgia backing doctor and nurse (6)GA+<DR+EN
15GIN42C-3 Drink gallons at home (3)G+IN
16GLEAN38di Good tip to pick up (5)G+LEAN
17HIGHROAD27di Run old advert to go after drunk drivers on this? (8)HIGH+R+O+AD
18HIVES11di Intravenous drugs following hospital rash (5)H+IV+ES
19ISOTYPES4di Originally, indie song officially enters charts (8)I+S+O+ENTERS
20KITESURF43di Use kit for broadcasting with radio frequency to go on the waves (8)USEKIT*+RF
21LATE ARRIVALS*26AC-4,12di* As rail travel is terrible (4,8)ASRAILTRAVEL*
22MACHINAL28AC-8 Play with mother and friend by lake (8)MA+CHINA+L
23MARIA28di Song following start of musical? (5)M+ARIA
24MERIT36di Married that woman with husband going off sex: goodness! (5)M+[h]ER+IT
25MONA39up-4 Mark touching a monkey (4)M+ON+A
26MORNINGTON CRESCENT*39C-7,30d,8C-8* Early mass around religious subject: start to share church books (10,8)MORNING (early) MASS (ton) +C+RE+S+CE+NT
27MRS TRELLIS*39AC,2d* On the radio, misses supporter in 14? (3,7)Homophone of misses + TRELLIS
28NATTY1di Smart attorney in New York (5)ATT in NY
29NINJA23di Some assassin in Japan? (5)Hidden &lit
30NOISE15di Row with one splitting bill (5)I in NOSE
31NUT15C-3 Group of teachers and head (3)Double definition
32ONE SONG TO THE TUNE OF ANOTHER*41di-3,24d,22up-2,22d-3,22di-4,25d-2,5d* Single lad with girl, initially costing more? (3,4,2,3,4,2,7)ONE SON +G[irl]: TO THE TUNE OF (costing) ANOTHER (more)
33PERIODIC18di Moon in a day? I see once in a while (8)PER (a) +IO (moon) +D+I+C (see)
34PERVIOUS13di Dirty old man with debts is open to new ideas (8)PERV+IOUS
35PIERMONT33di Tart with room: working model in NY village (8)PIE+RM+ON+T
36RADIO IV*17di-3,Core 3,Core 2* Air video that’s shot without programme’s backing (5,2){AIRVIDEO without [programm]E}*
37RADIOMAN17di One might work on set in drama, unusually picking up Oscar (8)O in INDRAMA*
38RECREATION19C-10 Romeo making love, finally penetrating for pleasure (10)R+CREATION around [lov]E
39RESIN46di Second to stop crossing amber? (5)S in REIN
40RUSHTON*9d* Career not over (7)RUSH+<TON
41SAMANTHA*21di* A man’s hat for dressing up (8)AMANSHAT*
42SELL*24up* Endless sex with couple of liberals (4)SE[x}+LL
43SETA3d-4 Horsetail features hair-like botanical structure (4)Hidden
44SHAHRYAR29di Persian king wedded to queen with endless yarn (8)SHAH+R+YAR[n] &lit
45SVEN*14di* Empty vegetable tin for consuming (4)V[egetabl]E in SN
46TEASER16C-6 Joker or Riddler? (6)Double definition
47TRIER16di One attempts bank robbery, initially getting inside (5)R[obbery] in TIER
48TSUNAMI6d Last to greet early riser in the morning: I wave (7)[gree]T+SUN+AM+I
49WORMROOT34di Plant tomorrow requires engineering (8)TOMORROW*
RequiredI’M SORRY I HAVEN’T A CLUETheme (2,5,1,6,{1},{4})

Solvers’ comments

I was unfamiliar with the theme which reduced my enjoyment of this puzzle, but I could still see it was very clever of Tramp and Gin to include so many well-clued references to the 1972 show on Radio IV. Thanks to the setters. [JA]

I know, more or less, nothing of the theme; but Day 26 was my way in. It’s a tribute to the grid designer that the grid works so wonderfully well, and to the setter that an ignoramus like me didn’t need to google a single themed entry. Another bravo! [PA]

Another triumph! This was very fun to solve, thank you to all involved. [DB]

Great theme. Day 8 is my favourite clue. [NB]

Fascinating – probably harder to set than it was to solve [HB]

So many answers related to the theme which brought back lots of memories. Can it really be 50 years? An amazing puzzle in every way – I enjoyed it. [JB]

This was a larger-than-usual meaty puzzle, which I thoroughly enjoyed solving. I liked the unique feature whereby two letters are shared among multiple answers in each dial. And it was fun to be reminded of the theme with its catchphrases and characters. [AB]

Tricky 3D with Kitesurf hardest to track down. ISIHAC along with Best of Jazz with the great Humph were my favourite programmes. Many Thanks, Tramp. [PC]

Good fun but not too difficult, especially as I was familiar with the theme. Something perhaps quite cruciverbial about the show’s extended punning mots à double entente. Top performers, so many now sadly departed. My favourite had to be Humphrey Lyttelton, for whom Gin must have been very sad not to have found room: his deadpan delivery of outrageous stuff was the best ever. [AC]

Difficult if you don’t listen to Radio 4. Very challenging. [RC]

Enjoyed the theme very much – happy memories of the show. Tim Brooke-Taylor would have been miffed that he wasn’t name checked! [JC]

Loved it! Huge fan of the show, Humph and TBT much missed. [SC]

Great fun. Once I solved late arrivals I knew where this was leading. It needed a big grid to fit in all the theme words. [PD]

This was great fun, and a wonderfully nostalgic exercise! Thank you. [SF]

Delightful. If you knew that April 1972 also marked the first hang-glide, then you are mean; if you didn’t you are negligent: I spent ages listing words and names connected to that event and trying to make them match the thematic clues (and even trying to find a Samantha in that connection). I still have no idea how the hang-gliders relate to the actual theme. But you are forgiven for the enjoyable mixture of words and clues, witty and with good proportions of familiar and obscure. I thought that Hints & Tips on the Ulysses puzzle gave too much away and it is hard to see how that will not also be the case for this one! – so to claim moral high ground I am taking care to submit before they arrive – will be embarrassed if I am not perfect! [EF]

Excellent puzzler – only disappointment was that Humphrey Lyttleton didn’t manage to get in as an answer. [RG]

So satisfying to get the theme answers without googling! Thank you for the fun. [HH]

Wonderful puzzle! Even Mrs Trellis would have approved. [DH]

Great fun — can’t believe it’s only been going for 50 years. Hope all the answers are in the Uxbridge English Dictionary. [TH]

Thankfully we were given some clues and good ones too. [J&JH]

Splendid! We managed to complete this without recourse to the Uxbridge English Dictionary. Thanks to Tramp and Gin for giving us silly things to do! [N&SI]

A favourite, both programme and crossword. Very good construction to get so much thematic material in. An interesting use of the two letters in the central column to avoid potential clashes. A shame Humph and Tim B-T couldn’t be found a place. Doesn’t 7 have a definition? [MJ]

Really enjoyed this month’s puzzle despite struggling with quite a few. Probably because love the radio show & understood the theme, unlike March!. Find the grid fun to do. [MJ&DB]

Not bad but day 44 pretty obscure. It would have been nice to see HUMPH and TIM and even LIONEL but you can’t have everything. Perhaps GIN references one of them but, well, I’m Sorry But … I’m not happy with days 35 and 44 – much too obscure. [GL]

Mornington Crescent and I was on my way. The easter egg must be the setter’s theme song. [MM]

An excellent puzzle with a theme that is one of my favourite radio programmes. The seven dials grid gives plenty of scope for solutions of different lengths and this was exploited well here, although I suspect that including eight words that are not in Chambers must be a record. Favourite clues were for MERIT, NINJA and PIERMONT – Frank Paul’s cryptic drawing for the latter had me foxed for quite a while, but now I see it. Altogether a most enjoyable challenge: thank you, Tramp and Gin. [KM]

Although not many on first pass quickly got Mornington Crescent on this brilliantly designed 3D crossword. This gave me the central letters generally. An occasional often accidental listener as now I rarely listen to the radio and then only for traffic news! A show I consider of its time … Probably like many I did not remember Mrs Trellis, Sell or Sven. Sad to see the passing of Denise Coffey last month, obituary yesterday – one of the few females in what used to be such a male dominated club. [DM]

I was nearly a teenager, but vaguely recall the theme! Not too difficult, but it took a couple of sittings and was enjoyable.🤔👌 [MN]

Initially I couldn’t work out what the theme was. However as I did a first run through the clues I came to late arrivals and suddenly realised. As a long time listener to I’m sorry I haven’t a clue I thoroughly enjoyed the puzzle especially the inventive clues for some of the words such as Mrs Trellis. [MP]

Fun puzzle with lots to like. Took me a while to spot the theme, but Mrs Trellis gave it away! [JP]

Brilliant puzzle, brilliant show! [AR]

I loved the theme as I used to listen to this show a lot (shame you couldn’t fit Humph in, though). The picture clue defeated me, as it so often does. Thank you Tramp, for a fun puzzle. [RS]

“You’ll have had your tea”. A great choice of theme. [RS]

Loved the puzzle as much as I love the show (which is a lot). A few unfamiliar words but all very fairly clued. Thank you so much. [JT]

Loved the theme but no Brooke-Taylor or Lyttleton? [EW]

Best theme ever! We absolutely loved it. We got (the late, great Barry) Cryer very early on so looked for where Mornington Crescent might be. With that, we went for all the themed clues and were delighted to find (Willie) Rushton, the wonderful correspondent Mrs Trellis and the now rarely to be seen Sven. As ever, some new words, so thank you Tramp and Gin for a delightful puzzle. [CW]

Another ingenious puzzle worthy of its subject matter. A lot of laughs at some clever clues and happy memories of the original cast. We will forgive some odd words for the sake of the brilliance of fitting the answers into the grid so cleverly. But I am sure they are all in the Uxbridge English dictionary! [SB]

Any radio comedy theme immediately gets two thunbs up from me. Also my first inroduction to OneLook, very useful, Thanks! [JS]

Great clues and an enjoyable grid [NH]

Yet another puzzle where the theme practically jumped off the page and, but for my careless mistakes and my propensity to jump to a conclusion, I might have got away with one submission. This was a delight. Thank you. [ET]

Great I remember this programme, so could understand my master’s mutterings. Thank you happy memories. [RG]

Another brilliant puzzle, many thanks all round. [JM]

What a joy this was! From the penny dropping moment with Mornington Crescent to dredging up the redoubtable Mrs Trellis. Excellent theme and clueing. A delight from start to finish [BS]

So many theme words, very impressive! [AH]

I thought March was a tour de force, but this was just as good, if not richer and more satisfying. It took a while to work out the grid, with the diagonals and the two letter core. Also for the penny to drop with the anniversary, since I don’t know the programme well, and consequently needed to do a bit of archival research. So I took the whole month, nibbling away slowly when I had a few spare minutes, and savouring the concise wit and naughty fun of the clues (Tramp is one of my favourites). Thank you Tramp and Gin! [MS]

Brilliant [JM]

Incredible construction, and an impressive amount of thematic material – but I’m afraid I haven’t a clue what it is all about (;+>)…I am familiar with the show, its longevity and some of the participants, but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to a whole episode. Probably a generational ‘rebellion’ thing, and probably my loss, overall. Thanks to Tramp and Gin for the challenge… [MC]

2 thoughts on “3D Crossword Solution – April 2022

  1. I don’t like giving people things to do, but the club (if that’s what we are) would be even better if we got setters’ comments on the solvers’ feedback! I seem to be the only person who was actively put off by the picture of hang-gliders, and still no-one has told us what they have to do with the theme! And it is true that there was some hang-gliding breakthrough in 1972! But very many thanks all round, of course.

    1. I didn’t really understand the picture when I wrote the Hints & Tips introduction, but am informed that the picture is of kitesurfing kites (referencing the answer to Day 20). They have a distinctive shape quite different from either parachutes or hang-gliders.

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