3D Crossword Solution – January 2022

January 2022 grid page

Clues and Grid by Curmudgeon

Theme: Ernest Shackleton (died 5 January 1922)

The winner of the January puzzle is Suzanne Farquhar of Reading.

Review of the January 2022 3D crossword

We were told that this puzzle marks the 100th anniversary of a death.

Letters in yellow cells give the name of a hero who died 100 years ago, the scene of his death, and two places connected with his greatest achievement. Letters in the purple cells will anagram to his means of transport, a word from his family motto, and one of his qualities.

I turned to your comments wondering if some of you found this puzzle somewhat on the more straightforward side after the last few puzzles of 2021, and it is true to say that some of you did. I was delighted, however, to see that most of you liked the puzzle and found it an enjoyable start to the year. We cater to a broad church in the 3D crossword calendar and it isn’t always easy to pitch the level of difficulty just right. Historically we have ramped up the difficulty as the year progressed. We have moved away from a strict adherence to that approach and there is now more of a mix across the year.

Anyway, to the puzzle. Lynn and I did this one, as we normally do, as a team. She was in splendid form and on the first run through I was fully occupied in entering the answers as she reeled them off. A good two thirds cold solved already.

However clue 7 3d (6) ARKITE proved elusive, both as a word clue and as a picture clue. We were clearly after the lyrics of a Beatles song with a beheaded hero having his head replaced with either an ‘A’ or an ’S’. The cross letters and wordplay helped us to ARKITE before a nice PDM (penny drop moment) gave us MR KITE from the Sergeant Pepper album. These were the relevant lyrics:

For the benefit of Mr. Kite
There will be a show tonight on trampoline
The Hendersons will all be there
Late of Pablo Fanques Fair-what a scene
Over men and horses hoops and garters
Lastly through a hogshead of real fire!
In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world!

And so to the end game. ERNEST SHACKLETON, SOUTH GEORGIA and ELEPHANT ISLAND from the yellow cells. Ah! so now the background photo is explained. The anagram led to ENDURANCE nicely fitting the three definitions given in the preamble.

Grid solution

January 2022 solution grid

Visual clue

Day 7 3d (6) The Beatles sing “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite”. In this version Mr. K. performs his tricks without a head, which is replaced by an Ace. So we have:


Visual clue for ARKITE
Drawing by Frank Paul

Clues and explanations

Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.

DaySolutionDirection, Clue, CountExplanation
1ADROIT24up Skilful driving as the French do? (6)à droit(e) – on the right
2AGEING2d Stage in growth includes maturation process (6)Hidden in Stage in growth
3ANGLE13aw Perspective of fifth century immigrant (5)Double definition
4ANGORA5d Turkey’s old capital type of animal (6)Double definition
5ANIMAL8d Brutish person raised layer of sensitive tissue (6)LAMINA<
6ANTRA8to Cavities found in distant ravines (5)Hidden in distant ravines
7ARKITE3d One of Noah’s passengers, a river bird (6)A R KITE
8AUDEN20to American university retreat for poet (5)A U DEN
9ENOKI12aw Backward symbol; eastern mushroom (5)IKON + E<
10ERNEST*7d Serious, we hear; it was important to be this (6)Ref: Oscar Wilde play
11ETON22to School’s characteristic set up (4)NOTE<
12EVANGEL7ac Support part of church backing gospel (7)LEG + NAVE<
13GAMME1aw Range long ago of hunted animals encompassing miles (5)GAME round M
14GEISHA1d Female entertainer, upset, say, dubious Shia (6)EG< + SHIA*
15GEORGIA15ac Aggro that is stirred up in Black Sea Republic (7){AGGRO IE}*
16GRAND9to Thousand dollars in good South African currency (5)G + RAND
17GRANDPA1ac Elderly relative’s a fine publicity agent (7)GRAND + PA
18GREEKS9d Runs in oddballs’ race (6)R in GEEKS
19HANDSET17ac Worker fixed in position part of phone (7)HAND SET
20ICEPACK11ac Part of Polar sea useful in cool box (7)Double definition
21INGAN11aw Mac’s vegetable: something Annie bottles (5)Scots for onion, hidden in something Annie
22ISLAND23up Home, some say, could be this isolated place (6)“Holm” heard
23KIRKS21to King vexes Scottish religious establishments (5)K + IRKS
24KNAVE14aw Scoundrel, in the main part of church, we hear (5)“Nave” heard
25LEERED10d Glanced sideways and reeled wildly (6)Reeled*
26LEPTA10to Plate moulded for old Greek coins (5)PLATE*
27MAGNUM4d Silent about a hollowed-out gallon bottle (6)MUM round A G(allo)N
28NAIVETE16ac Ingenuousness of troubled eastern native (7){E NATIVE}*
29PEAPOD6d After start of planting fool turned up holding a husk (6)P(lanting) + DOPE< round A
30PHANTOM6ba Husband in Christmas entertainment essentially mimes a ghost (7)PANTO round H + (mi)M(es)
31SHACKLE19ac Restrain overworked horse left in empty stable (7)S(tabl)E round HACK L
32SOUTH19to Pole position? (5)Double definition
33UNDERGO18ac Endure or go under, bow to stern (7)GO UNDER with order reversed (bow to stern) (thematic)
Easter EggsENDURANCEPurple cells: The hero’s means of transport, a word from his family motto, and one of his qualities (9)Motto: Fortitudine Vincimus Through Endurance, We Conquer
ERNEST SHACKLETONName of a hero who died 100 years ago (6,10)
SOUTH GEORGIA ISLANDThe the scene of his death (5,7,6)
ELEPHANT ISLANDAnother place connected with his greatestachievement (8,6)

Solvers’ comments

This was a very enjoyable start to the year and I especially appreciated clues for days 3 and 31 [NB]

Interesting but not too difficult once the theme was identified [HB]

An EXCELLENT start to 2022. Happy New Year everyone x [RE]

A very enjoyable puzzle with a great theme, with a fun visual clue that was definitely for the benefit of… And three, possibly four, new words. Thanks Curmudgeon and Frank Paul. [CW]

Great [AH]

Quite an easy start to the year, but none the less enjoyable for that. [TH]

A fairly gentle introduction to the new year with a few unusual words and an interesting subject. I don’t understand the relevance of the card to the headless Mr Kite. [MJ]

A lovely way to start to the year! [JR]

Very simple and straightforward although could not fathom out the picture puzzle even when we knew the answer. Interesting subject and new word learned ‘Ingan’ [JC]

Nice start to 2022 3D Crossword Calendar by a favourite setter, Curmudgeon. Very interesting theme. All the best for a happy and healthy new year to all. [PC]

Enjoyed this, although I didn’t know all that much about Ernest Shackleton before I started. And I learnt a new Scottish dialect word! It took the picture and written clues together to give me ‘arkite’ (another new word). Thanks for a good start to the year. [RS]

A clever puzzle from Curmudgeon to start the year! I loved the incorporation of the many references to and plays on words relating to Sir Ernest Shackleton’s amazing story: South Pole, South Georgia, icepack/pack ice, Ernest, shackle etc. Very enjoyable and I offer my thanks to the setter Curmudgeon aka Chalicea. Also I’d like to express my gratitude to the team at the 3D calendar. It looks like we have another great set of puzzles to delight us and give us solace in the New Year, when it seems we will all continue to need to show the kind of “endurance” that made Shackleton famous. [JA]

Great puzzle. First time doing a 3d calendar. But is it Mr Kite doing the trampolining? I thought it was Mr Henderson. Discussed this and reread the lyrics and I’m not certain that he is on the trampoline. [RO]

For some reason I struggled with the theme and I was nearly finished before I realised it was Shackleton. A day or so later and the news was all about the anniversary of his death! A great start to the year and another enjoyable puzzle. [MP]

A few never-heard-ofs but totally getable from the wordplay. All good education. Thanks Curmudgeon. [SC]

Fairly easy start to the new year [MN]

I am currently reading a book called ENDURANCE, mainly because of my admiration for Shackleton, especially in the expedition which this crossword is based on, which made it fairly easy for me to solve the puzzle. I also have enormous admiration for the compilers and clue setters. I have tried on many occasions to select a topic and fit words into a 3D frame, without any luck – but maybe one day. [ST]

An excellent (although perhaps too easy?) start to the year’s 3D puzzles. I did not connect the photo to an answer until well after I had got the answer “ELEPHANT” – perhaps too much indulgence over Xmas!! [RG]

Very enjoyable, I had become aware of the anniversary a day or two before I started the puzzle and guessed it form the preamble. So was on the look out for the optional answers and indeed endurance. This did not detract from my enjoyment. Angora as a capital was new to me as was Enoki and Gamme but all fairly clued. [GW]

A gentle start to the year? [GL]

A satisfyingly achievable start to the year [J&JH]

Not too Curmudgeonly for the start of the year: quite generous in fact. The more you read about ES’s most celebrated achievement, the more amazing it becomes. Secondary meaning of ARKITE, which I hadn’t seen before. I like the subtle thematic photographic joke: corn? Corn has been known to reach similar heights. [AC]

Most enjoyable. I’d never attempted a 3D puzzle before! [DB]

Even having solved the crossword, I still have no idea how to parse the picture clue! [RS]

A great puzzle and there were 2 Scottish clues too! Michtie me! [SW]

Although it wasn’t hard to identify the explorer, I can’t see any way to relate Frank Paul’s drawing to ‘arkite’, as given by the clue. Apart from that, the puzzle went well, and I appreciated the extra hint given by the photo of the elephant eye. [PM]

An appropriately chilly start to the crossword year. We’ve read Shackleton’s South and it was stirring to be reminded of his exploits and the way he ensured that all his crew made it safely home. Lots of nice clues here and a good range of thematic material. Thanks! [N&SI]

Enjoyable puzzle. Theme emerged quite quickly. Well clued with only a few obscure words. [JP]

Got the year off to a good start with that first clue! [JG]

Couldn’t get the place of his death to fit the letter count but otherwise enjoyed this after some very tricky ones towards the end of last year. Maybe you are easing us in gently. Thank you. [HH]

I know how hard it is to get theme words to fit a grid so well done to Curmudgeon. [PD]

Quite a friendly start to the year! [RP]

Sorry, but the French drive à droite, not à droit (which means straight on); and I have a principled if slightly knee-jerk reaction against using the fine word ‘animal’ to refer to unacceptable behaviour by humans! Whilst the principle of these puzzles becoming harder through the year is acceptable as a strategy, it means that those of us who needed much endurance to get to the end of 2021 now find this a slight anticlimax in challenge!! I should pay tribute to Charlie my great-niece who on being asked about Shackleton, trotted out his first name and all the easter eggs with total conviction – I think Wikipedia is her middle name. Sadly she was not particularly impressed to see all the key words displayed on a strange sort of domino crossword, but I’m sure I (and her grandad, my brother-in-law who rejoices in the nickname ‘Shark’!) will convert her in due course. [EF]

A very enjoyable start to the year with an interesting subject. Could not work out the TWO places as not enough letters but decided to submit it and then realised only one other place other than scene of death was required. [MJ&DB]

Very good, enjoyable [JF]

The best way, I’ve found, to work out a theme early on is to pop down to your local charity shop a few months beforehand and pick up a copy of a book on which it could be based. Happened to me. ‘Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage to the Antarctic’, by Alfred Lansing. “Buy me,” it said. Stunning read it is, with Frank Hurley’s stunning photographs too. But unaccountably, no photograph of an elephant’s eye. (Spoiler alert – It won’t work in February. What appears to be the work in question has been on my shelves since circa 1971. Not all pages have yet been read.) [PA]

A relatively straightforward start to the year, which is ideal both for attracting new participants and re-enthusing old hands. Also notable, and ‘chapeau’ to all involved in the grid design and the clueing, is the complete lack of snakes, which is much appreciated by this solver. Finally, a big shout-out to Frank Paul for the Beatles reference: I take as much pleasure in decoding his illustrations as I do in solving the puzzles. Bonne année, tout le monde. [KM]

Although the first in order I cracked was 10, this should prove to be a good start crossword for the year. Although a few new words 6, 13, 21 all only required a confirmation lookup. Carelessly entered grandad to begin with, but problem with D soon led me to correct it and then Lepta “Greek coins leapt out”. Hero in 1922 also suggested Shackleton as too did the wording for the puzzle. I needed to check that Mr Kite did indeed benefit from a trampoline. All in all a great solve. 😎👍 [DM]

A very enjoyable puzzle to start the year. Delighted that I could parse all the answers so hope they’re right! [JB]

Good theme for a chilly January. If I were an explorer right now I’d definitely be mapping out somewhere sunny and warm. [TC]

Yet another challenging, educational and mind-broadening exercise, thank you! [SF]

A suitably approachable puzzle for a cold January day. [AM]

A great man remembered! [JM]

Really enjoyed this, as my first attempt at a 3d puzzle, just about the right level for me, thank you [JT]

Interesting theme, easy to spot. [NC]

Great start to the new year – seemingly impenetrable at the start but soon realised the excellent theme and the clues started yielding. Thanks to all involved. [BS]

A lovely gentle start to the year! [JN]

So pleased Curmudgeon was easy on us to start the year! [JS]

A very nice little puzzle to start the year, and I am determined to try to stick with it and complete all months this year (last couple of years ran away from me, I’m afraid). I believe I have the right answer for Day 7, but cannot work out Frank Paul’s picture puzzle for the life of me (a Beatles song, replacing the first letter(s) with an A…..BUT WHAT SONG??). [MS]

Lovely puzzle. But my master does need to write better. It gave me pleasure that I could name the optional answers. One to me! Thank you [RG]

Nice and precise [CB]

Great puzzle, thanks [MD]

Lovely puzzle – lots of thematic material packed in, and clever misdirection with the photo – had me thinking about Africa rather than Antarctica! [MC]

Really enjoyed this puzzle (and I liked the Fab Four sketch). Thank you Curmudgeon. [NH]

Good puzzle [AM]

Neat original theme — enjoyed background reading on Shackleton. Many very easy clues — some maybe so easy it took a while to get them. Very neatly integrated solutions from SHACKLE-TON and EL-E-PHANT. I didn’t find ‘Noah’s passengers’ as a definition for ARKITE in Chambers, but no complaints – pretty obvious from wordplay + crossers. Have to admit the picture hint for the same clue was only helpful in retrospect. Thanks to Curmudgeon for a super puzzle and all ‘behind the scenes’ at 3D Crossword Towers for getting the show on the road for another year. [ES]

As always, it was fascinating not just to solve the puzzle, but at the same time learn some more about the history of this famous “hero”. One or two tricky clues, but worked them out in the end. Particularly doubtful was Day 7 – for which the Frank Paul illustration was no help at all, but just added to the mystery!! At least we got a clue with the Beatles in their Sgt Pepper outfits… but I still needed to check out the song list for confirmation. [SB]

Harder than expected to kick us off for the New Year, but in a very fun and satisfying way. [AH]

One thought on “3D Crossword Solution – January 2022

  1. A shameless advertisement from Komorník (see 2021 August extra).
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