3D Crossword Solution – June 2021

June 2021 puzzle page

Clues by Imogen and Grid by Max Liversidge

Theme: Wedding medley / Love and marriage

The winner of the June puzzle was Ed Todd of Oxford.

Review of the June 2021 3D crossword

We were told that this puzzle marks a number of related anniversaries which are relevant to present times and given substance in solutions to the asterisked clues, which each lack a definition. The overarching theme is given by an appropriate pairing (4,3,8) that appears in anagram form in the highlighted cells, and which should be submitted with your entry. Clues are in alphabetical order.

So we’re looking for a number of related anniversaries, each clued without definition. So solve a few of these and we should be able to identify the theme. I like to take an immediate look to see if I can get anything from the picture clue which, on day 13,  seems likely to have an initial letter in the middle  part of the alphabet. A flea looking in imminent danger of a serious mishap from a sharply pointed thermometer. Ah, an immediate insight, we have a pictorial representation of a hidden clue,  and we have LEATHER as our first answer.

Does Graham Fox’s background photograph of a knot give us any sort of a hint; it does with tying the knot but this isn’t at all immediately obvious.

Like a number of you I too feared that Imogen might have been at his Guardian most fiendish. In fact the cluing wasn’t too tough at all and I made good progress on the non asterisked clues. I also got CHINA and LINEN fairly early. These two together with LEATHER didn’t really help in identifying the theme. I recollected Puck’s diet of worms menagerie from the April crossword and how I couldn’t fathom their link. However RUBY gave an insight and the penny dropped.

I think that my favourite clue was day 27; ‘Like Tim, Des avoids fate (4)’ for TINY.

And the pairing, the very appropriate LOVE AND MARRIAGE.

One of our solvers, JC, has taken to sending us a clue as a comment on the puzzle. His contribution this month was entirely appropriate: “Nondrinkers forbidden in Kentucky? (6)” (Answer below the solvers’ comments.)

Grid solution

June 2021 solution grid

Visual clue

A visual take on a hidden clue where a curly brace extends from just behind a flea’s head to just past the tip of a thermometer.


Visual clue for LEATHER: A visual take on a hidden clue where a curly brace extends from just behind a flea's head to just past the tip of a thermometer.
Drawing by Frank Paul

Clues and explanations

Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.

DaySolutionDirection, Clue, CountExplanation
1ANNUL2aw Cancel banns – bachelor to elope with soprano before middle of next month (5)[B]ann[S] + [J]ul[y]
2ARIA19to,18ac  Serenade perhaps winning heart of Robin’s girl (4)(Maid) (m)ARIA(n)
3CHINA*25to* Taking seconds of iced champagne, finish under table (5)Second letters
  4COPPER*25up,7to-2* Priest dons vestment at start of rite (6)P in COPE + R(ite)
  5CRYSTAL*25ba,24to-3* Two helpings of crisps horribly salty (7)CR / SALTY*
  6DIAMOND*12to,9ba,8aw* Daughter, not a virgin, rejected (7)D/NO/MAID <
7EBONY13to,10ba Propose finally pretty heartlessly in wood (5)(propos)E / BO(n)NY
  8HENNA3d What might give someone on themed night out new appearance up top? (5)HEN (night) + N + A(ppearance)
  9HERR3aw-4 A foreign title is woman’s right (4)HER / R
  10IVORY*22ba-3,21aw* Four men finally marry (5)IV / OR / (marr)Y
11LATHY6d Like one about to get plastered, sample alcohol at hydro (5)Hidden
  12LAYNE20up Display new presents Scots hide rarely (5)Hidden
13LEATHER*1ac,3aw-3* Left to take food with a certain woman (7)L / EAT / HER
14LINEN*1d* Addition eventually to series of family members? (5)(additio)N after LINE
15LOO20ac-3 Here one goes mad, missing opening of ceremony (3)LO(c)O; definition “here one goes”
16ONION21up Absolute refusal to accept one back, which may provoke tears (5)NO-NO round I
17POTTERY*15ba,14to* Pretty devious to conceal love (7)PRETTY* round O
  18RENO18ba,17aw-2 Here the theme may end, Romeo returning single (4)R / ONE<
19RING*4ba Call for thematic token (4)Two definitions
20ROAR23to Loud shout from Rector, one ready for a row (4)R / OAR
21RUBY*4d-4* Difficulty to get holiday at last (4)RUB / Y
  22RUMBA18up First off, percussion and bass leading a dance (5)(d)RUM + B + A
  23SILVER*5ac,7to-2* Minister is keeping pounds back (6)(REV / IS)< round L
24STEEL*5to* Shirt comes in two sizes (5)TEE in S,L
25TALON24to One’s sharp to secure tea, say, almost abandoned by the others? (5)“Tea” / ALON(e)
26TIERS24up People securing what thematic cake comes in? (5)Two definitions
27TINY11ba Like Tim, Des avoids fate (4)(des)TINY
28YIN16d,22to-2 Hurrying a bit to become one in Scotland (3)Hidden
LOVE AND MARRIAGETheme (highlighted cells) (4,3,8)

Solvers’ comments

What fun – I loved the theme, and the visual allusion beside the grid: “Tying the Knot”! How did Imogen and Max Liversidge manage to fit in all those references to romance and weddings in both the clues and the answers, with at least eleven wedding anniversaries represented? A tour de force! This time I even “got” the Frank Paul drawing, and saw the symbolic material for a third anniversary hidden in fLEATHERmometer. (By the way, did anyone else think that themometer was dangerously close to the rear of the flea?) As a former marriage celebrant, I found this one a delight from start to finish. I was also reminded of the verse someone wrote in my old autograph book Love and marriage, love and marriage, Here comes Julie with a baby carriage! (That bit of doggerel was quite popular with young teenagers back in the day, and even seen as slightly risque at the time!) Quite a few weddings at which I officiated over the past ten years clearly didn’t run according to that schedule, as there were several couples who already had offspring at the ceremonies (some very cute pageboys/flowergirls). [JA]

Really enjoyable, quite easy once we had the theme [HJ&MF]

It seems the scary Imogen was tamed by the benign theme (this is not a complaint). Bravo, Max L, for fitting quite so many anniversaries into a single grid! Now, which one am I meant to remember next …? [PA]

Very enjoyable, with a fun theme [BB]

A nice straightforward one this month. I liked the different take on anniversaries. I have to confess I’m not quite sure how wedding anniversaries are “relevant to present times” though! [GB]

A steady puzzle. I enjoyed it very much [BB]

A nice development of the “anniversaries” concept. Not to mention the extra themed words that gave us a ring, a tiered cake, dancing a rumba and singing an aria for the occasion. Hopefully no need to annul it or take a trip to Reno! Some lovely clever clues which made it rewarding to solve. [SB]

Got the theme right away so it was easier than usual, but fun. [AB]

Are you tempting fate? A crossword on love and marriage with ANNUL as the first answer. [HB]

A very enjoyable puzzle with some original and very creative clues, cleverly including many words related to the theme. Only one word I didn’t know (layne). All in all, a very satisfying solve. Thank you! [JB]

A theme that I enjoyed all the more for not having to look up any of the thematic answers, and a good set of clues that made the puzzle satisfying to solve. [AB]

Easier 3D but the drawing by Frank Paul beats me. Assume ‘present times’ in preamble has two meanings? Pleasant break from the hard slogs elsewhere. Many thanks, Imogen. [PC]

A relatively easy one, unexpectedly as Imogen can be tough. With my own anniversary coming up I was looking for tin – aren’t we always. Nice to see marriage celebrated. I can echo that ‘it don’t seem a day too much’. My favourite was probably LOO, with its neat misdirection. [AC]

Nondrinkers forbidden in Kentucky? (6) [JC]

enjoyment 7 completion 3 hrs [RC]

Like one about to be plastered – lathy! Didn’t believe that was actually a word but sure enough……. Every day’s a schoolday. [SC]

It was ok [JC]

Enjoyable puzzle, with an impressive amount of thematic material. Not just the anniversaries, but RING and RUMBA on the positive side of the theme, RENO and ANNUL on the negative! I couldn’t find LAYNE in the ‘standard’ references (Chambers, Collins) but it was verifiable online. [MC]

Another great puzzle! [MD]

Great idea for a theme and well done for fitting so many theme words in. My favourite clue was Day 15. Here one goes – mad. Definitely sent me off on the wrong path to start with. [PD]

Answers fitted together perfectly with never a cross word 🙂 [RE]

Annoyed by so many snakes (pet bugbear of mine !!!) but I guess that’s the price to pay for the impressive squeezing in of so many thematic answers (11 out of 17 is a huge percentage !!). [HE]

They go together like a horse and carriage, as the song goes! A fun puzzle to tickle the brain cells, thank you! [SF]

Some very enjoyable clues but not a great challenge this month: I worked my way through the clues in day order, noting that the thematic answers included a number of substances, until on day 19 the ‘thematic token’ gave the whole thing away, too soon for my liking! Finished in a single sitting (for the first time, I think, and including the picture clue!). We made it to Day 21 in 2019 and it is a bit of a come-down to find that most lists don’t designate anything for years 41 and 42 … I liked the fact that the knot in the picture was a bit rusty! [EF]

Loved it. I could actually see the theme myself. [RG]

Another enjoyable puzzle. Thank you. [HH]

Thanks for a fun theme – managed this one pretty quickly. [AH]

Thanks for the reminder about the appropriate gift — now if only I could remember the date…. [TH]

A knotty problem, we like the idea of celebrating an onion anniversary next year. [J&JH]

A charming puzzle serendipitously timed to coincide with the Prime Minister’s nuptials. Thanks! [N&SI]

The theme became apparent fairly quickly. I guess matching the anniversary to the day number or entry position would have been impossible. [MJ]

Not too difficult to get the theme this month, though it was only afterwards that I realised that Graham’s cover picture is of a hitch. (I did decipher Frank’s drawing, but didn’t know the anniversary) Imogen and Max did well to fit in so many, though ‘gold’ was not to be found. [PM]

Much appreciated as usual. [MM]

An enjoyable wedding anniversary-themed puzzle. LOO was a great clue, and RENO would be funny were it not so true! Frank Paul’s flea looks apprehensive, with good reason – look at the size of that thing! Love and marriage is the pairing. [AM]

Lovely! Theme of anniversary years seemed clear early on, though not the number for many. Unsure if there is a reason for those chosen or do they just fit? Diamond is favourite. [DM]

Nice theme that revealed itself early. [JN]

Another enjoyable and not too difficult puzzle😄 [MN]

Brilliant. I would’t have thought it possible to get so many thematically relevant words into one puzzle. [MP]

Well crafted puzzle with a lot of theme answers that helped make for pleasant solving. [JP]

Liked it. thanks! [JS]

It was easy, maybe too straightforward, but had a good quotient of humour and fun. While finishing it (by my standards) very quickly, a fair sprinkling of clues got a little * of appreciation – mostly for gentle humour and smooth surfaces rather than technical challenge. Saying that COPPER was a standout — I’d not known that COPE is a robe worn by a priest so this to me is a kind of &lit, ignoring the absence of the definition. Also liked LOO, ONION, TINY, ANNUL and LATHY. Most of the theme words were pretty easy to get, although perhaps it helps that my wife and I are to celebrate our Day 23 (SILVER) anniversary next year so are somewhat attuned to the theme. A small quibble is that some solutions just present themselves in the grid without any work at all – like TALON, and I think, YIN while some others were essentially write-ins. Maybe a slightly bigger grid would have been appropriate. Anyhoo, it was fun, and the theme is original and pleasant so thanks Imogen and Max Liversidge, and to Frank Paul — I even got the solution for Day 13 from your visual clue so cheers! Thanks 3D Crossword Team! [ES]

I liked the misdirection in the overall description, talking about ‘a number of related anniversaries which are relevant to present times’. Nice one. [RS]

Tricky! [DS]

Really enjoyed this and working out the themed clues. Thanks to everyone [BS]

A very pleasing puzzle! [RS]

Fairly easy – perhaps too easy. Of course that’s assuming I got all the answers right. [SS]

Impressive grid. Quite easy – once the theme fell, quite a lot of write-ins. [HS]

Several quite differing themes seemed possible for a while, as did the combination of USA and UK wedding anniversary icons! But dat 12 was the last in. Merriam-Webster denied the existence when approached directly but I persuaded it to come clean. [ET]

Good! [EW]

Who knew there were so many materials for anniversaries! Yet another enjoyable themed puzzle. The visual clue made us chuckle. Thanks Imogen, Max and Frank. [CW]

The answer to JC’s clue is KNOTTY (NO TT (teetotallers) in KY).

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