3D Crossword Solution – May 2021

May 2021 puzzle page

Clues by Tramp and Grid by Max Jackson

Theme: The Goon Show

The winner of the May puzzle was Jerome Colburn.

Review of the May 2021 3D crossword

We were told that this puzzle marks the 70th anniversary of the first appearance of what was to become the 25ac, 27to.

Ten asterisked clues lack a definition; these each belong to one of two thematic groupings, from which members from one group of four together portrayed the members of the remaining group of six. Solvers should submit with their entry their solution for the one of the four who portrayed none of the six.

As more than one of you said in your comments, this instruction was a difficult one to fully comprehend. Incidentally, I digress, these rubrics are tricky things to write requiring as they do total accuracy and a pithy presentation. This one it transpired, once I’d solved the puzzle, met both these requirements.

As usual in these circumstances all one can do is get on and solve the clues and hope that all will become clear. I’ve said this before but either I’m getting better or Frank Paul is getting kinder but I solved the picture clue relatively early on. It helped knowing that it likely started with an ‘A’ or a ‘B’ which led to ‘bent ‘I’ plus NE’- BENTINE. This in turn helped with the start of Clue 33 with TINE = SPIKE and the theme emerged.

Solving the undefined asterisked clues was helped enormously from being of an age that tuned into the Goons on the wireless (there’s a word now little used but back then pervasive) in my youth. For younger solvers JC’s comment in the form of a clue ‘My friend bothered a kid I wipe (9)’ provided what was required.

So we had a group of four: Bentine, Sellers, Milligan and Secombe, three of whom played the six famous Goon characters found in the finished puzzle. And the Easter egg was Michael Bentine, who was a founding member of the Goons but only featured in the first 38 episodes.

Your comments were overwhelmingly complimentary. I agree, this was a lovely puzzle created by one of our regular solvers Max Jackson and clued by the superb Tramp.

Grid solution

May 2021 grid solution

Visual clue

A large lowercase ‘i’ bends towards a compass pointing to north-east, giving:


Visual clue for BENTINE
Drawing by Frank Paul

Clues and explanations

Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.

DaySolutionDirection, Clue, CountExplanation
1BANJO32aw Something that’s picked in prohibition: American drink knocked back (5)BAN+<OJ
2*BENTINE32up* Mount 1aw (7)BEN + TINE (Spike)
3BISTROS32ba Writers describe street with places to eat (7)ST in BIROS
4*BLUEBOTTLE14aw-2,15ac,16up* Down baby’s milk (10)BLUE+BOTTLE
5CHIVY2aw Check plant for badger (5)CH+IVY
6CRITTER2d Animal around waste has foot missing (7) C+[f]RITTER
7CROOK12aw Criminal caught with piece (5)C+ROOK
8CUSHY30to Comfortable copper retiring (5)CU+SHY
9*DENNIS BLOODNOK38to-2,36ba-4,14aw,17ac-5* London: son biked when touring (6,8)LONDONSONBIKED*
10DIRE39ac-2,40up-3 Go around king’s grave (4)DIE around R
11DREK38up-4 Rubbish and empty drink cans concerning (4)D[rin]K+RE
12EAGLET28to,21ac Get ale drunk? Downed small one (6)ALEGET*
13*ECCLES31ba-6* First half of book written by Solomon? (6)ECCLES(iastes)
14EVOKE8d-5 Call up first woman to provide cover for magazine (5)EVE around OK
15GENE7to Some vintage necklace is something passed down through the generations (4)Hidden
16GOON SHOW25ac,27to Continue to expose theme (4,4)GO ON + SHOW
17*GRYTPYPE-THYNNE7aw,11ba,22ac,23d-2* Good lines and characters across page: your local news at start of evening (8-6) G+RY+TYPE around P THY + NN + E[vening]
18INTER40to Bury Football Club (5)Double definition
19IN-TRAY13aw,9 Where new tasks pile up at work: go to pick up one? (2-4)IN (at work) + TRY around A
20ISCHIAL13ba On part of hip, is Ali hurt boxing champion? (7)IS + (ALI* around CH)
21JOUR37aw,42ba-3 Nice day with Romeo; ecstasy is brief, with you coming first (4)JO[y]+U+R
22MACOYAS3d Put old camera’s top half the wrong way in palms (7)<(SAY+O+CAM[era])
23MANET3aw Film crew’s leading artist (5) MAN ET
24*MINNIE BANNISTER5ac,32aw-3,36ba-5,34to* Car picked up? Rail following flight (6,9)Homophone of MINI + BANNISTER
25NAEVI18to Birthmarks? Tramp’s one for review (5)<(I’VE+AN)
26NARK20up-2,19ba-3 Plant in new vessel (4)N+ARK
27*NEDDIE SEAGOON33aw,38ac-4,29ba,28to-3,25ac-4* Ideas need developing by 2, 31, 32 or 33 (6,7)IDEASNEED* + GOON
28OPEN-AIR42up Start broadcast outside (4-3)OPEN+AIR
29RAILS41to Birds in bars (5)Double definition
30SAIS26d,35ba-2 Monkeys from South American island (4)SA+IS
31*SECOMBE1ac* Make out with groom inside (7)SEE around COMB
32SELLERS*1d* What leads Potter away from wizards? (7)S[P]ELLERS
33*SPIKE MILLIGAN1aw,5ba,4d* “I’m ill”, speaking crazily (5,8)IMILLSPEAKING*
34SPOON26up Perfect time to go and cuddle in bed? (5)SPO[t] ON
35TAKE CARE10d,41ba-2 Drive to Spain? Mind how you go (4,4)TAKE CAR + E
36THOLE-PIN34up,6ac-2 One making stroke swings on this from tee, with flag covering golf target (5-3)T+HOLE+PIN
37THORN16d 1aw uncertain about husband (5)TORN around H
38TROPE22aw Recurrent theme of wine brought back by English (5)<PORT+E
39TUNIS34ba,33to Barrel is for port (5)TUN+IS
40WOKE24aw Stirred pan on back of stove (4)WOK+E
41YONDER9d-6 That one Yankee working with Duke and Queen (6)Y+ON+D+ER
BENTINEThe one of the four who portrayed none of the six

Solvers’ comments

Good heavens! Were the Goons so long ago. Thanks to Tramp and Max Jackson for the memories.

Tramp brought back memories avidly listening to the BBC Home Service on Thursday nights during my teens. The Goons were so funny then and may still be now. I liked clue to Spoon in a very enjoyable 3D. Many thanks. [PC]

A super puzzle with a generous helping of thematic material incorporated in it. I thought the clue to SPIKE MILLIGAN was brilliant, referring as it did to his own planned epitaph (‘I told you I was ill’). And for once I solved Frank Paul’s cryptic drawing 100%. [AB]

Enjoyable….NUFF SAID👌😀 [MN]

Fabulous! [RE]

Great fun — and Radio 4 Extra is doing a great job in repeating the shows. [TH]

Very enjoyable theme, which, of course, helped enormously once we had it. Some great misdirections and a couple of new words. Thole-pin was a particular favourite on both counts. We can’t bottom the wordplay for “Thynne” (of Grytpype Thynne). “your local news at start of evening” suggests “THY” “INN” “N” “E”, which is clearly not quite right. Is local news “NN”? We await the newsletter with interest. Thanks Tramp and Max Jackson. [CW]

I got the theme early on, which helped enormously. Nice trip down memory lane, with various silly voices ringing in my ears. (Shame you couldn’t fit in the Ying Tong song, though!) Thanks for another belter. [RS]

Being a longstanding fan of the theme, I was delighted to find a puzzle dealing with something I actually knew well, so this is certainly my favorite 3-D so far! Has led me to revisit some classic moments, so many thanks!! [JS]

It brings back childhood memories. I was a fan of the Goons. [HB]

A bit before our time, but one of us recalls The Last Goon Show of All Time. Good work clueing all the strange names. We particularly enjoyed the nod to Spike Milligan’s epitaph in Day 33. Thanks! [N&SI]

Another theme that folks in the US don’t really know, but these can be fun to learn about. [AB]

Once I got the theme there were a number of write-ins, which then helped with the rest. Had to dig deep for MACOYAS. [HS]

Wonderful puzzle – bringing back lots of memories! I wasn’t a huge Goon fan – Python more my era – but spent a lot of my childhood listening to the show on radio (repeats)/records, and having catch-phrases quoted at me… [MC]

Theme was a bit before our time which made us rather reliant on Wikipedia for the clues without definition. [J&JH]

I was never a fan of the Goons, so a lot of research required here for me. Enjoyed the challenge. [BB]

Nice theme aimed at us who know! [ET]

Absolutely brilliant! Never thought I’d see all these characters in a crossword puzzle. Send a copy to Prince Charles and see if he can solve it… [JM]

The theme was quite easy to get from the clue at 16. After that we knew the actors but googled the characters other than Eccles and Bluebottle. LOI was Critter… Fought with litter turning left to right foot but then got fritter. Fun again. We have been doing the puzzles since January and it is getting easier to remember the directional instructions. Thanks Tramp and the team for the fun. [SH]

My friend bothered a kid I wipe (9) [JC]

On my first look at the puzzle I knew the quotation “I told you I was ill” was on Spike Milligan’s gravestone so I was off to a flying start. Yet another great puzzle and an achievement fitting all those names in. [MP]

A blast from the past. I didn’t realise how long ago it started out. Some tough clues, you rotten swine! Thanks to all concerned with this puzzle. [SW]

Enjoyable, though over too soon. I got GOON SHOW pretty quickly and ‘the four’ were pretty identifiable (BENTINE via the pic clue – thanks Frank Paul). Getting ‘the six’ was basically a hack through a list from Wiki – I didn’t know most of them since the Goon Show predates my time on the planet by a few years, and with exception of ECCLES, BLUEBOTTLE, maybe MINNE BANNISTER the wordplay doesn’t really help. That aside the theme is a nice one, it is good to get a reminder of this historic piece of ‘radio art’. And the clue for SPIKE MILLIGAN is surely a classic — needs to be entered in ‘Clue of the Year’ or other such award. Of the non-thematic clues, I found a few very nice ones, and a few ‘biffs’. THORN is simply brilliant, INTER and TAKE CARE are both simple but excellent. I liked THOLE PIN as an answer but am just not sure about the wordplay — is the setter aware than PIN is also a golf target? Maybe I’m reading it wrong. I was unsure about CRITTUR (maybe CRITTER maybe something else?), M[AO]NET (which artist, or maybe something else) and SPOON. I just biffed them all in, life is too short! Thanks Tramp, MaxJackson, Frank Paul and all involved in delivering a great big slice of fun for May 2021. [ES]

Very enjoyable – a theme we know and understand which always helps [MJ&DB]

Another one where spotting the theme straight away got me off to a flying start. Struggled with some of the more obscure words towards the end though. [GB]

Good puzzle and congratulations on fitting in some strange words. I was never a fan, I’m afraid. [PD]

Thanks to Tramp and Max Jackson for an enjoyable trip down memory lane and a very clever grid. Celebrating the Goon Show and some of their characters. The clue for THOLE-PIN was clever. MACOYAS was the last one in. Michael Bentine played none of the six clued characters. Frank Paul’s drawing of a “bent i” is quite funny. [AM]

I liked it as I quite like the Goons. [JC]

Not a favourite for me I’m afraid, felt more like an exercise in Googling and Wikipedia than anything else. And grid references very tough to follow! [RT]

Although not a great Goon Show fan, I enjoyed this puzzle. The characters I found from Google and Wikipedia gave me lots of checking letters. My favourite clue gave me the theme. I’d never read goon as go on before! [JB]

Reminds me of long ago. [MM]

That brought back a few memories!! The grid entries are wonderful – including GRYTPYPE THYNNE can’t have been easy. I was considering identifying my favourite clue, but there were so many brilliant clues to consider. I especially liked the short clues such as BARREL IS FOR PORT and BURY FOOTBALL CLUB. These are the sort of clues that I yearn to write, but I fail miserably whenever I try. Very well done to both compiler and clue writer. [ST]

Very enjoyable, and evoked happy memories of a less complicated and innocent bygone age. The puzzle marks the 70th anniversary of the first appearance of the Goon Show. [SF]

Brilliant – at last a topic not so academic. [JM]

Not a real entry, of course; I don’t want to be accused of cheating. It took me a while to decode the instructions, even knowing the theme. I clearly didn’t consult my book of Goon Show scripts, as it has Denis Bloodnok – oops. Some really nice clues to some unfamiliar words; I eventually remembered all the answers. Some nasty snakes necessitated by the length of thematic answers; this would be helped by a cross-reference of positions to day numbers. P.S. I see on my original grid submission I had DENIS, but also GRITPYPE, not GRYTPYPE. One-all? [MJ]

It was fun revisiting The Goons and some of their hilarious characters. I really enjoyed this puzzle so many thanks to Tramp and Max Jackson. I loved the colourful grid page! [Some time later…Thanks for the “you have made an error” email! I was able to pick up on my embarrassing transposition error – GRYTPYPE is a counter-intuitive spelling though don’t you think?] [JA]

Really enjoyable puzzle with a remarkable grid, including all the actors and characters. I remembered the former but needed some help with the latter. Thanks very much to all involved. [BS]

Slightly before my time, heard much of it though. Continue and go on helped me get on right track at start. Thanks. [DM]

Intricately entertaining, many thanks. For first time ever I solved the picture clue in time for it to be a help in finding the theme. Some very good double-take definitions (as days 12, 20, 21). [EF]

A fun theme. Reasoning for days 6 and 23 not clear to me yet! [JN]

Tricky in parts [DS]

Fairly easy but I got the theme almost immediately which makes life easier. [SS]

Just enough tricky clues. [BB]

Ingenious, massively thematic puzzle (though with some effect on the grid, which is just starting a little to creak, or maybe rather hiss). I wasn’t around in 1951, but loved the Goon Show second time around. How wonderfully the characters were named, and what performances: in particular Sellers was a comic genius. Very well clued: enjoyed it. [AC]

I enjoyed this – for once Frank Paul’s drawing enabled me to solve the clue, which was sufficient to give the theme away. Tramp must be congratulated on being able to include so much thematic material, though then I did spend some time vainly looking for Jim Moriarty. A couple of clues I’m not clear on: 6th seems to be ca.+litter-al, but I don’t see how ‘foot missing’ works. Also on the 34th, the definition is clear enough, but I can’t see the wordplay. [PM]

A familiar and much loved theme! The Frank Paul picture gave a nice lead in… Some clever clueing from Tramp made me laugh a few times. (Although I was puzzled by day 6 – shouldn’t it be “…head missing” rather than foot?) I loved the “Nice day” definition for “jour”. And how good to find “Woke” used in a positive sense for once – so sad that it has been distorted into an insult, when its actual meaning is something to be proud of! ! [SB]

Fun theme, soon as I got Eccles it all clicked! [MD]

Great. A blast from the past. Thank you. [RG]

A fun one, despite having never heard of the theme. We definitely appreciated the accessible clues that meant we could work out most of the themed answers and only use google to double check they were right. [AH]

Loved day 33. Did the great man go to his grave knowing that he was an apposite anagram? [PA]

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