3D Crossword Solution – May 2022

May 2022 puzzle page

Clues by Nutmeg and Grid by Bozzy

Theme: ravelry.com, a social network for fibre artists

The inspiration for the Ravelry idea came via a heart-felt plea from long-time solver Sandra Weir. “I love the 3D puzzles but themes are often heavily on the side of sport or science. Why can’t we have a puzzle about knitting?” she cried. Enough said, and as a sometime knitter and dressmaker, creating the grid was a huge amount of fun for me, too.

Nora (aka Bozzy)

The winner of the May puzzle is Michael Crapper of Whitchurch.

Review of the May 2022 3D crossword

This month’s review is written by Alan Chamberlain, aka Komorník.

I do love a good yarn, don’t you? Thanks to Bozzy’s far from PLAIN grid, and Graham Fox’s superbly crisp photograph with the light playing on those spools, we could all receive our heart’s delight. And for the ‘millions of yarn lovers from all over the world’, the RAVELRY site got pride of place in the middle row of the top level. Jessica, Cassidy and Mary Heather, we salute you.

Bozzy’s grid is full of themed items, which she fits in (apparently) effortlessly. She keeps the snake level well down, with a high proportion of five- and seven-letter items. Maybe the only evidence of real strain comes in the form of the American spelling at day 6, but that is relieved by an amusing, mind’s-eye-appealing clue. There are two words slightly obscure (for this UK solver) though I dimly remember MALLEE from O-Level Geography; NAYAR was new to me. I wonder if Nutmeg spent hours looking for a way to clue MALLEE thematically? The clue for NAYAR, however, not only conjures up a picture of superannuated folk putting on their high-viz before nervously crossing the streets of Delhi, but reminded me of my teens: I had a white rayon shirt which I wore for every cricket match until it fell to pieces, it was so comfortable. KEFIR is familiar to me as my wife has some in the fridge. I like the idea of the OWLER: interesting word – does anyone have any ideas on its origin, going beyond a presumption of such people’s operating at night?

Nutmeg is (suitably) highly dexterous at weaving clues: her pair of crafty workers for KNITTING NEEDLES will stay in the memory, while the Victorian novelist reticent about love made another nice picture. Nice to see Charles LAMB(SWOOL) in a crossword not as ‘Elia’ for a change! Seamlessly letting in misdirections is a great skill of Nutmeg’s, and the clue for SPINS gives a wonderful example: top bargains do go well in times of recession, but of course we have to divide up the clue in an unexpected place, apparently between closely-associated adjective and noun – then the double meaning of in recession adds to the virtuosity. Other bits of Myristical magic include the use of on party lines in the clue for RAVELRY, the delusive keys to all those lost chests, the Jersey climate and the apparent Southern US origin of the LUFFA: one of those alternative spellings with which Chambers calculatingly sends you turning the pages until, eventually, you tear them, thus obliging the purchase of a new edition every eight years or so. And how neat is LOTTO? Like the perfect revers with no edge or underside showing, such an elegant surface is a sort of Holy Grail for the setter: she must have allowed herself a quiet, contented purr on finding that.

I liked Frank Paul’s Tour Eiffel: LE MUR was an easy one for me to get – in fact my ‘First One In’ – though my solving rate of his devious picture clues is usually quite low.

All in all, a happy puzzle: enjoyable to solve, not too demanding (at least not WORSTED by it), and (for me, at any rate) affording glimpses into one of those many domains in which I feel an admiration mingled with baffled incompetence.

Grid solution

May 2022 grid solution

Visual clue

A person in Paris (indicated by the Eiffel Tower) points to a brick wall on which is painted “Pink Floyd”, alluding to their album The Wall, which in French is:

Le Mur = LEMUR

Visual clue for LEMUR
Drawing by Frank Paul

Clues and explanations

Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.

DaySolutionDirection, Clue, CountExplanation
1DESPOIL25ac Rifle husband has left newly polished (7)polished* minus h
2ECLAT3aw Display cape with retro yarn edging (5)
3EXITS20aw English trippers gutted after team is eliminated (5)E + (t_s after XI)
4EYOTS9d Keys to many antique chests ultimately mislaid (5)to _y _e _s*
5FAIR ISLE*13to,10ac Leaf winding round flower forms complex 22 (4,4)leaf* round iris; 22=pattern
6FULFILL14ac Carry out American’s baggy trousers if left folded (7)<(if L) in full=baggy; American spelling of fulfil
7KEFIR22up Fermented drink Drake first sampled (5)hidden
8KNITTING NEEDLES*22ac,24to-2,19ac Getting together after break annoys pair of crafty workers (8,7)knitting as in broken bones, needles=annoys;cryptic def
9LAMB’S WOOL*15aw,18ba Yarn from Victorian writer slow-moving where love’s involved (5,4)Lamb + (O in slow)*; Charles Lamb
10LEMUR27up Grounded bird runs after large Madagascan native (5)(emu R) after L
11LISLE*21up Thread to spin yarn round empty spool (5)s_l in lie=to spin yarn
12LOTTO21aw House — somewhere to go to keep dry (5)TT in loo; house=bingo
13LUFFA16to Scrubber using fibre found primarily in Louisiana (5)u_ f_ f_ in La
14LUNGS27to More than one organ note caught by listeners (5)n in lugs
15MALLEE18to-5,12up-2 Tree solely located in Middle East close to shore (6)all in ME + _e
16NAKED19aw Seen to have cast off stitches? (5)cryptic def; stitch=small item of clothing (Chambers)
17NAYAR4aw Reflective fabric article for old people in India (5)<rayon with a for O
18NEEPS4d Hard veg turning soft, with spotted skin (5)<(p in seen)
19NELLY24up Woman from Lakes gripped by longing to return (5)LL in <yen
20ONSET26up Start sculpting stone (5)stone*
21OWLER17to Coastal runner’s gaffe, commonly (5)owler
22PATTERN*1ac Father taking extra time on new design (7)t in pater + N
23PLAIN*1d Account for previous dropped stitch (5)explain=account for, with ex=previous dropped
24PURLS*1aw Manx cat keeps opposing sides in stitches (5)pus(s) with RL in
25RAVELRY*5ac Crafty website formed by Liberal on party lines (7)(L after rave) + ry
26SILED7d Strained, still ready for regular employment (5)alternate letters of still ready
27SPINS*11aw Goes like top bargains in recession (5)<snips
28SWEATER*7ac Jersey climate not hot by start of season (7)s_ + weat(h)er
29TORTE2d Rich filled cake or pasta, half portion (5)torte(llini)
30TWIRL*23up Textured fabric right for first student revolution (5)twill with R for first L
31VILLI6d Hairy outgrowths making girl sick at heart (5)ill in Vi
32WEAVE*8ac-2,9to The two of us have heard what spiders can do (5)“we’ve”
Easter EggWORSTEDShaded cells (7)

Solvers’ comments

A lovely gentle theme which made for a fun puzzle, despite some head-scratching moments discovering some of the unfamiliar words (some googling required). I had to smile at the clue for Day 16 NAKED. I really liked the reference to Pink Floyd’s classic album “The Wall” – LE MUR in France – in the picture clue for Day 10. Many thanks to Nutmeg and Bozzy. [JA]

A bit of a change this one – no bad thing not to be trying to work out who the author / musician / scientist etc might be, and whether it matters how much I know about their life’s work. [PA]

It certainly had my brows knitted for some time. [HB]

A different theme from what we are used to, with many interwoven words and a lot to unravel. I found this very enjoyable and quite refreshing. [JB]

An original theme very neatly executed in a 3D setting, with an excellent set of clues. Appropriately, within days of completing this, I visited Reading Museum where there is a remarkable replica of the Bayeux tapestry on display, woven by a team of 35 English weavers over a period of many weeks. Congratulations to Nutmeg and Bozzy on a fine 3D puzzle. [AB]

I always enjoy Nutmeg’s puzzles: not too difficult but entertaining and with some witty clues. Neeps, Purls and Plain were my favourites. Many thanks, Nutmeg. [PC]

Really enjoyed this: not the hardest of the year so far, but so neat, and a different sort of theme. Nutmeg never leaves a seam showing, and Bozzy’s grid was unbelievably thematic. How does she do it? Celebrated not with a drink of kefir, or going for spins naked over the Norfolk plain, but by watching the Great British Sewing Bee of course. There’s such a lot to admire in those who can spin, sew, knit or otherwise make and mend their own clothes. [AC]

A good challenge and a little education – great stuff. [SC]

This was fun thank you. [JC]

Very good, lots of thematic material in the grid! [MD]

As someone who enjoys knitting and sewing, I was familiar with lots of the terms. Great grid to get so many relevant words in. [PD]

Clues knitted together beautifully 🙂 [RE]

Delightfully niche – I enjoyed looking at the website (when I eventually grasped that the party was a rave rather than a revel) but will not be joining. I don’t think I’ve sewn anything since I was in cubs. No idea what is going on in day 4, but I think I sorted the others out eventually. [EF]

Loved it! I regularly use Ravelry for patterns so it was right up my street. I hope that those who run the site know about this tribute. Thank you. [HH]

Not too difficult, bit I’d never heard of Ravelry before — fascinating. [TH]

A puzzle with a twist! The pieces lay nicely in place and we could see the pattern. Then we dropped a stitch, were all knotted up and nearly came unravelled. Now the loose end’s tied in and successfully cast off. Thanks, setters, for a finely woven tapestry. [J&JH]

Very nice puzzle. (Ravelry was new to me) [NH]

Crafty stuff from Nutmeg and Bozzy. Worsted is a nice twist at the end. Thanks! [NI]

Nice construction with some interesting words. 25 I had the too-long REVEL+L+RY, until I remembered I’d heard of RAVELRY. Pictorial clue just now understood. [MJ]

Enjoyable topic for us as we enjoy our knitting & sewing. Still found it a bit tricky but that’s part of the enjoyment. [MJ&DB]

Educative, I wasn’t aware if this site. [GL]

I hadn’t heard of the relevant website, so it took a little while to see what was going on – final clue needed working out from wordplay to identify it. The first entry not starting with A made it harder to start, but the drawing was easy to understand after getting the word. By the way, I was away last month, so didn’t complete the solution in time to submit a solution – and never succeeded in making out the drawing. [PM]

The knitting is no problem, but I needed the hints and tips this time especially for day 4. [MM]

Enjoyed the puzzle. Not aware of the site but clue well built! 😎 [DM]

Some unfamiliar answers, but wordplay confirmed entries! Not too difficult🤔 [MN]

Worsted has not bested me! [JN]

Although interested in craft I had never heard of this website so I had to do a bit of googling. As usual some interesting new words. [MP]

Interesting subject with some good witty clues. Not surprised a theme from Bozzy! [JP]

Not our area of expertise, but a fun puzzle, thanks! [AR]

An enjoyable puzzle. I’d never heard of the Ravelry website before, very interesting! It was one of the rare occasions for me when the picture clue helped the solution. Thanks to Nutmeg and Bozzy. [RS]

What a lovely theme! Right up my street. And cleverly woven into the clues too. Lots of crafty misdirection which kept me guessing. A delight – thanks very much to all involved. [BS]

test [JT]

I give up wIth too many uncertainties (for the time being). Besides day, 9 can only be ‘lambs wool’ yet Charle died in 1834, before Victoria got the throne (1837) and although Mary died in 1847 she was deemed to be insane from 1833. [ET]

Fantastic puzzle, thank you! After some woolly thinking, losing my thread several times, I managed to get it sewn up eventually. Fortunately, for one or two clues, my wife is hooked on crochet. [JT]

My day has finally come! Take that you sports fans with all your cricketty and footbally clues! Thank you so much for this most excellent puzzle. I absolutely loved it. [SW]

A few tricky clues where I wasn’t quite sure of the parsing. [EW]

Another enjoyable theme with some fun and clever clueing. More new words (3D never fails to extend) and a delightful groaner for the picture clue. Thank you Nutmeg and Bozzy, and of course, Frank Paul. [CW]

My lack of crafts knowledge made this tricky and satisfying to solve. Very enjoyable, lots of great clues. [DB]

He didn’t ask for my help this time. A smile on the face of the tiger. Just hope I have read his writing. Not my mistake this time. My master! [RG]

I’d never heard of Ravelry before, obviously haven’t lived! I should imagine it went from strength to strength during Covid lockdowns, when the rest of us were participating in Zoom quizzes and the like. Thank you for broadening our horizons, Nora! [SF]

A lovely little relaxing puzzle after the last two months, and amazingly, it leapt off the page for me, as my wife, who is a very talented knitter, has been a ravelry devotee from when it was first launched. I am guessing Bozzy is too? [MS]

A pretty obscure/niche theme – although it soon became clear what the general subject area was…took a little e-research to find the website, especially as I originally put REVELRY in for 5ac!… [MC]

An esoteric theme (at least for me), illuminated by some very good clueing and clever references to the subject throughout. Clean grid with a minimum of pesky snakes. Favourite clues: NEEPS, FULFILL, NAKED, LOTTO & SPINS. Thanks to both Nutmeg and Bozzy. [KM]

A different sort of theme this month! Thank you Bozzy for introducing us to this website which anyone interested in craft will love exploring – never heard of it before. The theme words were not too hard to solve on the whole, but some of the other clues left me a bit mystified and I suspect one or two guesses may have ended up in knots…. Loved the cartoon this time! [SB]

A satisfying variety of clues and some particularly fun surfaces, thanks! [AH]

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