3D Crossword Solution – May 2024

May 2024 grid page

Clues and Grid by Komorník

Theme: First performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

The winner of the May puzzle is Jacqueline Corbett of Kent.

Review of the May 2024 3D crossword

In the 3D Calendar year May normally brings a more challenging puzzle, as the relatively benign spring turns to summer, and this was no exception: a long quotation in a foreign language, a complex 10-word anagram and, to boot, a Frank Paul drawing to unravel as an integral part of the solution. 

The 7x7x6 grid served the emerging theme well and the two anti-clockwise perimeter entries in Tiers 1 and 5 allowed Komorník to develop a rich set of clues with a minimum of serpents, no entries with fewer than six letters and just a few obscure words (INDITER, STRIGAE). Bravo for that! If I had one tiny criticism, it would be that some of the clueing lacked brevity: several clues were 14 words long and the clue to CATARRH topped the rankings with 17 words. The former Observer crossword compiler, Ximenes, author of The Art of the Crossword, might be stirring in his grave at that!

The mention of SCHILLER and hints to “Für Elise” in ELEGISE enhanced the Beethoven theme and many “musically” related clues struck a chord (sorry) with me: ENDIVE, ERUDITE, EXTANT (such a clever triplet), OBERON, DAUNTED. The clue to LAST EIGHT caused some head scratching (“All those preceding this one are quarter-finalists”) until it dawned that The Choral is, of course, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony — that is simply brilliant and my favourite clue of all.

Beethoven’s Choral Symphony is a wonderful piece of music; Ode to Joy is, of course, the anthem of the European Union and is twinged with some sadness, since, despite its optimistic message that “Alle Menschen werden Brüder,” it also evokes one of the country’s most divided days of recent years: 23 June 2016. 

As a former modern languages teacher, I am always uneasy about entering foreign words without accents or umlauts; despite what has become a convention in English crosswords that diacritical marks are not required, some solvers may be familiar with one controversial Listener crossword some time ago where entries without a cedilla on a C in the grid were marked wrong. Fortunately, our excellent electronic marking system always provides reassurance that one’s submissions are correct. 

By my calculation this is the third offering by Komorník in the last six months, including the November 2023 extra, and he is also responsible for the grid. Moreover, he used to write monthly reviews until the end of last calendar year, so this tour de force (or perhaps ‘Erfolg’ is more relevant on this occasion) on his part is an indication of just how much we owe him for his contribution to the 3D puzzle enterprise. Thank you, Komornik.


Grid solution

May 2024 3D grid solution

Visual clue

Aptly, this clue is a triplet: a hug; crossword setters’ favourite alien ET standing in a judo hall; and a calendar for 2024. Together they make:

O (as in xox) + ET in DOJO + Y(ear) = ODE TO JOY

Visual clue for ODE TO JOY
Drawing by Frank Paul

Clues and explanations

Thematic solutions are indicated with an asterisk.

DaySolutionDirection, Clue, CountExplanation
1AMNION26up Allegro ma non … initially: something charged, that contains the embryonic … (6)Initial letters + ION
2BEETHOVEN’S CHORAL SYMPHONY*19AC … ultimately fresh, novel score — has movement with hymn by poet (10,6,8)(H NOVEL SCORE HAS + HYMN BY POET)* & lit
3CATARRH24to Arch-romantic, struggling with lack of income (not energy) — does that give you a lump in the throat? (7)(ARCHROMANTIC – INCOM)*
4CHIDED27up Following conductor’s lead with leather, Germany dressed down (6)C + HIDE + D
5DAUNTED15ac Shaken by ‘not properly a tune’ opening — fifths out of bloody chords! (7)(A TUNE)* inside (‘opening’) D + D (fifth letters) – ref opening bars of B 9
6DREAMER30up,3aw-2 Pages penned by socialist repelled one nursing hopes of utopia (7)REAM inside RED rev.
7DUPLETS*6ac Endure replay, pretty upset essentially, in which two play against three (7)Middles of first four words
8DWELLER18to After The Consecration of the House, one remaining? (7)CD – refers to the fact that B’s overture of that name preceded 9th at première
9ELEGISE*10to 29 does it on death of young man, for example, enthralled by famous dedicatee (7)e.g. inside ELISE – dedicatee of famous B bagatelle
10ENDIVE11d It’s like Chicory Tip: Komorník’s … (6)END + IVE
11ERUDITE14ba … learned EU tried to recycle … (7)(EU TRIED)*
12EXTANT10d … not yet defunct text: anthem features it! (6)hidden
13IMPUGN4d Speak against? I’m positive over Unger, acting without hesitation (6)IMP around UNG[er]*
14INDITER12ac Tire horribly with din he composed long ago (7)(TIRE + DIN)*
15INSTEAD12aw This month, notes required? Rather! (7)INST + EAD – puns on musical theme and assumed difficulty of puzzle
16KNITTER 28up,1ba-2 Kitten asprawl by front of range: one may make a good comforter (7)KITTEN + R and CD
17LAST EIGHT*21aw-2,22ac,23to-2 All those preceding this one are quarter-finalists (4,5)this is B’s 9th, so 8 have gone before: ref e.g.FA Cup, tennis tournament
18LAUNCH*9d Première wobbly? Unchallenged first half! (6)UNCHAL[lenged]*
19LAVENDER31up,6aw-3 Verse in German states it’s a symbol of serenity (8)V in LAENDER (=Länder)
20LIPREAD*9to Right pedal I used to compensate for deafness (3-4)(R + PEDAL I)*
21LOUDER*34up How does the music sound from pew 40? Redo faulty middle section in development (6)(REDO + UL)* pun on direction ‘piú forte’ in score
22MINUTE32up Saying nothing about fashionable note (6)MUTE around IN
23NAIL GUN25to This drives home the point — it’s sadly once removed from uncongenial fracas (4,3)UNCONGENIAL* without ONCE*
24OBERON29up Opera from Weber we neglected amidst over-working? (6)BER in O + ON – the opera appeared 2 years later
25PLINTH7d It’s basic: play Ninth without any bungling (6)PL[ay n*]INTH
26RESIST2d Bow before outer part of scores is tilted? No: quite wrong in both respects (6)hidden; not outer part, and def. means not bow before
27RHENISH2ac Shrine developed round haus initially — typical of Bonn perhaps (7)H in SHRINE*
28SCALPEL13ac One making entry in theatre — soprano’s first invitation, getting extremely pale? (7)CD – S + CALL around P[al]E – the soprano soloist was 18 and on début
29SCHILLER8to-3,5d Author: he carved out lines set in this place for Metternich (8)SC (=sculpsit see Chambers) LL in HIER (Metternich did attend)
30STRIGAE20ac String-player, required to omit parts 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, bristles (7)STRI[n]G[pl]A[y]E[r]
31TRUMPET*17to It may help deaf person at first to restore unheard music, provided ear’s trained (7)Initial letters
32UNITARD16to Principally Umlauf’s province: black stuff, director’s costume for performance (7)U + NI + TAR + D – the conductor was Herr Umlauf
33WHEELS33up They rotate, with débuts for Haizinger and Seipelt encompassing something slippery (6)W + H + S around EEL
Easter eggALLE MENSCHEN WERDEN BRÜDERPerimeter of level 1 (4,8,6,6)
Easter EggODE TO JOYThe English titled origin of the phrase in the other Easter egg (3,2,3)

Solvers’ comments

Solved in two evenings. The theme came very quickly very enjoyable. [RC]

I was pleased to find myself in harmony with this puzzle. [NI]

A well devised puzzle with plenty of thematic clues. We got the theme quite early which, of course, was a great help. As usual, a couple of new words. We haven’t parsed DWELLER and we have an idea or two about SCHILLER but not sure how that works either – so looking forward to the reveal in next month’s newsletter. Thanks Komorník. [CW]

An excellent test of research skills, as well as needing to engage the crossword grey cells. [RP]

Absolutely brilliant, with perhaps the most astonishing long anagram that I have ever seen! [AJ]

Loved it. [LA]

1st May – I’ve never done this before, but having completed it I might as well show off! For the third month in a row I deduced the theme before solving any clues (I must just be too cultured …) which did make it quite easy to solve, although that did not diminish my admiration for the elegant grid, the array of thematic material (musical, Germanic, deafness-related …) and many of the clues although some of the more cumbersome ones were, well, a bit cumbersome. But I loved the reference to Für Elise and the double-take definition at day 28! What will I do for the rest of the month? [EF]

Took a little while to get the theme, but although that helped greatly, the grid was still a struggle to finish. Very enjoyable thanks to Komorník. [GW]

If only… [TH]

Excellent – it’s made the sun come out. x [RE]

A very enjoyable puzzle to solve on a subject that is dear to me. (I have seen and heard the work performed live.) The gridfill was impressive, with 21 answers of seven letters or more, the remaining 12 all being of six letters. Congratulations to Komorník. [AB]

Very enjoyable as usual, but there were a couple of clues that held me up for a while. 🤔👌😀 [MN]

Enjoyed the theme very much and moved by the pleas for our current world. Brilliant and apt anagram to finish. Thank you. [HH]

Tricky puzzle, but for once I sussed the picture clue. 🙂 Thanks to Komorník and Frank Paul. [RS]

Source of joy to this household. [J&JH]

The usual tricky Komorník. Puzzled by 8 and 17; don’t like convoluted 26, nor vague 15. I’m not at all sure how “hug ET now” gives Ode to Joy. [MJ]

I learned a lot about the Ninth! Thanks to Kormorník. [JS]

Lovely tribute to an imperishable work. [PA]

Thank you for another fiendish but fair puzzle. Lovely themed and clued solutions throughout. After solving, I looked up the theme to understand some of the more obscure (to me) references. Bravo and encore! [JT]

Nice challenge, interesting theme. Everything parsed and no loose ends – even got the picture clue! Thanks to Komorník and Frank Paul. [JC]

My thanks to Komorník for a little education! [SC]

The theme was revealed early on but it was a great piece of thematic construction. Great picture clue too – ET in a dojo! [PD]

I thought it would be difficult with so many references to German but once I got the theme I really enjoyed it. [NC]

Fabulous piece, have enjoyed singing it many times! [AR]

A really fun puzzle, perhaps not so much for the difficulty of the clueing (actually quite straightforward once one got one’s eye (or ear) in, and there are not that many major musical bicentenaries!)… but for the way in which Komorník managed to pack so many apposite contemporaneous (and very witty, sometimes a little nutty) references into the surface wording of the clues. The sort of puzzle where once it has been cracked, you can relax, go back, and re-read these clues with enormous pleasure. I particularly enjoyed days 10-12, 20 and 28. Thank you once again for a wonderful puzzle Komorník! [MS]

Excellent. Good use of the theme, some tricky clues, and for the first time ever, I got Frank’s drawing. 😀 [SB]

Took a while to get choral instead of ninth as classical music is not for me. Liked swallows as notes. 😎👍 [DM]

Very enjoyable puzzle with strong theme in both the clues and answers. I didn’t know much about the man but easy to look up or work out. Thanks to all involved. [BS]

The theme quickly became clear, especially with all the musical references in the clues – not to mention those alluding to deafness… However, a knowledge of German was helpful, if not essential – just as well that I have a degree in the language!! ( and also know the words of the Ode to Joy by heart). There were some tricky words in the answers which were not easy to find. And I have no idea what Frank Paul’s drawing indicates – apart from ET in the middle! [SB]

As always, an enjoyably challenging and informative exercise! The sentiment contained therein needs reinforcing, especially in today’s dangerous world. Thank you! [SF]

Good puzzle but how do you put an umlaut on Bruder in the answers? [RC]

I thought this was an excellent puzzle with some ingenious but accessible clues. My favourite has to be Day 10 with its reference to Kormorník. I was surprised to find myself sitting next to him at the Annual 3D Lunch the day after solving this puzzle! The lunch was an excellent occasion too and I was very pleased to be able to put faces to names of others in the 3D team. Thank you! [JB]

Brilliant puzzle thanks [MD]

He sat and finished in one go. Changed my master. [RG]

Thanks to a friend in the UK who also solves these and who gave me a few hints, I eventually saw how Days 7 and 21 might work. I thought this was a particularly tough puzzle. Nothing wrong with that – always happy to find myself stretched by whatever is on offer each month. Thanks nevertheless to Komorník for a deep delve into some (for me) unfamiliar thematic territory. [JA]

Theme was fairly straightforward. Waiting to see the explanations for a few clues. [SC]

My favourite so far. [RL]

One thought on “3D Crossword Solution – May 2024

  1. Vielen Dank to everyone for the comments. I thought I’d explain a few more things here. I’m particularly pleased with positive comments from those for whom the theme was outside their comfort zone. Negatives first: yes, 26 is I think a bit contrived, and it shows a bit of stubbornness on my part: having once had the idea of the “double negative” I wouldn’t let it go despite my Editor’s doubts; and the “tilting” of bows perhaps betrays the non-string-playing nature of the setter. Some general things: I was very keen that wordplay should enable solvers to succeed WITHOUT deep research or prior knowledge, and I think that was successful. However, musicians love in-jokes and I hoped there was something to amuse those who did know Beethoven 9. I wanted to get in, sleeve-notes fashion, as well as comments about the music from the first bars to the end, all the soloists and the conductor. There’s a lot of mythology around the first performance, but it was amazing to find out that the soprano was 18 years old and that Metternich attended. Day 5 reflected my own thoughts when first hearing the beginning – “why are they tuning up again?” The ENDIVE/ERUDITE/EXTANT series, as well as showing a Komorník foible for running on clues, refers not only to the EU anthem, but the “anthem” often sung at various sporting events: Chicory Tip’s “Son of my Father” having morphed into “Oh, Jimmy, Jimmy: Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Anderson” and similar. The piú forte joke forced its way in, once LOUDER was decreed by the grid and the theme. The long anagram skills (thank you AJ, whose initials are very familiar) have been honed by attendance at John Halpern’s lovely Zoom meetings, though I do agree with KM about the missing umlaut. I am not a Germanist, and owe what German I do know mostly to my own choral singing experience; however, I believe that “werden Brüder” can be rendered most accurately “become brothers” so that Schiller’s words are a statement about the universal effects of joy, not a philosophical hope. Finally, thank you again to the wonderful and positive 3D solving community of siblings, which is so supportive and appreciative of our efforts to amuse – a joy, in fact. To everyone (as Schiller says) – X.

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