i Cryptic Crossword 2890 Hoskins

May 13, 2020

An IoS reprint today from Hoskins that I found to be of about average difficulty, and lots of fun. I suspect the more than slightly risque flavour of some of the clues won’t have been to everyone’s liking, but this being Hoskins I think we all knew what was in store. 😉 I had a couple of question marks at the close that, it transpires, were down to my own dodging parsing, so no complaints.

Clues that I liked? There would be more than several, with 7d and 16d leading the runners up, but my COD must go to 15ac, just because it’s such a great word – “Fab to floor former Shadow Chancellor? (10)”.

Over to February 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues, and doubts about the future of the Independent crossword. Oh for the days when that was the only thing we had to worry about.


If like me you still haven’t tried yesterday’s Independent Cryptic, btw, it comes thoroughly recommended, and of course courtesy of our Saturday blogger. The last I saw it had generated considerable comment on Fifteensquared, and all of the good kind!

10 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2890 Hoskins”

  1. saboteur said

    Thoroughly enjoyable – satisfying and amusing.

    I struggled to parse ANATOMIST, otherwise all good. Loved AMAZEBSLLS!

  2. batarde said

    That was lively. Slight wrinkling of the nose at the COD, for all that it’s a good ‘un, simply because it’s the sort of word I associate with the sort of slack-jawed low-browed hobbledehoys who watch Channel 5. Nowhere near as annoying as the grammatical howler on page 11, however. Are there no standards, or wot? Enjoyable crossword; 16d being the standout for me.

  3. thebargee said

    Nothing wrong with the odd risqué clue in my book!

    Really enjoyed this puzzle, loved 7d, 16d and 25d in particular. Took two sittings to complete, punctuated by prep work for this evening’s batch of Tiddy Oggies. Yum…

  4. Cornick said

    Average time, well above average entertainment.
    It’s been a good week so far!

  5. dtw42 said

    Agreed with the general consensus above. I failed to properly parse either 1ac or 27ac; but the genuine laugh-out-loud from 7dn more than made up for that.

  6. Gasmanjack said

    Batarde, the split infinitive?

    • batarde said

      Indeed. Hard to ignore when the typeface is that big.

      • allan_c said

        Oh dear, the dreaded split infinitive rears its ugly head again. As far as I’m concerned a split infinitive is best avoided but there are cases where it is better to deliberately split an infinitive than unwittingly to cause confusion. But in the case in point I agree there was no justification for it. I’m reminded of Winston Churchill’s comment on the rule that forbids ending a sentence with a preposition – “nonsense of the sort up with which I will not put!”

      • batarde said

        My position is similarly nuanced, but there’s a big “however”. Ordinarily I take the view that prescriptive grammarians need to lighten up, and the stricture against splitting infinitives rests on the assumption that English should follow the same rules as Latin, anyway. However, it’s so ingrained that they stick out like a poorly laid cobblestone and one tends to trip over them. For that reason it’s usually better to go round the houses and re-frame the sentence. Especially if it’s a headline.

        I must admit to having quite a few bugbears, and at the moment the most maddening is the misuse of “enormity”.

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