i Cryptic Crossword 2955 Hob

July 28, 2020

A general theme with a specific Nina today. The latter is something of a hero: regularly the star of our local panto, he’s a genuine national treasure and one of the few entertainers of his generation never to have been of any interest to Operation Yewtree. As for the thematic stuff, there’s quite a lot of it one way and another. In my view Hob has served his customers well this time, giving good measure of entertainment without too much grandstanding.

That said, it wouldn’t be a Hob without some gratuitous and misjudged smut, so jolly well done for 1d, I don’t think. There really is no need, but you won’t get a reputation as an enfant terrible by using “turnip”, will you? Mind you, that’s about it this time (I’m far more indulgent of 8/11), so he seems to be heading in the right direction. By and large cluing is clever and a little on the loose side if the surface will benefit from it: see the hiddens at 1and 23d for instance. In my opinion this strategy pays off, and the puzzle as a whole felt pretty fair and well balanced to me. The grid does look like it’s going to divide up into a wide central band from SW to NE with a couple of little clusters loosely attached on either side, but this did not turn out to be inconvenient or an annoyance.

Quite a few ticks today. Hob has deployed some nice little touches, apparently just for the fun of it, which certainly added to the fun. For instance, I was amused by the combination of 12 and 13ac. It’s gratifying when my efforts to memorise the Teletubbies bear fruit, by the way … they take their place alongside the Muses, Furies, Harpies and so forth. Plaudits therefore for 24, as well as 7, 9, 21ac and several more, with 12ac as my COD because it’s a chestnut roasted to perfection:

“Keen to eat duck? Duck it is then! (5)”

Click here for the April 2016 Fifteensquared write up by John.

6 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 2955 Hob”

  1. Cornick said

    Great blog – couldn’t agree more. Especially on the Teletubbies, which made Mrs C laugh too.

  2. saboteur said

    Thoroughly enjoyed this one. A nice mix of clues. And a great theme and nina. There seemed to be more and more of the theme each time I thought about it.

    Struggled a bit with the “mell” in LAMELLA and the brut/cologne thing. Needed to check SINCIPUT, as it seemed so unlikely, even though that was what the clear word-play and crossing g letters indicated.

    As the the smut, if it makes me laugh, I don’t mind. It did today.

  3. PJ said

    I thought it was a nice puzzle.

    My favourite was 2D. Had no issue with todger in a clue. Worse things at sea or anywhere else you care to look.

  4. dtw42 said

    Yus. Same general story here; ‘mel’ I didn’t know, nor ‘sinciput’ (despite being entirely au fait with its opposite, the occiput). 1dn got a bit of an eye-roll but nothing more. The rest was light-hearted fun that went in fairly breezily with the nina & themette spotted earlyish and helping things along.
    Like WordPlodder back in 2016, my LOI was ‘silver’.

    • saboteur said

      Ahh! Occiput! I wondered why sinciput seemed familiar, even when it definitely wasn’t familiar. Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Jimbo said

    Is an ice sheet a glacier? Probably not but if it was then you had Foxes Glacier Mints as another thematic allusion.

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