i Cryptic Crossword 3084 Hoskins

December 26, 2020

Greetings to you all this Boxing Day! Many of us have now moved into higher tiers and find ourselves living with greater restrictions. But there are no restrictions on imagination and creativity in Crosswordland, where we can take an occasional refuge from the travails of this present age. A happy 2nd day of Christmas, everyone.

I wondered what to expect this morning. Something challenging to fill up a bank holiday? Something with a theme, perhaps including flesh and wine and pine logs? A nina in which the Good King’s name featured? We got none of these, just a good, old-fashioned, fairly accessible, straightforward cryptic. And jolly good it was too. No obscurities, no queries or quibbles eliciting notes in my margin. Quite a bit of humour, and a pleasing puzzle to solve.

There was a bit of a flatulence theme to a few of the clues, which may not be entirely inappropriate for a season of indulgence. Not too offensive or too school-boyish, I believe, just enough to raise a smile, perhaps. I wondered, on reading the clue for BLUE TIT, who had been the setter’s inspiration back in 2016 when this first appeared, but it would appear from Pierre’s original blog that the subject was the same person back then. I note that the clue has been mildly modified, though.

Joint runners-up for the award of Clue of the Day are RED-CARPET and MELANCHOLIC, both of which made me laugh. The winner, however, is the very neat 4d: “An order ignored by some musicians who played on? (7,4)”.

16 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3084 Hoskins”

  1. dtw42 said

    Yes, all completed happily enough, though there was quite a bit of “tsk” from me (1a/d, 14a, 15, etc.)!

  2. jonofwales said

    Hope everybody’s having a good Christmas!

    A rapid solve here, with the numerous gassy clues noted. Fun, though I suspect some will be less amused today. 😀

  3. Denzo said

    Excellent and houmorous puzzle. I usually miss themes until they are referred to by the blogger here or on 225, but after reading 1A for the second time (thinking I must have misread it the first time) was in no doubt. I did not like the apparent reference to the Titanic – the idea of building a luxury liner with inadequate life boats upsets me.

    Otherwise I agree with Saboteur’s favourite clues. My favourite was 7D. Interesting to see that the word “dismissive” was edited in for our reprint – maybe the Indy got too many letters of complaint from the great man’s fan club? Like Pierre on 225 I failed to parse DEDICATED, and hesitated before entering RED CARPET, as it is so long since I saw a nodding dog that I thought they must have gone out of fashion long before the puzzle was composed.

  4. Cornick said

    Agreed on COD, but rather than thinking this resembled a puzzle from Punk, as one commenter thought on Fifteensquared, it seemed more like a Viz crossword to me – pulling the sausage indeed. Eesh!

  5. Veronica said

    Jon, you are right! I didn’t like what I considered very juvenile and very annoying “humour.”it caught me at a bad time, because I’d normally ignore it. Today the crossword was completed during a three hour with the newspaper, sat in the car in a car park at the local hospital, getting very cold and wondering if I’d need to find a loo – while my husband had an emergency eye assessment (luckily, he is okay). I just wasn’t in the mood for this type of humour.
    On the other hand, BLUE TIT raised a smile from me. On other days – that would have been the one I’d have disliked, since I’m not at all keen on being offensive to individuals in crosswords. However, I was sufficiently fed up to like it today!
    I did like CHARIOT. And I can appreciate that others enjoyed this one.

  6. batarde said

    Oh cripes, Harribobs is back, and just look at the thing. That’ll keep you busy for a while, Jon.

    As for Max Miller, well, I do wish he’d grow up, to be frank. There’s no shortage of decent material there, but the “theme” falls unmistakably on the puerile side of the line for my taste. A mildly entertaining if lightweight puzzle otherwise. Solvers seeking something more bracing would have enjoyed The Times today – it’s quite rare to be put well and truly on one’s mettle by a crossword in that once august organ, but it happened today.

  7. Don Geraldos said

    Rory McIlroy uses a golf BAT ??? Joe Root uses a cricket CLUB ??? Rubbish!

  8. thebargee said

    Well it didn’t take long to get a whiff of today’s theme, did it? All completed without too much trouble, and fairly enjoyable I thought. Can’t say I’m too upset by the humour, although I dare say it caused a bad atmosphere for some.

    Agree with COD nominations, but
    I liked 7dn and 19dn too.

  9. Willow said

    I’m worried by what it says about me that I decided to continue with this puzzle after reading the clue for 1 Across. The majority of contributors loved it, and the theme, but as far as I’m concerned there’s no need for it:

    By-product fabricated at the farm (9)
    A consequence of cooking the fat ram (9)
    Post American exam results? (9)

    … would all have done just as well.

    I finished, but did not enjoy this offering from an egotistical and puerile setter. Only two decent clues in the whole thing.

    • Cornick said

      It would be fine in Viz, mind you. A magazine that if you choose to buy it you know what you’re letting yourself in for.

  10. Willow said


    = )

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