i Cryptic Crossword 3097 Hoskins

January 11, 2021

Those of a sharper mindset this morning will have noticed not only the name of a famous American singer songwriter in the left and right columns, but also a number of his album titles dotted around the grid. I should perhaps have spotted the name, but as I’ve heard, as far as I’m aware, none of his songs, I can be forgiven for missing the rest. If I’d been more alert I would have struggled less at the close on 12ac and 20ac which between them accounted for a fair amount of my time. As it was I enjoyed a solve that was on the easyish side, with no problems beyond those already described, and much to enjoy. There’s one odd definition at 9ac, but with a few checking letters and an extremely helpful cryptic, most solvers will have got there and learnt something new. It could be argued that both definitions at 3d were on the obscure side, but as I knew neither and still got it I’m going to argue in the clue’s favour. Elsewhere I couldn’t parse 10ac or 25ac on solving, but as both appear to be clear as day in retrospect, I’m going to blame my own obtuseness together with a combination of the setter’s cunning.

COD? 8d tickled me, and 10ac is as smoothly done as you would like, but my nomination goes to 1ac which has a surface reading convincing enough that you could easily pass over the wordplay conveyed so succinctly – “European paper with story about Corbyn? (6)”.

So to October 2016 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:

https://www.fifteensquared.net/2016/10/11/independent-9358-hoskins/

14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3097 Hoskins”

  1. Denzo said

    It was above average difficulty for me, but with some clever, satisfying cluing such as DAY OUT, T-SHIRT, and my favourite, WIDOWS, which got a good chuckle when I made the jam connection. The NW corner where I started was a complete fog, but when I looked elsewhere I discovered that it was not quite as difficult as I thought.

    LOI was AGASSI – I hadn’t come across that use of server in a crossword. Returning to the NW corner, I knew one definition of TORPEDO (a sandwich not only in USA), guessed the other confirned with help, solved OVERHANG only with the aid of Bradford’s, guessed ELVEN, but didn’t enter it as I thought ELFIN was the only word. I also failed to consider that Corbyn might be the definition, so DNF; had I seen it, 1A would also have been my COD!

    With two Andrés, I wondered if there might be a theme, but the theme that was and the Nina were wasted on me, but not needed to solve the puzzle.

  2. thebargee said

    A reasonably gentle start to the week. It took me a while to get out of first gear, but once I got going progress was fairly rapid.

    Needless to say I didn’t spot the name or the album titles, not being familiar with the gentleman. I suppose this was technically a DNF for me as I needed the help of a crossword solver to give me inspiration for 12ac, my LOI. Elsewhere, I understood everything except 23dn, I’ve never heard of Si as a note but the answer was clear enough. The meaning of beetle in 9ac was new to me as well.

  3. Saboteur said

    I filled the RHS fairly readily, and saw “wright” so I was expecting a theme. I had heard of him, but not any of the music, but a quick visit to the Internet enlightened me.

    OVERHANG was new to me, but very helpfully clued. Last in was ELVEN; the “brownies” thing being new to me, but which was easily guessed from the crossers. I loved AGASSI.

    Good fun, nicely satisfying, all over a bit too quickly.

  4. batarde said

    Yes … finished unaided, which counts for something, but the whole thing was a lip curler as far as I was concerned. Spotting the Nina helped at the end, but any further thematic material went sailing over my head. Am I missing out?

  5. Veronica said

    All finished. Rather liked it.
    Last one in was LEFTIE. I thought that one was hard!
    A few niggles along the way. Wasn’t keen on WI for jam makers, because I thought that was rather old fashioned and stereotyped. And a few definitions or parts that I thought were a bit clumsy – HISTORY for record, “they” for people in authority. But maybe that was just me being in a bit of a mood.
    These were made up for by some fun clues. Really liked TORPEDO for same reason as Jon – I disregarded that as a possible answer for quite a while. Favourite was OVERHANG (which I did know, but only just).
    The theme meant nothing to me, but – like all good themes – this didn’t matter at all.

    Ah, yes. I’d love to edit sometimes as well. And I won’t get the bloggers’ perks!

  6. Willow said

    I was delighted to discover a Hoskins puzzle that didn’t make me feel the least bit uncomfortable. Thank you – I suppose it may have been selected intentionally for that reason? A very enjoyable solve, and I did spot the Nina, but had no idea who it referred to. Some absolutely marvellous clues.

    My only slight grouse was the vagueness of 12 A. I got ANEW well before realising that BAN and PEW were involved.

  7. dtw42 said

    Middling level for me; what Saboteur said re “si”.
    AGASSI was my LOI too. I really wanted 6dn to be “goved” – that means to stare stupidly, too.

  8. dtw42 said

    …oh, and no, I didn’t see the nina or spot the theme.

  9. Cornick said

    What Willow said re the lack of risque humour – that’s a first for me with Hoskins.
    I got very stuck with this with the NW corner and 12a still to go then, in my desperation, thought to check for a Nina. Phew. After that they all fell very easily. More familiar with Rufus than Loudon, so didn’t know the albums.
    Some crackers in there, including the COD, although I did have a few queries at the end: beetle, driving as an anagram indicator, ‘A’ for anonymous, and ‘si’ for note. All of theml had to be though, of course.

  10. Denzo said

    Count me as another who didn’t know SI, and music theory is one of the things on which I claim an above average knowledge; however, I was sure it was going to be SUSHI and didn’t even try to parse it – fortunately!

    But the music in the theme and nina is not at all my scene, so the nina wouldn’t have helped even if I spotted it. The above comments suggest that those who spotted the theme found the puzzle much easier than those who didn’t.

    👎for Hoskins on this point.

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