i Cryptic Crossword 3181 Hoskins

April 19, 2021

Another week rolls around, and with it another offering by Hoskins, so you know what to expect. It only took until my second one in for a bit of “Congress” to make its first appearance, though it would take a while longer for the anticipated drugs references to appear. A little rock ‘n’ roll courtesy of Macca and Apple completes the set, though to be honest I barely had pause to consider what might be missing, as this was completed about as quickly as I could write. Which is to say, only a little slower than the new beefed up i Concise is sometimes these days. The sign at 12ac raised the proverbial eyebrow, but a glance in Chambers says it’s correct, as expected. Elsewhere there is little to comment on, and lots to enjoy, so thanks, Hoskins, for a good start to the week.

COD? I’ll go with 17ac – “Good drugs seen repeatedly in Hackney? (3-3)”.

To April 2017 for all the answers, parsing of the clues, and lots and lots from Hoskins in the comments:


15 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3181 Hoskins”

  1. Denzo said

    Disappointing for Hoskins whose puzzles I normally enjoy in spite of h is overdependence on sex and drugs (in his clues). I think this must have been compiled after rather than before a visit to the 225 drinks trolley about which he frequently refers.

    My fav clue was 19a.) Otherwise, a few other good clues such as 1a, 1d, 4a, 16d, but too much poor taste and several awful surfaces including 17a and 21a, which should surely read “…gathering AROUND Balmoral”(?). DNF, defeated by a drugs reference and a vulgarity.

    • jonofwales said

      “gathering in” for 21ac looks fine to me – as in gathering in a harvest. And of course it makes for a better surface reading.

      • Denzo said

        I didn’t think of reading it that way, but I suppose it works from a crossword misdirection point of view, But I don’t like it!

  2. Grodnik said

    Hoskins strikes back against WhitehouseIan revisionism. Hurrah.

  3. Cornick said

    The Times does not allow words like 26a. ENEMA because it would not be considered appropriate for polite drawing room society. This is not The Times, this is the i. I’ll say no more.

  4. tonnelier said

    Not quite as good as the last Hoskins, but very enjoyable nonetheless. I especially liked 11, 16, 19 and 21.

    What is one person’s bad taste is another’s bawdy humour. Life really is more fun when you’re in the latter group!

    • thebargee said


    • Denzo said

      IMO bawdy humour IS bad taste, but I’m all in favour of it in tne right place, the right time and the right amount. I feel more strongtly about drugs and gambling because of the damage they do, but they are, unfortunately part of life so should not be completely excuded. My disappointment was prompted by what I perceive as Hoskins’ overdependence on such clues, which has been expressed more eloquently by others in subsequent posts

  5. thebargee said

    An enjoyable start to the week, over all too quickly, with only the SW holding me up for a minute or two.

    I have to confess my FOI was 11a, for no particular reason, and the rest fell into place pretty quickly. I may be misremembering, but was it Joyce Grenfell who said, when she was in hospital and there was a knock on the door, “Halt, friend or enema!”? Whoever it was, it’s a good line.

    Looking forward to the next offering from Hoskins…

  6. batarde said

    It was all right. Light as thistledown, but well constructed as usual, and no smelling salts required. Do I detect a bit of a backlash in the comments above? The way I see it, nobody has a right not to be offended, and nobody who gives offence has a right not to be upbraided for it. Therefore, it’ll be interesting to read any subsequent opinions.

  7. Saboteur said

    I loved it. Obviously not one I would have cared to solve with my maiden great-aunts (I had two) or even with my adult children, but on my own it was fine. ALARM in particular.

  8. Willow said

    It’s not the fact that there are some lewd references – it’s the fact that there is a preponderance of them. I counted 9, but some might say 12. I’m with Topsy – I can honestly appreciate the occasional seaside postcard, but to meet with a tsunami of them is offputting.

    I have two brothers-in-law who served in the Police. Do I object to FLATFEET? No, but if there were three or more such clues with references to filth, pigs, woodentops and rozzers I might do so. Similarly with the allusion to beating in 9 D. It’s fine on its own, and in fact is totally innocent as it stands. As are the limited references to drugs and alcohol.

    I think I have made my point in the past few months: in an enlightened, equal and open society we should be avoiding multiple gratuitous outdated references to sexism, homophobia, racism and so on. But we should also be able to laugh at ourselves when we are the butt of jokes on occasions. As a progressively-minded churchgoer and a sandal-shod, sherry-sipping supporter of the Liberal Democrats I am used to having to do so …

    I promise not to raise the subject of risque material in any further posts, unless it is completely OTT.

    I did enjoy the clue about Paul McCartney’s prowess as a bass player. It is not universally known that he is regarded as being one of the finest bassists of all time. But, unfortunately, the rest of the puzzle was rather ruined for me.

  9. Jonjo said

    The usual dodgy stuff from Hoskins. Can take it or leave it but no need for those who like it to claim superiority in the fun stakes!

  10. dtw42 said

    A busy morning and a latish newspaper delivery meant I completed this at lunchtime. It was fine. TBH, I thought the clues for 1ac and 22dn were a bit “meh”. I kinda hoped there’d be the name of a *specific* Soho thoroughfare (sadly, “deanst” doesn’t mean most sad! … ah, how I miss the old soundtrack store at no.57 there) … the actual parsing is a but underwhelming. And “those women” really should have been “that woman repeatedly”, IMHO. Oh well.

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