i Cryptic Crossword 3211 Hoskins

May 24, 2021

Was I alone in missing the obvious today? I was vaguely aware that 11ac turns 80 this week (though I didn’t realise that it is in fact today, until I checked), and spotted the reference to folk music, but if I’d looked a little closer I would have spotted a Nina in the left and right columns that would have helped no end when stuck on 17ac at the close. There are also several other references throughout that you may or may not have spotted. Fun for those that did, and for myself in retrospect. That saying regarding pearls before swine springs to mind. 😉 I enjoyed a fun, lively, fairly straightforward puzzle anyway that was a welcome break from a fairly frantic start to the week. All was understood at the close, and I would say there was nothing controversial or amiss, but as I said so last week and everybody else disagreed, I’m loath to do so. Finish time under par, with my LOI the aforementioned 17ac.

COD? I’ll go with 21ac – “Literary piece of art about old lecturer? (6)”.

To May 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues:


And in case you’re blissfully unaware as to what’s being referred to above… https://vimeo.com/195142881

8 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3211 Hoskins”

  1. Cornick said

    Very nice Nina & theme which went completely over my head too alas.
    I can’t remember the last time we had either on a Monday, plus I don’t particularly associate them with this setter, so never thought to go looking. Lolita and Yaks were tricky at the end so, yes, with hindsight I wish I had done.

  2. batarde said

    Wasted on me too, although as I saw Jon’s hint “Judas!” leapt immediately to mind. Very good – enjoyed this one a lot, although 13ac had me a little perplexed. Not enough to do due diligence and find out that there’s another Seeger who didn’t make it into the biographical dictionary, mind you, Hoskins striking me as a pretty trustworthy sort of chap when it comes to wordplay like that. I approve of 14ac, which was cheerfully icky, and thought that any impropriety was dealt with in a grown up manner. Agreed on the COD, and Happy Birthday, Bob.

  3. tonnelier said

    Fairly straightforward??? Not for me. I gave up with half a dozen missing. I liked this about as much as Bob Dylan, whose fame and success has always baffled me

  4. Brock said

    Enjoyed the puzzle, though I only got the theme when I solved 11a as the very last clue!

    It can’t be often that the crossword editor manages to find a puzzle whose theme was suitable for the original date of publication but also for the date of reprinting. A minor achievement in itself.

  5. Saboteur said

    Nice. I spotted the nina after working my way almost through the entire alphabet to get my Last One In, YAKS (my most dreaded sort of entry). Failed to spot all, or indeed any, of the other themed connections. I knew about Pete SEEGER, and wondered how on earth he could be connected to the Great War; the internet to the rescue again.

    I enjoy Hoskins. His surface readings are always good, and there is a creativity at play which is fun and joyful.

  6. Willow said

    I went for NAGS in the end, coincidentally having considered Cornick’s other options too, so spotting the Nina would have helped, which I suppose validates the otherwise ambiguous clue. Mostly enjoyable – thank you.

  7. dtw42 said

    Maybe it was the mental fatigue of a busy day, but I just couldn’t get into that at all, and put it aside late evening with barely a third completed.

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