i Cryptic Crossword 3230 Hoskins

June 15, 2021

There’s no yardarm available to check, but if you ask me it’s a bit early for this sort of thing.  Riotous carousal is the order of the day and Hoskins does not seem to be one to do things by halves.  We have a comparatively rare variation on the theme theme, with most of the fun stuff in the clues, although the grid is certainly not innocent of Bacchic content.  Congratulations are probably due: this must be the louchest crossword so far this year.

Inevitably surfaces are to the fore, and I can’t say that many of the constructions struck me as especially unusual or noteworthy.  27ac was the sneakiest, alas, but there’s no way that’s going to be CoD on my watch.  Dearie me … no.  2d is inherently amusing; 11ac is surprising, and 17d tickled me especially when reminded by one of the Fifteensquared commenters that it refers to Homer Simpson’s favourite beer.  However, I think we’ll have 14d:

“Private chap after a Martini drinker’s job? (6,5)”

Good-oh.  An enjoyably lively sort of puzzle with the emphasis on entertainment, which appears to be Hoskins’ main priority.  We’re back to Dry January 2017 for the original blog:


5 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3230 Hoskins”

  1. Saboteur said

    Great fun! I hope Hoskins got as much pleasure out of setting this as I did from solving it. Nicely done, and somehow epitomising Hoskins’s style; good surface readings, amusing and imaginative clueing, and not taking it too seriously while still producing something top-notch.

    Struggled to parse ONASSIS, but got there in the end. Failed, however, to work out what was going on with ELUSIVE. Both of these were got from crosswordsolver. Completely agree about SECRET AGENT. Great clue.

  2. Willow said

    Very enjoyable with plenty of excellent misdirection – many thanks indeed. I had to draw on a wide range of knowledge, and that’s good for keeping the mind alert and functional. It took a while to realise that 1ac wasn’t an anagram of sober daily, for example.

  3. thebargee said

    Yep, great fun, as I’m coming to expect from Hoskins. Progress was fairly swift, accompanied by much chuckling, until right at the end I was stumped for quite some time in the SE. I just couldn’t get 29a or 17d and had to put the puzzle down for a while. Needless to say, on having another look later, the penny dropped.

    Like Willow, I was convinced ‘sober daily’ was an anagram for a while, no doubt deliberate misdirection by Hoskins. Totally agree with the COD, although my LOI, 17d, made me laugh the loudest!

  4. jonofwales said

    Tough for Hoskins I thought, though needless to say lots of fun. Nobody else really could have done that theme, could they? 🙂

  5. dtw42 said

    For … reasons … I downloaded and tackled the Indy puzzle first thing this morning; a thematic jobbie from Hoskins. Just as I’d finished that, today’s i plopped through the letterbox and upon turning to page 23 I found more of the same! This one was tougher (IMO) than the Indy one. But I got there in the end. My LOI was 1ac – I was (as he no doubt intended) let up the garden path of the obvious anagram of “sober daily”, which turned out (eventually) not to be any such thing.

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