i Cryptic Crossword 3238 Hoskins

June 24, 2021

It’s that cheeky chap Hoskins again with the requisite amount of bodily functions and slightly risque clues. Fun as always, and yet again over in a flash – if this had appeared earlier in the week it would have been a potential personal best, but as it is was just a tad slower than yesterday’s Dac. Loads went in on definition followed by a quick glance back over the wordplay to confirm, with only 28ac at the close giving any problems in the latter department, though not the former. That was one of many I thought where the surface reading was worthy of Dac – the sort of thing that’s so smoothly put together that the wordplay becomes that much harder to spot. Enjoyed, as always, and yet again – more Hoskins please.

COD? Loads to pick from today, from the smile / groan inducing definition at 17d to the “bellish” 27ac, with my pick going to 18d – “Teacher carrying expensive letter opener? (4,3)”.

And so to January 2017 for all the answers and parsing of the clues for this IoS reprint:


14 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3238 Hoskins”

  1. Saboteur said

    Hoskins can always be relied on to be, well, Hoskinsish. This was a laugh a minute, although with one or two I would be a touch embarrassed is someone e asked me what was so funny…

    No quibbles or queries from me, although I struggled for quite a while with the parsing of ESTATE. I loved EMBELLISH.

  2. batarde said

    Read it, wrote it – leaving me free to Carry On at My Convenience, I suppose. Not really what I hope for on a Thursday, but no doubt a hoot for those who enjoy the knockabout stuff.

  3. Denzo said

    A good puzzle, completed quickly, and enjoyed, but I’ll get my moan out of the way first. This was, thanks to 16a, a DNF. Various people have complained about references to football, classical literature, pop music, and many other “niche” or “elite” activities, but at least these activities form part of the culture of a significant minority (or more) of people living in the country where the crossword is circulated. Baseball does not, and such clues should, IMO, be preferably avoided, but at least some hint given that baseball is involved.

    Apart from that one no-ball, it was almost as smooth a solve as yesterday’s by DAC, though with a tad more head-scratching on, eg, ESTATE; and the superb COD, solved quickly, might have had me bamboozled for hours on another day. I paused a little on the crypric definition in 1d, noting that FIG LEAF is almost an anagram of OF FOLIAGE, and thinking the Cheeky Chap might have found a different way to deal with the two spare letters.

    • jonofwales said

      I’ve not watched a game of baseball in my life, but the player in question surely transcends that narrow niche? It was certainly a write-in here, and gettable from the other definition nevertheless.

      • Saboteur said

        Agreed. Usually four-letter entries, like this, with no crossing first letter, and indeed only vowels in those that do cross, would have me a quivering wreck, completely unable to think of the right entry. But this was a bit of a write-in. To my huge relief.

      • batarde said

        Quite so: the only baseball player I can name, what little else I know on the subject being derived from Peanuts cartoons. Also, the only Ruth to come up regularly in crosswords.

      • Denzo said

        To be honest, when I saw the answer on 225, “Babe Ruth” rang a vague bell, but if the 225 blogger had not mentioned an American connection, I don’t think I would have known why. So I am not sure he or she does transcend any niche, unless there is some other factor, as with, for example, OJ Simpson. If there had been a hint of an American connection, I would say it was a fair clue.

      • dtw42 said

        What all the rest of you guys said (although I would claim to be able to name a second – Joe DiMaggio).

      • batarde said

        Oh dear, I thought he was a boxer. :-/

  4. Brock said

    Goodness, is 6d still going? I thought it went out in the 80s, but then I don’t play video games. Indeed I thought Saatchi & Saatchi went out in the 80s (15d), but it seems they’re still around as well…

    Enjoyable puzzle with plenty of fun stuff. 27a might have been inspired by the Uxbridge English Dictionary! Probably my favourite, although 9a was very ingenious as well. I thought I might have missed some clever wordplay in 1d, but it seems it was a “straight” cryptic definition.

    My one quibble was with “government” = STATE in 21d. The state is the administrative apparatus that runs the country; the government are the people elected to run it. They may be regarded as the same thing in a one-party state, but hopefully not here (yet).

  5. Willow said

    I had to google BABE alongside RUTH, having assumed that this word would indeed be the one required. Another gratuitously sexist reference, along with a few other Carry On type clues. It becomes tiresome. I do remember being very impressed with a Hoskins puzzle some weeks ago, one which was free of risque elements, and I would like to see something more positive in future. Is the crossword editor unaware of the very serious issues relating to the objectification of women and girls in the news in the past weeks, months and years?

  6. dtw42 said

    Due to the expectation of more busy work days, and the necessity of doing my weekly shopping tonight after work … I was glad to have finished this off by 7.40 over breakfast.

  7. thebargee said

    Late afternoon solve for me, so very Hoskins-esque and had me chuckling all the way to the LOI (ESTATE).

    The two that held me up were DEBRIEFERS (surely Hoskins could have worked some innuendo into the clue to do with underwear removal) and EMBELLISH. The rest went in without too much trouble – BABE was a write-in thank goodness, I’m with Saboteur when it comes to those 4-letter jobs.

    I hate to think what it says about me, but I laughed out loud when I read 17d. Knowing who the setter was, the definition part of the clue was utterly obvious. Can’t say I’ve ever partaken though, Madras is my limit!

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