i Cryptic Crossword 3248 Hoskins

July 6, 2021

In which Hoskins reveals a hitherto unsuspected studious side.  Based on previous form I’ve come to imagine our setter as a chap in a loud checked suit with one of those squirty jokeshop flowers in his buttonhole, but today he is a cineaste with very good taste indeed – and there are no whoopee cushions or stink bombs in the offing.  The theme is pretty extensive and extracting everything will test the knowledge of an expert; as for me I did get the idea from 1d, 22ac and 22d, but there’s a lot more.  Congratulations to scchua for exemplary blogging at Fifteensquared, as well as to Hoskins for a clever, sophisticated puzzle.

There are a couple of servings of word salad today, which is surprising as Hoskins is one of the most diligent clue writers as far as surfaces go.  Doesn’t bother me of course, and technically speaking there’s oodles of good stuff to unpick, everything working nicely as far as I’m concerned.  Despite the clunky surface 27 impressed me, as did 5 and 19; 11 and 12 were above average phonetic clues (whereas 26, sadly, was not).  However, it’s often silly things which please me the most, and 4d was a delight.  It ought to be my clue of the day really, but the Beano-esque quality of 14ac is irresistible:

“Probably have this after striptease class (6)”

Back to a Sunday in April 2017:


9 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3248 Hoskins”

  1. Cornick said

    Terrific. My favourite puzzle so far by a mile from this setter, even if the Third Man stuff was too subtle for me. Like Allan back in 2017 my theme-searching only got as far as the ‘Moronic’ synonyms.

  2. jonofwales said

    Great puzzle, on the easy side as expected. Theme duly missed also as expected. 🙂

  3. dtw42 said

    All fairly smoothly done here, and I like to imagine I ticked off most of the thematic stuff (the theme actually helped anticipate the solving of a couple). On the subject of the theme, I’ve now got that damn zither tune stuck in my head. Only thing I didn’t get was the parsing of 12ac – but I see it now, thanks to 15².

  4. Saboteur said

    Superb. I really enjoyed solving this one. Lots of creativity on display, and very nice surface readings. Too many ticks to mention here.

    Spotted some of the theme (it’s Tuesday, so I tried a bit harder…). Missed CUCKOO CLOCK , HOLLY MARTINS and ZITHER.

  5. Brock said

    Enjoyable puzzle. Missed the theme, of course – well I noticed CAROL REED just as I was checking the answer, but by then it was too late. Perhaps if I’d realized I wouldn’t have put HUSSY for 24d and AROUSES for 27a (both of which I thought were probably wrong, but I’d spent too much time fretting over that corner by then).

    Plaudits for 9a (misleading use of “30”), 14a (clever pun), 4d (amusing surface) and 5d (“1p” and “Kent” both ingeniously deployed). 12d produced a groan but was just about acceptable!

  6. Willow said

    I spotted the theme! Or at least, most of the references. Slightly in two minds about this. I found it all massively difficult, and solving many clues needed a lot of wide-ranging thought. However, while this eventually produced a sense of enlightenment and satisfaction, it was not always the case. But, on the whole, very enjoyable – thank you.

    Quite a few women would feel unhappy about being referred to as hot girls. Maybe some men would feel the same about hot lads? A small blip in an otherwise perfectly innocent puzzle.

    • Cornick said

      I’m fine with that 😉

    • Saboteur said

      It’s a long time since I was considered hot – if ever 🙂. And since I probably never was, I would be perfectly happy to be so described now!

    • batarde said

      Nobody has been called anything, it’s just a crossword clue. I’m sympathetic to genuine complaints about off-handedly offensive material, but really this looks like pearl clutching for the sake of it.

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