i Cryptic Crossword 3289 Hoskins

August 23, 2021

Difficulty rating (out of five): ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ

Not every solver does, I know, but I love puzzles from Hoskins. He so evidently loves playing with words, revelling in creating entertaining surface readings and mischievously misleading word-play. And he’s not averse to a little self-mockery, and seems not to take himself too seriously – despite being at least as erudite as any other setter; consider the surface reading of the clue for SHIN. Playing with words is the essence of cryptic crosswords, and in my opinion, Hoskins is one of the best.

Other highlights included the definition in SPORTS BRA, the resonance between surface reading and answer in NERDIEST, and the clever definition for my Clue of the Day, 17d: “Mass reunites awfully Christian-minded folk?(9)”.

Here’s the link to the IoS first appearance,with all the answers and explanations. It’s well worth reading the setter’s own contribution in the comments.

Independent on Sunday 1,422 by Hoskins

6 Responses to “i Cryptic Crossword 3289 Hoskins”

  1. dtw42 said

    My last ones in were 18d and then 23a … but it was all finished before 7.30.

  2. jonofwales said

    Great puzzle, about 1* for difficulty here, though with a few unparsed. Last in 18d followed by Uncle Joe, though only because I couldn’t get REPAIRED out of my head. 20ac was my favourite, with lots to enjoy.

  3. Willow said

    I was able to complete this puzzle and I thought a few clues were quite good.

  4. thebargee said

    Agree completely with Saboteurโ€™s blog, absolutely loved it, a bright and breezy start to the week.

    Just bordering on 2* for me, if Iโ€™d managed to parse my LOI, 20a, I think I would have gone for 1*. I thought 4a and 17d were both great.

  5. Cornick said

    Yup. Very clever. 18d a little too clever for me at the death, but enjoyed the shenanigans en route.

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