i App Cryptic Crossword S0036 by Hoskins

August 14, 2022

Difficulty rating (out of five): 🌟🌟

The puzzle can be found online here, available for free, though you do need to register first.

Thanks first to my fellow bloggers for covering while I’ve been on holiday – a couple of tough puzzles over the past couple of weeks I thought, with the last offering from Hoskins unexpectedly on the tricky side.

Thankfully, as today I’m feeling rather dazed and confused (and unused to the heat, it being rather blessedly cooler by the sea), this was a much easier, and of course enjoyable puzzle. There was a hint of the trademark Hoskins cheekiness, though not in spades, which struck me as being about the right balance. I paused briefly while solving to check out exactly what is the 7d, though I was confident of the answer, and still finished comfortably in 2* time. If you were feeling somewhat brighter this morning you might have done better still.

COD? With much to enjoy, my favourite was the aforementioned 7d – “One rung by Brown, Blair and ex-MP for Tatton? (7,4)”.

All the answers and parsing of the clues can be found in Fifteensquared’s blog from November 2017:


2 Responses to “i App Cryptic Crossword S0036 by Hoskins”

  1. Cornick said

    Welcome back Jon. I was just coming on to idothei this morning to write the blog myself, so that shows how useless I am at reading a rota…

    I really enjoyed this one from Hoskins. Lots of great surfaces, plenty of variety of construction and pleasing moments as the pennies dropped. I was wavering between 2* and 3* and slightly inclined towards the latter, if only because of the couple of unknowns.

    I was interested to read in the comments on Fifteensquared that Hoskins also writes for The Times Group and the Sunday Herald, so I now wonder if perhaps the sex & drugs & bodily functions clues he often does for the Indy (although barely at all today) are some sort of persona designed especially to fit an idea of what Independent solvers are presumed to like?

  2. Saboteur said

    Enjoyable, as I knew it would be when I saw who set it. Needed to check up on NOTUS, and the name BRIANNA was new to me, but otherwise all good. I used to be a bell-ringer (can’t – or rather mustn’t – now, due to a minor neck injury I don’t want to turn into something serious) so TANTONY BELL was fine for me. I have rung a rare pre-reformation tantony many times.
    I entirely agree about our setter having a constructed persona. I have long thought this, not on account of seeing his work elsewhere, but because he is so evidently very erudite and a person who just loves playing with word and pushing boundaries. Certainly not someone whose development became arrested mid-teens but who had a talent for cryptics.
    Welcome back, Jon! Hope the holiday was good.

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