Following on from Charles Exford’s original Festive HMHB Lyrics Crossword, Dr Desperate’s popular follow-up, and Gareth and Maria’s third HMHB Lyrics Crossword, here’s something a bit different: an attempt by Dr Desperate to solve the No-one Cares About Your Creative Hub So Get Your Fuckin’ Hedge Cut album sleeve crossword. You’ll need to refer to the crossword on the album sleeve (we’re not publishing it here!) for this to make much sense.

Dr Desperate writes: “I think the best description for this puzzle, from the disorientating placement of the clues (‘down’ before ‘across’) onwards, is ‘idiosyncratic’.

“No answer lengths are given, at least one entry having too many letters for its space. 12 down (where was the clue?) sits next to an entry with neither clue nor number; for 22 across read 22 down. Some answers are invented words, others are people and animals that only the setter knows, or has imagined. For all these reasons, any solution (especially to the interlinked ‘Len Goodman’ clues) must be largely conjectural.

“And yet… we get obscure references to football, music, TV programmes and bicycle repair kit. Birkenhead and Wales are mentioned, as are the Cammell Laird shipyards. There are lines from songs by Love and The Beatles. The word ‘Hawaiian’ appears (correctly spelt).

“What does all this sound like? Who is that setter, hiding behind the pseudonym ‘Tommy McArdle’ (off Brookside)? Come on – he’s even giving you clues!”

Down
1 MA Rainey, ‘Mother of the Blues’, real name Gertrude Pritchett.
2 GOWER An actual cryptic clue! Cricketer David, Welsh peninsula.
3 WOOD A Malagasy hardwood, scientific name Dalbergia maritima
4 TIER Synonym for ‘echelon’.
5 CORAL ISLE A French thoroughbred. Never ran in the Melbourne Cup.
6 HAWAIIAN SHIRT Not how I would define ‘dreadful’.
8 FUCKING (WRETCH) See 3 across. Black Yaris abuser.
9 SHEA Iconic New York stadium, demolished 2009.
14 VIOLENCE Effect of watching Len Goodman (see above).
17 RANK Synonym for ‘position’.
19 SPA see 22 down (not across).
21 SUPERIOR “Mother Superior jumped the gun” from ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ (The Beatles).
22 (SPA) TOWN Resort such as Bath, in Avon (not Birkenhead).
24 ALLO ALLO A personal opinion of the sitcom (see 11 across).
27 INRI “Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum” – inscription on the (non-MDF) crucifix.
29 RIENI ‘Parents’ in Welsh.
31 KOBRA Snake-based ride at Chessington theme park.
32 STUB As in Stavanger.
34 DROG Didier Drogba, massive at Chelsea 2004-2012.
36 LOON Nickname of Forfar Athletic fans.
38 DOG Canine name.
Across
3 WRETCH See 8 down.
7 AFIOSO An invented Italian name.
10 I-O Old MacDonald had a farm…
11 BARF See 24 down
13 WHOEVER Len Goodman, celebrity nonentity.
15 WOO Wendy, lead singer of The Photos (actually spelt WU).
16 CREED Religious belief.
18 IRANGATE (ie “woodwork”). Political scandal. Ahvaz is the capital Of the Iranian province of Khuzestan.
19 SKARA Skara Brae, Neolithic settlement on Mainland, Orkney.
20 PIN Pin press, bike tool used to remove cottered cranks.
21 SPECIALIST See 5 down. (CORAL ISLE’s sire was really called Colonist.)
23 ANKA Singer Paul: first 4 letters of Turkish capital Ankara.
25 LUPIC An ingenious invention. Wolves play at Molineux; Serbian names usually end in -ić. (The real word for ‘Wolf-like’ is lupine.)
26 LOON See 36 down.
27 IL Abbreviation for Illinois.
28 SGN Literally, initials of Stuart Grainger’s Nan. (The star of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ was spelt Stewart Granger.)
30 NO Let’s not.
33 RAPID Sportklub Rapid Wien, Viennese football team; Rapid Discount Outlet, collapsed Liverpool hardware store.
35 ON TRIAL The Cammell Laird-built submarine Thetis sank in 1939 during sea trials, with the loss of 99 lives.
37 EDIL Random letters (or the name of a Finnish wrestler).
39 OR ‘Alone Again Or’, song by Love.
40 NO I’m not.
41 RON-ROBERT Zieler, Cologne-born keeper who began his career At Manchester United (not in Lancs).
42 IGLOO A nickname?