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
1MARainey, ‘Mother of the Blues’, real name Gertrude Pritchett.
2GOWERAn actual cryptic clue! Cricketer David, Welsh peninsula.
3WOODA Malagasy hardwood, scientific name Dalbergia maritima
4TIERSynonym for ‘echelon’.
5CORAL ISLEA French thoroughbred. Never ran in the Melbourne Cup.
6HAWAIIAN SHIRTNot how I would define ‘dreadful’.
8FUCKING (WRETCH)See 3 across. Black Yaris abuser.
9SHEAIconic New York stadium, demolished 2009.
14VIOLENCEEffect of watching Len Goodman (see above).
17RANKSynonym for ‘position’.
19SPAsee 22 down (not across).
21SUPERIOR“Mother Superior jumped the gun” from ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’ (The Beatles).
22(SPA) TOWNResort such as Bath, in Avon (not Birkenhead).
24ALLO ALLOA personal opinion of the sitcom (see 11 across).
27INRI“Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum” – inscription on the (non-MDF) crucifix.
29RIENI‘Parents’ in Welsh.
31KOBRASnake-based ride at Chessington theme park.
32STUBAs in Stavanger.
34DROGDidier Drogba, massive at Chelsea 2004-2012.
36LOONNickname of Forfar Athletic fans.
38DOGCanine name.
Across
3WRETCHSee 8 down.
7AFIOSOAn invented Italian name.
10I-OOld MacDonald had a farm…
11BARFSee 24 down
13WHOEVERLen Goodman, celebrity nonentity.
15WOOWendy, lead singer of The Photos (actually spelt WU).
16CREEDReligious belief.
18IRANGATE(ie “woodwork”). Political scandal. Ahvaz is the capital Of the Iranian province of Khuzestan.
19SKARASkara Brae, Neolithic settlement on Mainland, Orkney.
20PINPin press, bike tool used to remove cottered cranks.
21SPECIALISTSee 5 down. (CORAL ISLE’s sire was really called Colonist.)
23ANKASinger Paul: first 4 letters of Turkish capital Ankara.
25LUPICAn ingenious invention. Wolves play at Molineux; Serbian names usually end in -ić. (The real word for ‘Wolf-like’ is lupine.)
26LOONSee 36 down.
27ILAbbreviation for Illinois.
28SGNLiterally, initials of Stuart Grainger’s Nan. (The star of ‘King Solomon’s Mines’ was spelt Stewart Granger.)
30NOLet’s not.
33RAPIDSportklub Rapid Wien, Viennese football team; Rapid Discount Outlet, collapsed Liverpool hardware store.
35ON TRIALThe Cammell Laird-built submarine Thetis sank in 1939 during sea trials, with the loss of 99 lives.
37EDILRandom letters (or the name of a Finnish wrestler).
39OR‘Alone Again Or’, song by Love.
40NOI’m not.
41RON-ROBERTZieler, Cologne-born keeper who began his career At Manchester United (not in Lancs).
42IGLOOA nickname?