Posted by Hihoba on May 4th, 2011
The title told us that we were in the weddings arena, though the proximity of the forthcoming royal nuptials seemed to be less of a help than I expected.
My first solution was 3D LEGATE, which I unwisely entered, and this effectively prevented the solution of the top half of the puzzle until I realised my mistake!
So I persevered with the bottom half, which came out pretty easily, though I finished with a number of queries (including whether CT SCAN is two words or three). This of course means that I only had the end of the phrase spelled out by the extra letters in the wordplay of the across clues. It seemed to involve “going north”.
None of the down clues in the bottom half had needed alteration, so some down clues in the top half had to be altered by moving some letters “north” and 1A had to be constructed by the altered words. By this time I had EDGE and IN RE for 6 and 7 down, and realised that they made impossible combinations for 9A and 13A. So after some use of the eraser and solving a few more across clues I found the phrase “COUPLE GOING NORTH” and duly shifted LEGATE to become TELEGA (which I had to look up) and EDGE to GEED, IN RE to REIN and, lo and behold, 1A appeared as GRETNA GREEN – Union Activity for a Couple Going North!
I have a few minor quibbles in addition to the CT SCAN problem. In 33A the word cut seems to be used to indicate an anagram, which I’m a bit dubious about and I don’t like my explanation of the wordplay in 29D. 30D caused serious grief – the answer was clear but not the wordplay, but Ho solved it with a flash of insight a week after this blog’s original version!
There is a completed diagram at the bottom. There is an oddity in the diagram, which is unsual (though not unique). The fourth and tenth rows contain no words, only barred off letters.
|Clue||Answer||Extra letter||Definition: Wordplay|
|9||ARRESTEE||C||Person in custody: RESTE(d) (remained mostly) in (C)ARE (worry)|
|11||MARLY||O||Mottled: MA + half of R(O)LY-POLY|
|13||MEITHS||U||Landmarks: ME + I + TH(U)S|
|15||FINGAN||P||Coffee cup: GA(P) in FINN|
|16||BLORE||L||A blow: LORE after B(L)|
|17||PETARD||E||Bomb: PET(E)R (safe) including A + D(unnite)|
|20||ERRONEOUSLY||O||By mistake: [Y(O)UR LONE ROSE]*|
|22||CAEN||I||French town: [N(I)CE]* round A|
|23||NASEEM||N||Arab character (not keen on this definition!): SEE(N) in MAN reversed|
|26||TREND||G||Fashion: (G)EN replaces A in TRAD(itional)|
|27||STONED||N||Drunk: SON + E(N)D swallowing half of iT|
|31||CHEESE||O||Dairy product: EE in the middle of CH(O)SE|
|32||DEERE||R||Greivous (old): ER(R) in DEE|
|33||ASEPTATE||T||Not partitioned: (T)ASTE (inclination in Ch Thesaurus) round [PEAT]* (that’s cut as anagram indicator?)|
|34||NETHERWORLD||H||Hell: NET (clear) + HERD round W(H)ORL|
|Clue||Answer||Grid Entry||Definition: Wordplay|
|1||MEGA||GAME||Very good: A GEM reversed|
|2||RANTER||ERRANT||Preacher: REAR reversed (back, turning up) round N(orthern) T(erritories)|
|3||LEGATE||TELEGA||Ambassador: becomes ATE (worried) without LEG (support). Excellent!|
|4||MANAT||ATMAN||Asian currency: MAT (tangle) round AN|
|5||EDGE||GEED||Bitterness: WEDGE (club) minus W(omen)|
|6||IN RE||REIN||Concerning: IRE round N(ame)|
|7||TROUSES||ESTROUS||Bags: TRO(n) (market mostly) + USES|
|8||STERNE||NESTER||Author: EASTERN, move E to end and remove A|
|10||SHIRALEES||Swagmen’s bundles: SHIRES round ALE|
|12||YEARNED||Desired: YEAR + NED|
|14||HIERARCHY||Organisation running: H(ungar)Y round [HIRECAR]*|
|16||BLOATED||Overstuffed: OAT (pipe) in BLED (ran) not the reverse!|
|18||DEN||Study: D taken from last to first in END|
|21||RE-ELECT||Bring back: REEL + [ETC]*|
|22||CT SCAN||Image in X-rays: CUTS (economies) minus U(niversity) + CAN (is able) but is it two words?|
|24||SOWETO||African area: SOO(N) (presently cut off) round WET|
|25||ENDEAR||Cause to be admired: END (goal) + EAR (attention)|
|27||STEER||Double meaning: control and Scottish form of stir (commotion)|
|28||YEAH||Absolutely!: YE + A + H(istory)|
|29||ESSE||Existence: Hesse is a German writer, which by some stretch might be ‘ESSE in cockney speak (but the pronunciation would be wrong!). If that’s right I don’t like the clue, if not are there any other suggestions?|
|30||NEED||Requirement: E(nglish) in DEN reversed. The “central answer” in the clue refers to 18D (answer DEN) which is in the centre of the grid!|