Times crossword editor conspires with reader to sneak cryptic marriage proposal into puzzle

As marriage proposals go, it's original… and a little geeky.

Lawyer and cryptic crossword enthusiast Matthew Dick used yesterday's Times to help propose to his girlfriend, Delyth Hughes.

The scheme was carried out after Dick contacted crossword editor Richard Rogan on Twitter.

He timed it so that the crossword would appear on her birthday while they were on holiday in Cornwall.

Although the rules of the cryptic crossword prevented Dick from being able to spell out the words "Will you marry me" in the grid, he was able to give some hints.

Included in the crossword were the clues:


1. Pretty Welsh girl widely thought not to be all there (6) (Answer: Delyth)

5 “Will you marry me”, say, that’s forward also rude! (8) (Answer: Proposal)

There was also a clue with the name Matthew in it, and clues leading to the answers 'Birthday' and 'Wishes'.

Dick told The Times: "She looked so surprised and didn't say anything for about 30 seconds, before then saying 'No', which she thought was hilarious. But she did then say 'Yes' and I had to tell her this was the real Times crossword, not something I had printed out myself."

Crossword editor Rogan said: "My predecessor, Richard Browne, once put in a birthday message to a friend, but this is the first time we've done something like this, to my knowledge. And this is a one-off. We won't be doing it again."

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