3943 Roadies by Bandmaster

Gregson enjoyed this puzzle a great deal. The theme became evident when Gregson spotted Southwark hidden in the top row. Bandmaster elegantly maintained the theme of Chaucer’s pilgrims throughout the puzzle and the final touch of including Watling Street was a tour de force.

 The first letters of extra words gave a quotation from Dryden – “Like pilgrims to th’appointed place we tend”.

Selection of letters from down answers in clashing squares led to ten pilgrims appearing in rows (Friar, Merchant, Miller, Shipman, Monk, Parson, Host, Summoner, Squire, Reeve, modifying frier, (Cran)mer/chank, milker, shopman, mook, pardon, hose, summoned, squirr, reave). Changing E in "piler" to G gave "pilgrimagers" in the centre. Corrected clashes plus misprint gave (in row order) ATLING STREE, suggesting Watling Street (now in part the A2) as the route. Solvers had to highlight W (in Southwark) and T (in Canterbury) as beginning and end of the itinerary.

Extra words in clues are shown in square brackets.

ACROSS
1 Thus do high [liners] cross the meridian (5)
SOUTH SO (thus) + UT (do) + H (high) Here SOUTH is a verb – to cross the meridian
5 Conflict [involved] Edward II, say, operating at Bannockburn (7)
WARKING WAR + KING
10 One wielding pan's waste (not dry) (5)
FRIER FRITTER less TT (teetotal)
11 Stop chap returning to [kill] grandchild (4)
OBOE BO (rev) + OE
13 Opening in chess worked, with me [exchanging] rook for bishop (7)
CRANMER C (first letter in CHESS) + RAN + ME + R (rook)
15 Round loop ---- the stuff of Hindu bangles (5)
CHANK C (round) + HANK
17 [Pressure] cooker, a pound in weight (4)
KILN L (pound) in KIN
18 The type surrounded by French waters? Alderney, maybe (6)
MILKER ILK in MER (sea in French)
19 Retailer's discarded letter about cessation after noon (7)
SHOPMAN HO + PM in SAN (discarded Greek letter)
21 Oscar [isn't] getting medal? How surprising! (4)
ODSO O + DSO
22 [Lutherans] do well to speak as Quakers did (4)
THEE 2 meanings
24 Woven kimono could show in this Japanese reading matter (4)
MOOK comp. anag. in + MOOK =KIMONO
26 Accumulator's large stake [generates] resistance (5)
PILER PILE + R
28 In my time, Royal Society [registered] recording devices (7)
IMAGERS I + M + AGE + RS
29 Old [invigilator] mutters "Yes ... no ... right ... not right" (6)
ROYNES anag. YES NO R
31 What a festival (6)
PARDON 2 definitions
34 Something you can use for spraying on your feet? (4)
HOSE 2 definitions
37 Being [military], sees battles (4)
ESSE anag. SEES
38 Mum's done wrong: called to appear in court (8)
SUMMONED anag. MUM’S DONE
41 [Singaporean] cook eats Malaysian dish (4)
SATE anag. EATS
43 Old beetle wing's dropped by rodent (6)
SQUIRR (Shakespeare to scurry) SQUIRREL less EL
44 Walter's friend mistakenly [trips] in fireplace (5)
INGLE  2 definitions INGLE² Walter Scott (origin obscure)
45 Annual riots? Missing an [opportunity]? If unarmed, you might not have one! (4)
ULNA anag. ANNUAL less AN
46 Rifle taking front off armour (5)
RIEVE (G)rieve
47 [Theoretical] inclination in axis, perhaps? It's unlikely to hold water (8)
DECANTER CANT in DEER Axis is a white-spotted deer of India
48 Earth year follows unending speedy [heliocentric] ride (4)
BURY BUR(N) + Y

DOWN
1 Candied fruit cook cored and put in type of [apple] pudding (6)
SUCKET C(OO)K in SUET
2 River [power] plant lacks current (4)
URAL URALI less I
3 Beer can bind pub in (6)
TINNIE INN in TIE
4 Bar in middle of river (4)
HAME middle letters of T(HAME)S
5 New [Porsche] car, ultimately skidding, skirted tar? (4)
WREN anag. new + (CA)R
6 [Officer's] girl embraced by an aviator (6)
AIRMAN IRMA in AN
7 Toxin resistance almost [impeded] killing (5)
RICIN R + ICIN(G)
8 Ex-Chancellor's [neurotic] gasp amid reduction of capital (4)
KOHL OH in KL (Kuala Lumpur)
9 [Trendy] service ---- an extraordinary thing, avoided by posh church (5)
NONES NONESUCH less U (posh) CH (church)
12 Rotten quality to beset head of locks? (8)
BALDNESS L (head of locks) in BADNESS & lit.
14 Sir [Edmund] merrily greeting poet (5)
RISHI anag. SIR + HI
16 Old women and toddlers (5)
TROTS 2 definitions
20 Ponder [drama's] opening (4)
PORE 2 meanings
23 [Pepper] is seen in more pungent paste (4)
MISO IS in MO (more)
24 [Lambs] bleat "Mother" by the sound of it (3)
MAA Sounds like MA
25 Somebody frightening [animal] is so retrograde (4)
OGRE ERGO reversed
26 [Car] in a hurry speeds dangerously round end of corner (7)
PRESSED R (last letter of CORNER) in anag. SPEEDS
27 Dog always returning in some light [exercise]? (4)
LYAM AY reversed in LM (lumen)
30 Spirits unman one when drunk [witless] (6)
NUMINA anag. UNMAN I (see NUMEN)
32 Horse-handler or [equerry] round evacuated stable (6)
OSTLER ST(AB)LE in OR
33 [Tartan] cap with half turn (Quebec) (5)
TUQUE TU (halg TURN) + QUE
35 Press [excoriates] bishop in his own domain (5)
SERRE RR (Right Reverend) in SEE (domain od bishop)
36 German municipality judge (5)
TRIER Town in Germany 2 definitions
39 Fruit lacks [nitrogenous] earth in North African city (4)
ORAN ORANGE less GE (Earth ( ref. goddess))
40 Roman cardinal's embraced by English counterpart, rising in closest kinship (4)
NEXT X (Roman cardinal number 10) in TEN reversed
41 Stop boy climbing at back of bus (4)
SNEB S (back of bus) + BEN reversed
42 After start of entertainment, see sinuous [dancing] (4)
EELY E + ELY