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This is part 6 of the puzzle series. Part 1 is here.


Dear Puzzling,

My today's destination is a bit more of a mainstream tourist spot than some of the other stops on my journey. I'm definitely going to see some of the historic sites dating back to antique times while I'm here. Today I'm simply enjoying the sun and the wonderful seaside, though. Not every day has to be full of pre-planned activities!

Each row and column in the grid contains one "special" clue, other clues are normal. In special clues, you must remove all instances of a single letter before entering the answer into the grid. The remaining letters form new, real words. For example, a clue with the answer STRAPS could have both instances of S removed and be entered into the grid as TRAP. Both the definition and the wordplay of such clues point to the full answer before removals. Note that I have omitted letter counts to avoid giving away which clues are the special ones. The dropped letters, each counted only once, reveal the final answer when read the correct way.

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

P.S. There are two unfortunate ambiguities in the grid that can only be resolved by figuring out the final answer. Sorry about that! I have no doubt you'll still be able to solve the puzzle without problems.

enter image description here

Across
1. Last of basmati rice cooked having an even lower temperature
5. Special internal thread producer
11. Lift engineer I shot
13. Amusingly big, slightly overweight Nigerian
14. Japanese discipline: Removing primary ingredient of miso soup
15. One representative piece of music equipment
16. Dave's tasteful boxing matches
17. Scenes of noise and confusion and lies surrounding murder victim
20. Perhaps the Shroud of Turin's exact copy, abandoned by Peter and Andrew originally
22. Small fish boat's captain
24. "3 down is out of order"? That's a mouthful
26. Top lounge's entrance: "Proof of identity?"
27. Fasten pieces towards the left-hand side
30. American head honcho succeeding Bill at the top
33. A traditional hat from Scotland? Thanks, man!
35. Harsh and rough shore around the west coast of Africa
36. Cuts ensue as top official briefly assumes control of United Nations
37. Board game geek, almost a lost cause
39. "– Cathy": surprisingly accepted toy, originally?
41. Classroom helpers were seated facing the wrong way (abbr.)
42. Rejecting the first male child succeeding Princess Celine
43. Born after responding to Descartes
44. Sinister-looking bathhouses making natural juices
45. Last parts of Hurricane Gordon might arrive near Florida's Keys
46. Danish city needs no rubbish

Down
2. Thoroughly search for a lieutenant's foot lost in battle
3. Maybe Comcast's head of production (abbr.)
4. Perhaps the Colorado Rockies' top hitter gets victory for a couple of times after rejecting drug
6. Capturing leader of Buenos Aires criminally concealing one area with notorious prison camps
7. Starting late, session produced unpleasant sounds
8. Enthusiast's eccentric, groovy piece
9. Edmund and Edward being newspaper employees, briefly
10. New anchor left out foremost piece of news, being a pest
12. Brute's mashed potatoes?
15. Service for large group of people
18. Provide assistance to an Irishman?
19. Source of Sauron's power, originally: piece of jewellery worn on the finger
21. One type of free book containing lyrics (except the leads) to The Threepenny Opera
23. Fox scratching foot of bird
25. Liquid that's not generally a healthy sign? Drink up!
28. Kitchen utensil to put beside flower
29. 4 down requires zero energy leading to small bodies of water
31. Cars and car parts
32. Say, Mufasa's family's vice?
34. Unit gathered about
35. Bob Dole initially was optimistic
38. Sloped pathways for wheelchair access obstructed by guitar 15 across storage
39. Small image of coin in poor condition
40. Hypocritical talk about bit of news on tip of tongue
41. Tasting everything except middle part producing sharp flavour


Gladys will return in Gladys's Word Search Cryptic.

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7
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Today, Gladys is going to be enjoying the weather in:

PAPHOS in sunny Cyprus!

The solved crossword:

enter image description here

Clue explanations (45A and 4D assisted by @user39583 in comments - thanks!):

Across
1. (basmati)I + RICE*
5. SP + INNER (spinner – P)
11. ISHOT* (hoist – I)
13. BIG* + O(verweight)
14. (j)UDO
15. A + MP
16. _VES TAS_ (vestas – A)
17. BS around ABEL (babels – L)
20. RE(p)LIC(a)
22. S + KIPPER (skipper – P)
24. ISP*
26. L(ounge) + ID
27. PARTS<
30. B(ill) + US + H(oncho) (&lit) (bush – H)
33. TA + M
35. SHORE* around A(frica) (hoarse – A)
36. PRES(ident) containing UN (prunes – P)
37. GO + NER(d)
39. CATHY* around T(oy) (&lit) (chatty – H)
41. SAT<
42. DI + (s)ON (dion – I)
43. RE + NÉ
44. SPAS*
45. (hurricane)E + (gordo)N + (migh)T + (arriv)E + (nea)R + (florida')S
46. (NEEDS + O)* (odense – O)

Down
2. COMB(a)(t) (where 't' is (lieutenan)T)
3. IS + P(roduction)
4. R(ockies) + (h)I(tt --> V)ER
6. AIRES* around B(uenos) and A(rea) (siberia – S)
7. (s)ESSION* (noises – I)
8. NUT (ddef)
9. EDS (ddef)
10. A(n)CHOR*
12. BRUTES* (tubers – R)
15. MASS (ddef) (mass – M)
18. AID + AN
19. S(auron’s) + P(ower) + RING (spring – N)
21. LIBRE(tto)
23. KIT(e)
25. SUP<
28. TO + ASTER (toaster – O)
29. PO + N(ee)DS
31. SEATS (ddef) (seats – A)
32. PRIDE (ddef)
34. MET + RE
35. HOPE + D
38. _R AMPS (ramps – M)
39. COIN* (icon – I)
40. CA + N(ews) + T(ongue) (cant – C)
41. TA(sti)NG (tang – G)

Deriving the final answer:

Reading the surplus letters down and around the edge of the grid yields PI ALPHA PHI OMICRON SIGMA. These are Greek letters whose English equivalents spell P + A + PH + O + S.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hah, nice find for 2d! Intended was rot13(pbzong zvahf n naq g). $\endgroup$ – jafe Oct 6 at 10:29
  • $\begingroup$ @jafe Ah yes, that would be a more mainstream clue! Will amend... $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 6 at 10:31
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    $\begingroup$ @jafe Must say I enjoyed the process of parsing 19D, finding an expected word in an unexpected place :) $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 6 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ I think 45A is rot13(ynfg yrggref bs "Uheevpnar Tbeqba zvtug neevir arne Sybevqn'f") and 4D is rot13(e_+[-u]v[gg->i]re) $\endgroup$ – user39583 Oct 6 at 10:34
  • $\begingroup$ @user39583 Oh very good! How did I not spot 45A?! Thanks for 4D too - a great observation there. $\endgroup$ – Stiv Oct 6 at 10:36

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