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This is part 4 of the puzzle series that started at Living the traveller's dream. Each part is solvable on its own.


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Dear Puzzling,

I hope you are well. This week’s puzzle is a little different from the others. I have removed five album titles from the clues and replaced each of them with two question marks (??). You need to restore each title to its proper place before solving. The names of the albums are Atom Heart Mother, Meddle, Animals, The Wall and The Final Cut. Have fun!

Each puzzle has five "thematic" answers, which are geographical locations all in the same country. Each is notable enough to have its own article in the English Wikipedia, although not necessarily under the same name I use. Your task is to fill the grid, highlight the thematic entries, and guess which country I am currently visiting (which is not indicated in the grid). Some of the answers will be needed in the final part of the series. Except for the last part, all others are solvable on their own without knowledge of the previous puzzles.

This week I have seen lovely little islands without a tourist in sight, and watched a stunning barrage of continuous lightning strikes that for some reason has been occurring regularly in the same spot for hundreds of years. I have snorkled in warm turquoise water, ridden a cable car high above the treetops and trekked deep into tropical wilderness. Can you guess where I am?

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

Across
5. (See 27 across)
7. Drug enforcers will expose their crimes, ultimately? (7)
9. Sound studio leader in acoustics for second time (5)
10. (See 27 across)
11. (See 24 across)
12. Individually arranged intro with piano music, perhaps (5)
13. One is needed for making centuries line up, they say (3)
14. I beat a fish, having surfer's foot inside it, near a surfing destination (4,9)
17. ?? fan excited to get a uniform (5)
18. Festivals finally ending, I'm sorry to say (5)
23. Large basin and shaker covered in oil? Bake off (4,9)
24/11. Girl eating tiny vegetable before entrance to Africa, which is Luxor's location (3,5)
25. (See 31 across)
26. Dictator's intoxicated overthrow of government structure used in Japan (5)
27/5/10. ?? cycled by many, regularly and completely (3,3,3)
29. Beginning in filming location (5)
30. Protecting their leader, Mary and Russ evacuated persecuted people (7)
31/25. High IQ so used to make Mexican beer (3,5)

Down
1. Current information from every direction (4)
2. A comical satire actor often seen dancing (7)
3. Accra remodelled as country's capital (7)
4. Cut in ?? ditched (4)
5. To draw behind (3)
6. Rarely seen protecting palace (6)
7. Short, Old Nick finally satisfied; has nothing lacking (6)
8. Gladys boycotted remix of fan's illegal record drop (5,5)
13. Potential for city to entertain a father, William, with ?? (10)
15. Minute, small, tiny part of Kazakhstan's capital (5)
16. Is current drowning a son of Sarah's? (5)
19. Numbers of ?? on the rise after getting UN certifications, at last (7)
20. Group of three has initially supported my genetic condition (7)
21. (See 28 down)
22. Royal family's lads crazy about gold (2-4)
25. Other people will kiss bare feet (4)
26. Limb put under hatchet's edge, resulting in damage (4)
28/21. Touring Quebec, doctor loses our keys (3,6)


Gladys will return in The world's best and brightest.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Fun fact: Gladys was only officially introduced in May 2019, but a suspiciously similar character appeared the preceding year in Planning a round-the-world trip. $\endgroup$ – Jafe May 21 at 4:32
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[Edit: Fixed formatting of answers]

Completed grid:

GladysPinkFloyd

Across clues

7. Drug enforcers will expose their crimes, ultimately? (7)
DEAL + .E .R .S

9. Sound studio leader in acoustics for second time (5)
(st -> A.)UDIO

12. Individually arranged intro with piano music, perhaps (5)
A. + P + ART

13. One is needed for making centuries line up, they say (3)
CUE ("queue" homophone)

14. I beat a fish, having surfer's foot inside it, near a surfing destination (4,9)
I + SLAM + A + .R + GAR + IT + A

17. Animals fan excited to get a uniform (5)
F(AU)NA*

18. Festivals finally ending, I'm sorry to say (5)
.G + ALAS

23. Large basin and shaker covered in oil? Bake off (4,9)
LAKE(MARACA)IBO*

24/11. Girl eating tiny vegetable before entrance to Africa, which is Luxor's location (3,5)
LAS(VEG + A.)S

26. Dictator's intoxicated overthrow of government structure used in Japan (5)
HAIKU ("high coup" homophone)

27/5/10. The Wall cycled by many, regularly and completely (3,3,3)
ALLTHEW (cycled) + .A.Y

29. Beginning in filming location (5)
ON SET

30. Protecting their leader, Mary and Russ evacuated persecuted people (7)
MAR(T.)Y + R.S

31/25. High IQ so used to make Mexican beer (3,5)
DOSEQUIS*

Down clues

1. Current information from every direction (4)
N + E + W + S

2. A comical satire actor often seen dancing (7)
A + STAIRE (Fred Astaire)

3. Accra remodelled as country's capital (7)
CARAC* + AS

4. Cut in Meddle ditched (4)
...EDIT...

5. To draw behind (3)
TO + .W, &lit

6. Rarely seen protecting palace (6)
...ELY SEE...

7. Short, Old Nick finally satisfied; has nothing lacking (6)
DEV(O)I(-l) + .D

8. Gladys boycotted remix of fan's illegal record drop (5,5)
ANGELFALLS(-i)*

13. Potential for city to entertain a father, William, with The Final Cut (10)
C(A + PA + BIL(-l))ITY

15. Minute, small, tiny part of Kazakhstan's capital (5)
MIN + S + K.

16. Is current drowning a son of Sarah's? (5)
IS(A)AC

19. Numbers of Atom Heart Mother on the rise after getting UN certifications, at last (7)
AMO(UN)T< + .S

20. Group of three has initially supported my genetic condition (7)
TRI(S)O + MY

22. Royal family's lads crazy about gold (2-4)
ALS(AU)D*

25. Other people will kiss bare feet (4)
.E .L .S .E

26. Limb put under hatchet's edge, resulting in damage (4)
H. + ARM

28/21. Touring Quebec, doctor loses our keys (3,6)
LOSRO(Q)UES*

Where Gladys is, and what the thematic entries are:

Venezuela, in which Isla Margarita (14 across), Lake Maracaibo (23 across), Caracas (3 down), Angel Falls (8 down), and Los Roques (28 down/21 down) are located :)

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  • $\begingroup$ 8 down was darn sneaky >:P Also, I'm assuming that for 13 across, rot13(gur qrsvavgvba jbexf nf "gur yrggref bs PHR ner arrqrq gb fcryy "PRAGHEVRF"")? $\endgroup$ – oAlt May 21 at 6:55
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    $\begingroup$ Actually for 13a, rot13(praghel vf n fabbxre grez) ;) $\endgroup$ – Jafe May 21 at 8:29

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