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This is part 5 of the puzzle series that started at Living the traveller's dream. Each part is solvable on its own.


enter image description here

Dear Puzzling,

Hi, it's me again! I don't know if you have noticed, but there are a lot of things in geography that have multiple claimants for being the "largest" of one category or another. Things can be measured in so many different ways, and any place that can claim the top spot according to one metric will surely advertise that as if it's the only thing that matters!

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 visited an authentic mining town, watched birds on the river banks, witnessed a rodeo, and seen the world's largest waterfall. I believe it's the third time this trip! Can you guess where I am?

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

Across
1. Stuck in Allendale, the market town near the border (6)
4. (See 22 across)
10. Empty wigwam owned by Native American nation's premier seafarers (7)
11. Operation described by fantastic utopia, one taken extremely seriously (7)
12. Occupied with till (2,2)
13. Maybe Rosemary Hancock – the jazz pianist, that is – is missing (4)
14. Slave worked to create low-lying lands (5)
16. Repin an evenly made uniform (one with red) I have slightly repaired for runner (8,5)
18. Cataract's fatal? I lurk, see poorly (8,5)
21. "Wrong" side has excellent intentions (5)
22/4. City characters, caught by Dobermann, are gin addicts (4,6)
23. Epic game's conclusion: dad going berserk (4)
25. Explosive horror novel penned by author John Gregory (7)
27. Mediterranean island Zakynthos's westernmost part is flippin' great (7)
28. Cross for one cleverly following (6)
29. What Spooner might expect to do in Napa, showing two-finger gestures? (1,5)

Down
1. In Havana, what is enclosed in Carl's spoilt surfaces? (8)
2. Crown of Voldemort essentially taken by Potter in disguise (7)
3. Muppet's lost ring identifying trees (4)
5. Hobbits encountered one during adventure (3)
6. Vlad from Romania? Gladys is lighter in colour (7)
7. Supporters of LBA basketball briefly discuss champions: Olimpia Milano (6)
8. Prisoner on film faces bad spots with good connections (8,5)
9. Local noblewoman embraces American brutality (13)
14. Vivian briefly provided foot of body to animate (6)
15. Article on twitches and tricks (6)
17. People on the run, behold! Step up to claim the ultimate among prizes (8)
18. Paper eager to get large text uncovered (7)
19. Two males going in opposite directions captured, accidentally, flat insect? (7)
20. Fabric-covered German town with many mines (6)
24. Multiple leaders in both Uzbekistan and Israel displaying the latters' weaponry? (4)
26. Under the weather that's windy, flyers claim secondary positions (3)


Gladys will return in Take nothing but pictures.

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So many cool and unique wordplays here! And the surfaces of 27A and 17D are gorgeous! $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    May 27 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ @samm82 Thanks! Glad you liked it. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    May 27 at 22:09
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The filled grid:

filled 15×15 crossword grid

Clue explanations:

clue explanations, with each clue's solution written in standard cryptic annotation style

And the country Gladys is in is

Guyana, as seen by the answers LETHEM, RUPUNUNI RIVER, KAIETEUR FALLS, ANNA REGINA, and LINDEN.

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  • $\begingroup$ Man, I was so close too! I was stuck on 20D and 25A; I couldn't get rot13(YVATRA) and rot13(THASVER) out of my head.... One of these days.... $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    May 27 at 17:31

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