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This is part 13 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,

My long trip is finally over. This is my last destination before heading home. It has been a wild ride! I hope you have been paying attention, because you will need all the previous answers for the final puzzle, which I'll send you two weeks from now.

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 a poet's birthplace and visited a town split in two by an international border. I have walked in enormous citrus plantations, watched a match at a historical soccer stadium, and worked on my tan on a lovely beach sheltered from the ocean winds. Can you guess where I am?

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

Across
1. Group of musicians from centre of Natal, a city on Brazil's coast (4)
3. Art missing from ancient city resort (3)
6. Orlando ballplayer initially refused to stand out (4)
11. Setter deceives exhausted Ethiopian playwright (5)
12. City vet dies horribly, after cutting his side, in the grips of infectious disease (10)
13. Bottle of cordial left by Ms Stafford (4)
14. Eat and drink (3)
16. (See 15 down)
18. Ripe middle part cut from vegetable's curves (5)
21. Drug enforcer beheaded using bow (4)
22. Article by Times covering fellows accepting no one for ceremonial nomination (10)
25. Home vandalised by Phil and Ivan, regularly resulting in disorder (10)
26. Hurt unknown author with radical views (4)
28. Not available to overtake leader in auto racing to get award (5)
31. A fictional techie's held, vocally, under cloud that's watery (7)
34. The people here escaped London prison network (3)
36. Banks in Canada will do this to Ghostbusters when there's something strange in your neighbourhood (4)
38. Some swell men, dedicated to be returned to good health (4,6)
40. Pulled behind to tie the knot (5)
41. Fiddler on the Roof, say? Who's playing? (4)
42. Social security's starting to produce old software? (3, abbr.)
43. Border town cook gutted fleeing from murderous doll (4)

Down
1. Shy boy with driver licence, say (5)
2. One working for a small charge (3)
4. Playful creatures scrubbing PRC bigwig's dishes (4)
5. A web crawler perhaps acquires understanding, superficially concerning... (5)
6. ...Mr Tolstoy natively taking part in international events (3)
7. Vegetable that's taboo to be put upside down outside of India (5)
8. City that's number 14 in series started by two Spice Girls? (4)
9. Arthur's time to be Belle's suitor (5)
10. In '52, vessels negotiate very shortly and cohabitate in a civil manner? (4,2,3)
15/16a. Kick British singer's feet in East Timorese resort (5,3,4)
17. Temporary stand-in for short column in disrepair (5)
19. Only barely work mill with many, including myself (9)
20. Poorly cleaned dwelling near unknown river (4)
21. Father abandoned New World native, resulting in pain (4)
23. Artist extremely inspired by love god, unendingly encouraging spirit (5)
24. Small forage fish suspect traps (5)
27. Posh guys under roof of landlady's unit (5)
29. Small voice describing second city (5)
30. Travelled on waterway? Or pathway on land? On the air? (5)
32. Unfortunately, Gladys messed up, losing $1,000 (5)
33. Four out of 52 speed competitions starting late (4)
35. Duplicate extremely risqué cut (4)
37. Like the sound of a double bass–cello–woodwind part (3)
39. Homer quote: "Oh, to follow the lead of Dionysus!" (3)


Gladys will return in Left wanting more.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is "14" correct in 8 down? $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Jul 30 at 8:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ (Checks again) Yeah 14 is correct there. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Jul 30 at 8:47
  • $\begingroup$ Really struggling with the wordplay for some of these today! I have the crossword solved, but 4 across clues are proving tricky to parse... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 30 at 9:05
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(Thanks @Stiv for shedding light on 8D :) )

I am sure Gladys's last destination is:

Uruguay!

I believe Gladys stopped by at these locations:

the capital, Montevideo, and the cities Chuy, Punta del Este, Salto, and Melo.

Completed grid:

TheEndOfAWildRideCompletedGrid

Clues, answers, and explanations:

Across

1. Group of musicians from centre of Natal, a city on Brazil's coast (4)
TRIO T + RIO

3. Art missing from ancient city resort (3)
SPA SP(-art)A

6. Orlando ballplayer initially refused to stand out (4)
LOOM (-b.)LOOM (Orlando Bloom)

11. Setter deceives exhausted Ethiopian playwright (5)
IBSEN I BS + E.N (Henrik Ibsen; bullsh*t ≈ deceive)

12. City vet dies horribly, after cutting his side, in the grips of infectious disease (10)
MONTEVIDEO MON(VETDIE(-.s)*)O (mono = mononucleosis)

13. Bottle of cordial left by Ms Stafford (4)
VIAL (-jo)VIAL (cordial ≈ jovial; Jo Stafford)

14. Eat and drink (3)
SUP ddef

16. (See 15 down)

18. Ripe middle part cut from vegetable's curves (5)
TURNS TURN(-.ip.)S

21. Drug enforcer beheaded using bow (4)
ARCO (-n)ARCO ("using bow" is the definition)

22. Article by Times covering fellows accepting no one for ceremonial nomination (10)
ANOINTMENT A (NO I) T(MEN)T

25. Home vandalised by Phil and Ivan, regularly resulting in disorder (10)
HEMOPHILIA HOME* + PHIL + I.A.

26. Hurt unknown author with radical views (4)
MARX MAR + X (representing unknown variable in math)

28. Not available to overtake leader in auto racing to get award (5)
OSCAR (na -> O.)SCAR

31. A fictional techie's held, vocally, under cloud that's watery (7)
AQUEOUS A Q(U..E. ..OU.)'S (Q from James Bond series) (I'm assuming "vocally" means "taking the vowels" but I don't exactly see how...)

34. The people here escaped London prison network (3)
TOR TO(-we)R (Tower of London; Tor network)

36. Banks in Canada will do this to Ghostbusters when there's something strange in your neighbourhood (4)
CALL C.A + 'LL (def starts at "do")

38. Some swell men, dedicated to be returned to good health (4,6)
WELL MENDED ...WELL MEN, DED...

40. Pulled behind to tie the knot (5)
TOWED TO + WED (tie the knot = get married = wed)

41. Fiddler on the Roof, say? Who's playing? (4)
SHOW WHO'S*

42. Social security's starting to produce old software? (3, abbr.)
DOS DO + S. (social = party = do; disk operating system/disk-based operating system)

43. Border town cook gutted fleeing from murderous doll (4)
CHUY CHU(-c.k)Y

Down

1. Shy boy with driver licence, say (5)
TIMID TIM + ID

2. One working for a small charge (3)
ION I + ON (working = active = functional = on)

4. Playful creatures scrubbing PRC bigwig's dishes (4)
PIES PI(-xi)ES (Xi Jinping)

5. A web crawler perhaps acquires understanding, superficially concerning... (5)
ABOUT A + BO(U.)T

6. ...Mr Tolstoy natively taking part in international events (3)
LEV ...L EV... (Lev Tolstoy = Leo Tolstoy in Russian)

7. Vegetable that's taboo to be put upside down outside of India (5)
ONION NO-(I)NO<

8. City that's number 14 in series started by two Spice Girls? (4)
MELO In a series started by Mel B and Mel C (two of the Spice Girls), the third would be Mel D, fourth Mel E, and so on... so the fourteenth would be Mel O!

9. Arthur's time to be Belle's suitor (5)
BEAST BEA'S + T (Bea Arthur)

10. In '52, vessels negotiate very shortly and cohabitate in a civil manner? (4,2,3)
LIVE IN SIN LI(VEINS)I + N. ((as a couple) live together despite not being married)

15/16a. Kick British singer's feet in East Timorese resort (5,3,4)
PUNTA DEL ESTE PUNT + ADELE'S + .T .E

17. Temporary stand-in for short column in disrepair (5)
LOCUM COLUM(-n)*

19. Only barely work mill with many, including myself (9)
MINIMALLY MILLMANY(I)*

20. Poorly cleaned dwelling near unknown river (4)
STYX STY + X

21. Father abandoned New World native, resulting in pain (4)
ACHE A(-pa)CHE

23. Artist extremely inspired by love god, unendingly encouraging spirit (5)
ERATO ER(A.T)O(-s) (Greek Muse)

24. Small forage fish suspect traps (5)
SPRAT TRAPS*

27. Posh guys under roof of landlady's unit (5)
LUMEN L. + U + MEN (U = "relating to the upper class")

29. Small voice describing second city (5)
SALTO S + ALTO (is "second city" supposed to mean "second most populated city"?)

30. Travelled on waterway? Or pathway on land? On the air? (5)
ROWED ROAD homophone

32. Unfortunately, Gladys messed up, losing $1,000 (5)
SADLY (-g)LADYS*

33. Four out of 52 speed competitions starting late (4)
ACES (-r)ACES

35. Duplicate extremely risqué cut (4)
REDO R.E + DO (cut = hairdo = 'do)

37. Like the sound of a double bass–cello–woodwind part (3)
LOW ...LO-W...

39. Homer quote: "Oh, to follow the lead of Dionysus!" (3)
D'OH D. + OH (Homer Simpson quote)

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  • $\begingroup$ Well done on getting your solve in! I was still trying to nail down the wordplay for 13A and 31A (which it seems you also had trouble with). Re 8D the wordplay is based on rot13(gur frevrf ortvaavat Zry O, Zry P, [Zry Q, Zry R, ...], jubfr 14gu ryrzrag jbhyq or Zry B!). $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jul 30 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ (edited) Thanks for the help on 8D :D That's a bit sneaky @Jafe :P (P.S. Yeah, I also struggled with 13A, since I had to rot13(cnefr "yrsg ol" nf "yrsg bhg") (which I believe is what was going on there) which I wasn't used to.) $\endgroup$
    – oAlt
    Jul 30 at 9:18

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