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Empty crossword grid

Letters from Gladys are geography-themed standalone crosswords. Each puzzle has five thematic answers, which are places, sights or landmarks in or around a certain location (in this case, a city). Each thematic answer is notable enough to have its own article in the English Wikipedia, although not necessarily under the same name that is used here. The goal is to fill the grid, identify the thematic answers and guess the name of Gladys’s destination, which is not indicated in the grid.

Dear Puzzling,

My today's destination is probably best known for its amazing beaches. Glad I brought my bikini! This place also has plenty of natural beauty to offer if one is willing to look a little bit further. Can you guess where I am?

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

Across
1. Charge a right-winger in church to be filled with ideology in the name of God (9)
6. Lackey of St George, being exhausted, inhaled oxygen repeatedly (6)
11. As commentated, tackle Jaromír Jágr? (5)
12. Guardsmen in jail caught old stalker (5)
13. Baseball team has extra energy for matches (5)
14. Georgia's neighbour, near Tbilisi's eastern side, has provided some entertainment (3-2)
15. Guy's "Essential in Blues" only played in an obscure fashion (10)
17. Wild safari pressured to be a place where all the tourists go (7,8)
19. Product made by the Swiss and others (over 1,000,000 people) (8)
20. Characters "in kinship" aren't always related to mum and dad (8)
23. Pervert (or coke user?) chasing journalists: "They make things hot and steamy!" (8-7)
25. Being the main attraction of the day (and hour), Gladys entered New England on two separate occasions (10)
26. Said to be famous (5)
29. The casino in Melbourne, Victoria had one (5)
30. American leader, in the end, left behind (5)
31. "Inhabitant" of America's Alcatraz (technically, imprisoned) (5)
32. Say, pre-Columbian people's tattoo artists (6)
33. Granters of permissions or removers of falsehoods on the radio? (11)

Down
1. Supports area near Cambridge University (5)
2. Rural area's investigators' leader entered crime scene – "Both feet cut off in the wrong order" (6,3)
3. Speech in response to the building of the wall in China: "Bieber unexpectedly wanting a ship" (3,3,3,8)
4. Web browser sounding out features of hypertext (4)
5. Large block of New Zealand cheese, found under chair, oddly ignored (5,3)
7. Highlands seafarer in fiction seen during horrible brain mutation (9,8)
8. Poetry penned by Old English shepherd (7)
9. By lecture's end, produce sassy written works (6)
10. Landmark also known as a "bridge" at ranch constructed around mountain range (7,4)
16. East Asians brutalised holding spades? That's murder (11)
17. Last bits of vegetable pieces and meat cooked with a bit of water? (4)
18. A 22 down panorama fades ultimately, I'm sorry to say (4)
21. 22 down, naked baseballer Cobb crept back to meet amphibian climbing up (6-3)
22. Today, I learned about Quran interpretation that's peaceful (8)
23. Self-important individual Gregory has excellent company (7)
24. Once and again I support church being pretentiously stylish (6)
27. Dodges goose eggs at the Oval? (5)
28. Legendary Greek character in exotic surroundings (4)

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2 Answers 2

2
+50
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Gladys's destination is

City of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia

Grid


Once again, a pangram!

Clues



The cryptic definition in 27D is a reference to cricket (played on an oval field), where duck is a score of zero (as is goose egg in some other games).

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice work! I'll award the bounty once the time limits allow it. In 27d the Oval with uppercase O was meant to refer to a specific place, although I suppose there are other places in the world with the same name and purpose, and like you say it could also be a generic term as well. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Jan 25 at 23:49
3
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Below is the completed grid. But before you look, I'd suggest that if you enjoy cryptic clues and crosswords, why not give this one a go yourself? There's a ton of lovely wordplay and many excellently constructed clues to discover.

completed grid

It's late, so I'm going to leave it at that for now. But clearly, several of the answers are pointing towards

areas near the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think your missing 4D should be this $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 18 at 8:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Ah yes, thanks! $\endgroup$ Jan 18 at 15:42
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Jafe Great clues, great grid. As an American, I did have to look at where you were from to see whether 32A made sense! $\endgroup$ Jan 18 at 15:44
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    $\begingroup$ Thanks, and nice to see an old new face here :) Admittedly not ideal that 32a only works for certain speakers, but I think it's still fair game since we're not tied to any certain flavour of English here (also I couldn't come up with anything better). Would you mind adding wordplay descriptions to the answer (examples here and here)? In a standard crossword the filled grid is pretty much self-explanatory, but in a cryptic some answers might not be obvious to everyone from the answer alone. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Jan 19 at 12:11

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