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Blank 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 country). 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,

This series is starting to get a little beach-heavy, but so be it – I am in another tropical paradise with sun, sea and sand. Can you blame me? This place is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and exploring rich natural beauty under the surface. Can you guess where I am?

Wish you were here!
Love, Gladys.

Across
1. America's leading jazz bassist touring the outskirts of Cagliari, a city in the Mediterranean Sea (7)
5/34d. Automobile follows me, getting trapped inside expansive rock formation (6,4)
10. Computer-generated imagery containing gold-coloured dog (5)
11. Performer's note captured by recording device (5)
12. Azeri translation for name on old maps (5)
13/14. It's very deep language, frequently puzzling each one (6,2,3,5)
16. Part of the body of a bird, in French (5)
18. Part of England where the Village People tell you to go with South American male, perhaps (4,6)
21. Company invested in vaccination for father of twelve (5)
22. A Bird's Death on the Nile took place here (5)
23. Before Quran misinterpretation being rejected by agitated... (5)
25. ...clerical associations, Mr Imam regularly seen outside of home (10)
27. Aircraft's been ordered to turn around, but not entirely (5)
29. Powerful people getting sick on the inside results in instances of violence (8)
31. Place to see bathing porkers and massive fruit, according to Spooner? (3,5)
35. Approach from the east, parking in Marseille, a city with ancient history (3-2)
36. Speaker's spirit made a low sound? (5)
37. Proper literature ultimately exchanged for books concerning wheels (5)
38. Fruits at last found in tropical trees, leading to praises (6)
39. It is said, according to Homer: "Alas! I had to show having an expression indicating 7 down?" (3-4)

Down
1. Like the name of ABBA's one close friend, Mick, but shorter (9)
2. A famous Briton, on the European Union: "Goodbye!" (5)
3. A lot of people spectate this event every four years and watch men ogle a mom's dancing (12,5)
4. Some resistance against old Royal Navy vessel, maybe (4)
5. Work created by skilled painter's current husband, having got caught with a redhead, Diane, horribly throwing up back in nightclub (7,3,7)
6. Gladys is in contact with ZZ Top to offer vocal part (5)
7. This writer has to be inspired by Nathan's innocence (7)
8. Track decapitated Highlander? (4)
9/20/33. In front of a part of golf course, school official is down in the dumps, showing depression, at rock bottom (5,4,4)
15. Korean musician's imprisoned, bringing up unpleasant instances of large-scale mental manipulation (7)
16. Travelling here from Europe is not cheap... Hearing the price? Dear me! (4)
17. Clergyman pinched by crab? Bizarre! (5)
19. Soldiers put together small vehicle suitable for offroad use (5)
20. (See 9 down)
24. Like Mary Celeste, female saint held captive by the heartless dictatorial leader, failing to get recognition in the end (3-6)
26. (See 32 down)
28. To avoid incident, foremost newscaster based in Moscow is giving support to Slovak extremists (5)
30. After 1000 vanished, German port is visited by politician and press (5)
32/26. In the grips of decompression sickness, Larry is struggling to identify dive spot (5,7)
33. (See 9 down)
34. (See 5 across)

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1 Answer 1

8
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Gladys is currently sunning herself in:

The Bahamas! While there, she has visited Dean’s Blue Hole, Berry Islands, Bimini Road, Tongue of the Ocean, and Pig Beach.

The completed grid:

Completed crossword grid

Clue explanations:

Across
1. America's leading jazz bassist touring the outskirts of Cagliari, a city in the Mediterranean Sea (7) AJACCIO = A(-merica) + JACO containing C_I
5/34d. Automobile follows me, getting trapped inside expansive rock formation (6,4) BIMINI ROAD = B(I + MINI)ROAD
10. Computer-generated imagery containing gold-coloured dog (5) CORGI = C(OR)GI
11. Performer's note captured by recording device (5) MIMIC = MI(MI)C
12. Azeri translation for name on old maps (5) ZAIRE = AZERI*
13/14. It's very deep language, frequently puzzling each one (6,2,3,5) TONGUE OF THE OCEAN = TONGUE + OFT + EACHONE*
16. Part of the body of a bird, in French (5) FEMUR = F(EMU)R
18. Part of England where the Village People tell you to go with South American male, perhaps (4,6) WEST SUSSEX = WEST + S + US + SEX
21. Company invested in vaccination for father of twelve (5) JACOB = JA(CO)B
22. A Bird's Death on the Nile took place here (5) ASWAN = A + SWAN
23. Before Quran misinterpretation being rejected by agitated... (5) UNTIL = UNT(-ranqu)IL
25. ...clerical associations, Mr Imam regularly seen outside of home (10) MINISTERIA = M(IN)ISTER + I_A_
27. Aircraft's been ordered to turn around, but not entirely (5) DRONE = (_EN ORD_)<
29. Powerful people getting sick on the inside results in instances of violence (8) KILLINGS = K(ILL)INGS
31. Place to see bathing porkers and massive fruit, according to Spooner? (3,5) PIG BEACH = Spooner(BIG PEACH)
35. Approach from the east, parking in Marseille, a city with ancient history (3-2) RUN-UP = (P + UN + UR)<
36. Speaker's spirit made a low sound? (5) MOOED = “mood”
37. Proper literature ultimately exchanged for books concerning wheels (5) ROTAL = R(_e → OT)AL
38. Fruits at last found in tropical trees, leading to praises (6) PSALMS = P(_S)ALMS
39. It is said, according to Homer: "Alas! I had to show having an expression indicating [NAIVETE]?" (3-4) DOE-EYED = “D’OH” + I’D

Down
1. Like the name of ABBA's one close friend, Mick, but shorter (9) ACRONYMIC = A + CRONY + MIC(-K)
2. A famous Briton, on the European Union: "Goodbye!" (5) ADIEU = A + DI (Famous Briton) + EU
3. A lot of people spectate this event every four years and watch men ogle a mom's dancing (12,5) COMMONWEALTH GAMES = WATCHMENOGLEAMOMS*
4. Some resistance against old Royal Navy vessel, maybe (4) OHMS = O (old) + HMS (Royal Navy vessel)
5. Work created by skilled painter's current husband, having got caught with a redhead, Diane, horribly throwing up back in nightclub (7,3,7) BACCHUS AND ARIADNE = B (thrown 'up' to the front of the phrase…) + AC (current) + C (caught) + HUS(-_b)AND + A + R(-ed) + DIANE*
6. Gladys is in contact with ZZ Top to offer vocal part (5) MEZZO = ME (Gladys) + ZZ + O(-ffer)
7. This writer has to be inspired by Nathan's innocence (7) NAIVETE = NA(I’VE)TE
8. Track decapitated Highlander? (4) SCOT = (-a)SCOT
9/20/33. In front of a part of golf course, school official is down in the dumps, showing depression, at rock bottom (5,4,4) DEAN’S BLUE HOLE = DEAN’S + BLUE + HOLE
15. Korean musician's imprisoned, bringing up unpleasant instances of large-scale mental manipulation (7) PSYWARS = PSY(RAW<)’S
16. Travelling here from Europe is not cheap... Hearing the price? Dear me! (4) FIJI = “fee gee”
17. Clergyman pinched by crab? Bizarre! (5) RABBI = _RAB BI_
19. Soldiers put together small vehicle suitable for offroad use (5) SQUAD = S (small) + QUAD
20. (See 9 down)
24. Like Mary Celeste, female saint held captive by the heartless dictatorial leader, failing to get recognition in the end (3-6) TWO-MASTED = T(-h)E containing (WOMA(-_n)+ST) + D(-ictatorial)
26. (See 32 down)
28. To avoid incident, foremost newscaster based in Moscow is giving support to Slovak extremists (5) SKIRT = S(-lova)K +I(-ncident) + RT (newscaster based in Moscow)
30. After 1000 vanished, German port is visited by politician and press (5) IMPEL = (-k)IEL containing MP
32/26. In the grips of decompression sickness, Larry is struggling to identify dive spot (5,7) BERRY ISLANDS = BE(LARRYIS*)NDS
33. (See 9 down)
34. (See 5 across)

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This one was HARD - particularly to parse 5D and to work out the definition of 24D - but definitely very enjoyable, as usual :) Love the anagram for 3D, and 18A made me laugh... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 7 at 16:13

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