This is part 7 of the puzzle series Around the World in Many Days. Each part is solvable on its own.
This time I have a shingoki puzzle for you. Draw a single loop that passes through all the black and white circles in the grid, going horizontally or vertically through centres of cells without crossing itself or branching out. Each of the letters W, X, Y and Z stands for a different number 2–5. Numbers indicate the sum of the lengths of loop segments continuing straight from the circled cell. For example, if a circled cell has the number 3, the loop continues for one cell before turning in one direction and for two cells before turning in the other direction. The loop must pass straight through a white circle and must make a turn in a black circle. The loop will not pass through every single cell in the grid; some of them will be left unvisited.
Today I have visited a city on ancient trade routes, home to kings of centuries past. Can you guess where I am?
1. Manly dictator besieging Switzerland (5)
5. Man mostly unaffected by detonation (3)
8. Japanese company scraping bottom in the Mediterranean? (4)
9. Head of Khivans (a people from Asia) (4)
11. Flying is a no-brainer? Foolishly not taking into account the extremes in aviation (8)
12. People on the web site finally seen coming around to embrace Asian philosophy (8)
15. Almost a way to affirm love, for the Spanish players (4)
16. One who wanders from place to place, they say? (4)
17. To football league's backers, a way to cheer the Spanish players (3)
18. Stop taking MDMA to be calm (5)
1. Old lady got green light to make a pot of coffee (4)
2. A singer pinching Gladys – that's relatively painful (6)
3. Central Asian nomad's sweetheart (3)
4. Go slower to capture Nordic city (4)
5. Orders from above say: Fahrenheit units finally starting to be replaced with Celsius (7)
6. European writer without a shred of tolerance (4)
7. In Washington I'm recruiting trained leaders close to worldwide period of conflict (7)
10. Woman ultimately taking place of man (one serving time in prison) – it's natural (6)
12. Hero in film embraces king (the ruler of a large empire) (4)
13. Turncoating, heartless person from Qatar (an Arab country) (4)
14. Must... rent... adult... films... (4)
15. Saint Anthony's cross towards agnostics' and unbelievers' principal characters (3)
Gladys will return in In Remembrance of Dark Times.