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This is part 20 of the puzzle series Around the World in Many Days. Each part is solvable on its own.


Dear Puzzling,

The circled numbers in this grid form a Kurodoko puzzle. Shade some cells in the grid. Cells with circled numbers cannot be shaded; the number indicates how many unshaded cells that cell sees in total (vertically and horizontally), including the cell itself. The unshaded area must be orthogonally continuous and no two shaded cells can share an edge.

Each cell in the crossword grid contains either one, two or three letters. All three-letter cells are indicated by the shaded cells in the Kurodoko. You must figure out the number and location of the two-letter cells yourself.

Today I have taken it easy. I have gone for walk in the forest, following tiny creeks among the trees, surrounded by scenery that looks like something you would find somewhere much closer to my previous destination. Can you guess where I am?

Love, Gladys.

Empty crossword/Kurodoko grid
Crossword on Penpa+ (no answer check)
Kurodoko on Penpa+

Across
1. 6 across native, deceased mimic
6. One from the water hemisphere disturbed saturnalia
7. Aerosol that comes in a can and fire – a powerful weapon
8. "Strong" legislation has many weaknesses
9. In a proficient manner, consider getting faster construction with sturdy backing
11. Harsh conditions continue – backs covered at all times
12. Extreme assault rates kept secret
14. "Endless energy produced"? That's of no use to anyone!
15. Earth unexpectedly surrounds man with liquid lead and heat

Down
1. Baker who fought for civil rights as the central figure in Barcelona, Lima and Los Angeles
2. At the eleventh hour, drinking a drop of tea or coffee
3. Just foul behind – disgusting!
4. Otherwise known as Mr Clay, and as...
5. Where the Twelve Angry Men are hurt
8. In audition, innate talent is to shine bright
9. Winged insect whose life cycle is typically 60-90 days, covering November and December, perhaps
10. Guided around eastern High Desert
11. Concert perhaps interrupts silent interval
12. US R&B singer is drug addict injecting heroin
13. Stellar altar's renovated


Gladys will return in Sardines and Octopi.

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1 Answer 1

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Gladys is in

Mullerthal, Luxembourg

also known as

Little Switzerland!

Kurodoko explanation:

Let's start with the two adjacent 3s. They obviously both have to see each other, plus one additional cell apiece. If they could see further horizontally in either direction, we would have to block both of them vertically in both directions, which would violate the no-two-shaded-cells-share-an-edge rule, so they must be blocked horizontally. The two 3s must now each see one cell vertically, and must go in different directions for the same reason. If the right-hand 3 were blocked downward, however, the bottom-right cell would be trapped, so that must see downward and the left-hand 3 must see one cell upward:

kurodoko step 1

Now, the 3 in the upper right must see the cell below it and to the left, since both are adjacent to shaded cells and therefore cannot be shaded. That already leaves it seeing 3 cells (including itself), meaning the cell above it and the cell to the right must be blocked, as must the cell two to its left:

kurodoko step 2

We can now do something similar with the 4. The cell below it and the two cells to its right cannot be shaded, so it already sees 4 unshaded cells (again, including itself). Therefore, we must block off the cell above it, the cell to its left, and the cell two below it:

kurodoko step 3

Now, we only have one more numbered cell. We know it must see the cell to its right, which cannot be shaded, but it's not immediately clear which other direction it must see. However, if the cell immediately above it is not shaded, then it must see that cell and the two cells beyond it, since neither of them can be shaded. Therefore, the cell above the 3 must be shaded. Now, we must leave the cell to its left unshaded in order to keep the white space contiguous, and therefore must shade the cell below it, completing the puzzle:

solved kurodoko puzzle

Crossword grid:

We can fill in the shaded cells from the kurodoko, and those must be our three-letter cells:

filled crossword grid

Clues:

Across
1. 6 across native, deceased mimic | EMU + LATE
6. One from the water hemisphere disturbed saturnalia | AUSTRALIAN*
7. Aerosol that comes in a can and firea powerful weapon | AXE 3def!
8. "Strong" legislation has many weaknesses | F + LAW + 'S
9. In a proficient manner, consider getting faster construction with sturdy backing - M(ASTERF*)ULL + _Y
11. Harsh conditions continue – backs covered at all times | _S (EVER) _E
12. Extreme assault rates kept secret | _ULT RA_
14. "Endless energy produced"? That's of no use to anyone! | NEEDLESS*
15. Earth unexpectedly surrounds man with liquid lead and heat | THER(M)A* + L

Down
1. Baker who fought for civil rights as the central figure in Barcelona, Lima and Los Angeles | _E_ + L + LA
2. At the eleventh hour, drinking a drop of tea or coffee | LAT(T_)E
3. Just foul behind – disgusting! | _L + AWFUL
4. Otherwise known as Mr Clay, and as... | ALI + AS
5. Where the Twelve Angry Men are hurt | IN JURY
8. In audition, innate talent is to shine bright | FLARE (~flair)
9. Winged insect whose life cycle is typically 60-90 days, covering November and December, perhaps | MO(N)TH
10. Guided around eastern High Desert | STE(E_)RED*
11. Concert perhaps interrupts silent interval | S(EVENT)H
12. US R&B singer is drug addict injecting heroin | US(H)ER
13. Stellar altar's renovated | ASTRAL*

To find Gladys,

read all of the two-letter cells, and find MULLERTHAL!

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