12
$\begingroup$

This is part 37 of the puzzle series Around the World in Many Days. Each part is solvable on its own.


Dear Puzzling,

This is an Aquarium puzzle. The grid is divided into “rooms”. Shade some cells in the grid so that every room can be divided by a horizontal line so that every cell on the line and below it is shaded, and every cell above the line is unshaded. Fully shaded and fully empty rooms are allowed. Numbers outside the grid indicate how many shaded cells are in the direction of the arrow.

Small blue numbers in the grid form a diagramless crossword. The answers to the clues a–k are in alphabetical order. Only the starting points of the clues are given in the grid; you must determine which clue starts at which number. The direction of each clue is given by the arrow next to it. Some cells will be left empty in the grid.

Today, I have taken a boat tour to explore a snow-covered environment full of rich wildlife. I have seen walrus, polar bears, musk oxen, Arctic foxes and enormous flocks of seabirds. I am definitely making good progress, but there’s still a long way to go before I get to complete my round-the-world trip. Can you guess where I am?

Love, Gladys.

Empty Aquarium/crossword grid
Aquarium on Penpa+
Crossword on Penpa+

Crossword clues
→ a. Dasher is John Travolta's role in Disney film (4)
↗ b. Head of Deutsche Post getting increasingly mad (6)
↗ c. Collaborate to leave the Queen unharmed (6)
→ d. Liberal dandy has provided for upward movement (7)
→ e. Did badger, trapped by bushranger Kelly originally, accidentally get gutted? (6)
↗ f. Not all of European atomic powers working towards common goals (4, abbr.)
→ g. Caesar's one son, a young man (5)
↗ h. A dried-up lake from the northeast has all areas replaced with uniform rock (5)
↘ i. In Disney's Aladdin, Abu ultimately is brown (6)
→ j. Carry order beyond western front: "Say, 'Hooah!'" (3,3)
↘ k. Stretch of lawn that's less than one metre long (4)


Gladys will return in Around the Bend in Many Steps.

$\endgroup$

1 Answer 1

10
$\begingroup$

Gladys can be found at

Wrangel Island!

Clues:

a. Dasher is John Travolta's role in Disney film (4) - BOLT ddef
b. Head of Deutsche Post getting increasingly mad (6) - D_ + AFTER
c. Collaborate to leave the Queen unharmed (6) - INT(-er)ACT
d. Liberal dandy has provided for upward movement (7) - L (IF) TOFF
e. Did badger, trapped by bushranger Kelly originally, accidentally get gutted? (6) - N(A_ G_ G_)ED
f. Not all of European atomic powers working towards common goals (4, abbr.) - _N ATO_ g. Caesar's one son, a young man (5) - S + A + LAD
h. A dried-up lake from the northeast has all areas replaced with uniform rock (5) - (a->U) + L(a->U)R(a->U)<
i. In Disney's Aladdin, Abu ultimately is brown (6) - WAL(_N _U)T
j. Carry order beyond western front: "Say, 'Hooah!'" (3,3) - W_ + ARCRY*
k. Stretch of lawn that's less than one metre long (4) - YARD ddef

To fit them in, notice that

WALNUT, being a southeasterly word, has only two places it can go: 1 and 3. If it goes at 3, there must be a word at 9 starting with T, but we have no words starting with T, so it must go at 3. This restricts several of the easterly words, like WAR CRY, LIFTOFF, and NAGGED, and from there it's pretty easy to fill in the rest of the grid, like so:

completed crossword grid

Onto the aquarium. In the spirit of the puzzle, I'll be using blue for shaded cells and yellow for unshaded ones:

We can start by marking cells that must be either shaded or unshaded based on our initial clues. For example, the room in the top left has 3 cells, but with a 2 pointing down its entire length. Therefore, the top cell must be unshaded. Similarly, along the bottom row, at least one of the two cells that share a room must be shaded, and due to the rules of the puzzle, they must both be shaded. Here are all of these deductions:

aquarium step 1

We can now fill in unshaded cells which are above other unshaded cells in the same room. This gets us some big empty chunks in the middle:

aquarium step 2

Let's look at the 5 clue along that long diagonal. With 3 cells confirmed to be unshaded, we now have only 6 cells remaining, so at least the bottom two cells of each of the remaining rooms must be shaded, and so must all the cells at or below their levels:

aquarium step 3

Now, look at the 2 at the top left that's pointing down and to the right. It already sees one shaded cell, so we can safely mark the uppermost of any stretch of 2 cells in the same room as empty. One of these, the second cell from that 2, also means that the cell next to it is empty:

aquarium step 4

With that empty cell, notice that there are only 3 possible shaded cells along the top left side, and 2 of them must be shaded, so we can safely shade the lowest cell in the higher room. This now completes the other 2, so we can fill in the rest of that diagonal as unshaded, plus a couple additional cells, including completing the long diagonal 5 and the short diagonal 2:

aquarium step 5

From here, we jump to yet another 2 on the left side - the one pointing straight across. That one only has 3 unidentified cells, and 2 are in the same room, so both of those must be shaded and the other one unshaded. Each of these also determines a few more cells:

aquarium step 6

The four on the far right now has only one way to finish it off, which in turn completes the 2 in the top right and the 4 pointing northeast in the bottom left:

aquarium step 7

Now, notice the 3 clue along the bottom. It only needs one more shaded cell, and since both of its remaining cells are in the same room, it must be the lower one. This completes the 4 going straight across that row, and crucially, the 1 on the long diagonal, which allows us to mark a large portion of the board as empty:

aquarium step 8
At this point, everything else is trivially finished off, and we come to our final solution:

aquarium solution

Now, to find Gladys,

overlay the two grids on top of each other:

the aquarium grid and crossword grid combined into one grid

Reading the shaded cells gives WRANGEL ISLAND!

$\endgroup$
2
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ The word you're missing for (c) is rot13(VAGRENPG). $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Sep 1, 2023 at 16:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ah, thanks. I struggled with that one for a bit but I hadn't finished the aquarium yet so I decided I would come back to it and then I just forgot lol. in hindsight, I should've gotten it but isn't it always like that $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Sep 1, 2023 at 16:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.