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This is part 40 of the puzzle series Around the World in Many Days. Each part is solvable on its own.


Dear Puzzling,

The puzzle on the left-hand side is a regional Yajilin. Shade some cells in the grid. Two shaded cells cannot share an edge, but can touch at a corner. Then draw a single loop, going horizontally and vertically through centres of cells, which visits every unshaded cell and none of the shaded cells. The loop cannot cross itself or branch out. A number in the top-left corner of a cage marked with dotted lines indicates how many shaded cells are inside the cage. There can be shaded cells that are not inside any cage.

In the crossword on the right-hand side, each clue is actually two separate clues written one after the other. In other words, it is possible to divide the clue somewhere in the middle into two parts, with two distinct answers. For example, if the clue is “Tropical tree house guest”, the divider could be placed between “tree” and “house”, creating the clues “Tropical tree” = PALM and “House guest” = VISITOR. One of the answers is the correct answer which fits into the grid; the other answer is something else entirely, and must be ignored when filling the grid.

Today I have watched a stunning sunset at a desert area which has been the site of some historic discoveries. Can you guess where I am?

Love, Gladys.

Empty regional Yajilin and crossword grids

Crossword on Penpa+
Regional Yajilin on Penpa+

Across
1. For example, Thomas Magnum near the stern
4. Native American comedian Louis
7. Non-fossil-fuel-using automobile fit for a king
9. Seasoned actor George Clooney played in this series
10. Burn 1024 coulombs per volt
13. Psittirostra psittacea, bird that has disappeared in Hawaii city air that's badly polluted
14. Right-wing extremist news outlet controlled by the Russian state
17. They built Machu Picchu at an altitude of 7,970 feet (100 cubic decimetres)
18. Yuletide character actress Dee Wallace had a major role in this film
19. Lawrence of Arabia – a red carpet event

Down
1. For example, painting site hosted in Bucharest might end like this
2. State of high temperature where the Top End is located
3. Male thespian Arquette in Boyhood
4. Behold, a gift from the heavens!
5. Author of the opening comment belonging to you and me
6. Leave coastal waterway
8. Cozy home
10. Non-dangerous city in Queensland
11. Utter the opposite of "hi"
12. Seemingly American fashion house (2 wds.)
15. 100% of the Packers play in this state
16. Direction of Nicaragua from Belize, the "land of the free"


Gladys will return in Colourful Scenery.

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2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ How do you go about creating a puzzle like this? Seems like there would be a lot to juggle. Where do you start? $\endgroup$
    – caPNCApn
    Sep 22, 2023 at 5:59
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @caPNCApn Made the Yajilin first, then decided the method of extraction based on the length of the answer, then placed the letters forming the final answer on their correct places in an empty grid and filled in the crossword from there. Sometimes you end up with awkward letters next to each other, but you can always rotate or mirror the grid and try if you get a more workable starting point for the crossword that way. Deciding the clue gimmick was last, knowing that the solver needs some extra info in order to find the correct answer. $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Sep 22, 2023 at 8:20

1 Answer 1

13
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Gladys is at

the Flaming Cliffs

The regional Yajilin:

The cells adjacent to corners cannot be shaded because then the corner would be an unshaded pit that the loop would have to visit but couldn't leave.
enter image description here

If the top-left corner were NOT shaded then the region of three would be forced and so would the adjacent region of two: enter image description here
But that creates inescapable pits so the top-left cell must be shaded to alleviate that. enter image description here

If the blue cell was not shaded then it would again force pits:
enter image description here
so it must be shaded.
enter image description here

Similarly, if this blue cell were unshaded, it would again force a pit:
enter image description here
so it must be shaded and we have another corner for our loop:
enter image description here

Now those two regions can be completed and basic deductions made:
enter image description here

Similar logic can be applied to finish the puzzle
enter image description here

The crossword clues...

Each clue gets split into a bold half and italic half. Bold goes in the grid.

Across

PI AFT 1. For example, Thomas Magnum near the stern
BORN CK 4. Native American comedian Louis
EV REGAL 7. Non-fossil-fuel-using automobile fit for a king
VETERAN ER 9. Seasoned actor George Clooney played in this series
SEAR YF 10. Burn 10^24 coulombs per volt
OU SMOG 13. Psittirostra psittacea, bird that has disappeared in Hawaii city air that's badly polluted
FASCIST RT 14. Right-wing extremist news outlet controlled by the Russian state
INCAS HL 17. They built Machu Picchu at an altitude of 7,970 feet (100 cubic decimetres)
ELF ET 18. Yuletide character actress Dee Wallace had a major role in this film
TE GALA 19. Lawrence of Arabiaa red carpet event

Down

ART RO 1. For example, painting site hosted in Bucharest might end like this
FEVER NT 2. State of high temperature where the Top End is located
HE PATRICIA 3. Male thespian Arquette in Boyhood
LO BLESSING 4. Behold, a gift from the heavens!
OP OURS 5. Author of the opening comment belonging to you and me
GO RIA 6. Leave coastal waterway
SNUG IN 8. Cozy home
SAFE GC 10. Non-dangerous city in Queensland
TOTAL LO 11. Utter the opposite of "hi"
AS IF CK 12. Seemingly American fashion house (2 wds.)
ALL WI 15. 100% of the Packers play in this state
SE USA 16. Direction of Nicaragua from Belize, the "land of the free"

Crossword grid

enter image description here

The extra answers

are each two letters and together they spell "PICK EVERY FOURTH LETTER ON THE LOOP GOING CLOCKWISE"

If we do that

enter image description here
we get FLAMING CLIFFS!

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