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This is part 48 of the puzzle series Around the World in Many Days. Each part is solvable on its own.


Dear Puzzling,

The larger grid here is a Takuzu puzzle (also known as Binairo). Fill the grid with black and white circles so that every row and column contains exactly five black and four white circles, and no row or column contains three of the same symbol adjacent to each other.

The small middle box is a diagramless cryptic crossword. Solve the given clues and fit the answers inside the grid. You do not need to worry about symmetry or checking rules this time – simply find a configuration where every answer fits somewhere in the grid in the correct orientation. Clues are listed so that their answers are in alphabetical order; across and down clues are alphabetised separately.

Today I have explored World War II era shipwrecks which, despite being reminders of much death and destruction, now host a surprisingly wide variety of marine life. Can you guess where I am?

Love, Gladys.

Empty grid
Takuzu on Penpa+ (no answer check)
Crossword on Penpa+

Across
a. God of every person (and one horse) (5)
b. God! A disturbed man's broken in to give religious teachings (5)
c. Prophet and head of monastery brewed chai (5)
d. God's taking excessive quantity in (4)
e. Lord wearing posh uniform declined starters of lettuce and ox tongue (4)

Down
f. God anointee's not fully rising, leading to turmoil (3)
g. Prophet's got one size thinner at the middle for friend of Saint-Denis (3)
h. Lord is regularly taken aback, in actuality (3, abbr.)
i. Lord of 1,000 Chinese people (4)
j. Lord passed on road by Oscar and John (3)


Gladys will return in Towering Above.

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    $\begingroup$ Haven't even begun to solve it, but this puzzle looks awesome as always from you. $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Dec 21, 2023 at 9:27

1 Answer 1

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Gladys is in:

Chuuk Lagoon in Micronesia. This can be found by solving both parts, overlaying the two, and reading off the letters from the crossword that share spaces with white circles in the Binairo.

The Binairo can be solved as follows:

Step 1:

Some immediate placements to avoid three-in-a-row of one colour:

Binairo Step 1

Step 2:

There must be a white somewhere in R2C6-7 (to avoid an illegal run of blacks) so the others in this row are black. Knock-on logic places more circles.

Binairo Step 2

Step 3:

R5&8C3 must both be black to avoid a run of 3 blacks if the last white in this column were in one of these spaces. Further knock-ons.

Binairo Step 3

Step 4:

We can also place blacks in the remainder of C4. Also, the last white in R7 must be in C2-3 to avoid a run of 3 blacks, thus R7C5-6 are both black. Further knock-ons.

Binairo Step 4

Step 5:

Place a white in R6C2 and follow through the knock-on logic until you reach the end:

Binairo Step 5 - completed configuration

The cryptic crossword clues resolve as follows:

Across:
a. God of every person (and one horse) (5) ALLAH = ALL (every person) + A + H (horse)
b. God! A disturbed man's broken in to give religious teachings (5) DOGMA = GODA* containing M (man)
c. Prophet and head of monastery brewed chai (5) MICAH = M_ + CHAI*
d. God's taking excessive quantity in (4) ODIN = OD (excessive quantity) + IN
e. Lord wearing posh uniform declined starters of lettuce and ox tongue (4) URDU = U (posh) + (-lo)RD + U (uniform)

Down:
f. God anointee's not fully rising, leading to turmoil (3) ADO = (_OD A_)<
g. Prophet's got one size thinner at the middle for friend of Saint-Denis (3) AMI = A(l → M)I
h. Lord is regularly taken aback, in actuality (3, abbr.) IRL = (L_R_ I_)<
i. Lord of 1,000 Chinese people (4) KHAN = K (1,000) + HAN (Chinese people)
j. Lord passed on road by Oscar and John (3) LOO = LO(-rd) + O (Oscar)

And they can be fitted into the grid space as follows:

Completed crossword

This configuration was discovered by trying to place both MICAH and ALLAH horizontally with room to place KHAN vertically in a compatible manner. IRL and URDU followed, and the rest was just a case of jigsawing them in (deciding which of col 2 and col 3 to fit LOO in was crucial).

Overlaying both puzzle solutions we get the following:

Overlaid solutions

And reading off the letters in the white circles gives our answer:

Chuuk Lagoon

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  • $\begingroup$ man, I was about halfway through my write-up... well done! $\endgroup$
    – juicifer
    Dec 21, 2023 at 14:39
  • $\begingroup$ @juicifer Ah, that's painful - I know that feeling well. Sorry! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Dec 21, 2023 at 14:40

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