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Let's take a little trip through Europe, shall we?

enter image description here

Each level forms a word chain. Even-numbered levels (yellow) go clockwise, odd-numbered ones (white) go anticlockwise.

Each level has an answer which points to a certain region of Europe. This answer always covers the two central squares of the left column when the answers are put correctly in the grid.

The seven regions are the BRITISH isles, the IBERIAN peninsula, the BENELUX countries, CENTRAL Europe, the BALKANS, the BALTICS, and EASTERN Europe (not necessarily in this order).

The final answer is a landmark. The grid below can be used to find out the country where it's in. (This may be useful, but the final answer can be solved without it.)

enter image description here

Level 1 (↺)

a) Make purchases for clergyman without dumb Thai followers (4)
b) Furry creature makes fifth dinner with Chinese pan (4)
c) Remarkable chant turns initially left and right (8)
d) Tolkien dwarf deceased, reportedly raided (9)
e) Dylan's twin gets up to join train cars (6)
f) TV doctor does not get to finish letter (3)
g) Swim team finishers make clergyman (4)
h) Car hub arbitrarily stores vegetable (7)
i) Originally marketed Apple computer! (3)
j) Eva drinks regularly, makes money (5)
k) Celtic people inspect shades (8)
l) City numbered 55-4 or 56-5? (4)
m) Unusually keen body part (4)
n) Definitely head evil! (5)

Level 2 (↻)

a) Poet cartoon character (5)
b) Automobile headquarters (4)
c) Short sibling returns ball (3)
d) Kangaroo makes concealed space (4)
e) Subject is hidden in laptop icons (5)
f) Reduce a short miniature in serving (8)
g) In an odd way, sulfur rust garbles words (5)
h) Maker of action flicks or armoured vehicle (6)
i) Historical region and location for rhapsody (7)
j) Wearing neck-covering clothing, reportedly painted (8)
k) Truncated palindrome language is a different language (5)
l) Japanese artist devastates Tokyo, striking giant tail (4)

Level 3 (↺)

a) One in three parts of rum behind sandwich ($1a$) leads to confusion (8)
b) Actress ($2l$) takes McCartney's heart in the end of time (6)
c) Before second hand clenched around last ($2a$) (5)
d) Laughing at ($2h$)'s spiritual journey (4)
e) Noted ($2g$) retracted in conclusions (7)
f) Island with ($2k$) minority language (4)
g) City with televised emergency ($2d$) (4)
h) ($1g$) head figure is Arabic leader (4)
i) Blue ($2c$) with a twisted heart (5)
j) ($1d$) with an outer covering (7)

Level 4 (↻)

a) Tribe lost on ($3f$) (6)
b) Vintage winery ($1j$) secretly (4)
c) Battle site with ($3j$) cypress (5)
d) Singer's dress about fourth ($2e$) (4)
e) ($3i$)'s top surveyer has black gold (4)
f) ($1m$) joint regularly brightly coloured (4)
g) Country's ($3c$) lady gets an award finally (4)
h) ($2j$) shirt covering beginners born yesterday (5)
i) Strangely, no middle-aged ($1e$) starts lynching (5)
j) Virtual places to take a ($2b$) before finishing dishes (5)

Level 5 (↺)

a) Wake to start fires with ($4f$) in the mountains (7)
b) Nearly last ($4a$) surrounded by exotic malts (6)
c) Dutch octet follows the lead of ($4c$) vessel (5)
d) ($4g$) with large quadricycle, among others (6)
e) Browse ($4j$) for extraordinary furs (4)
f) Industry covers up ($4h$) score (3)
g) Two pens ($4i$) produce digits (4)

Level 6 (↻)

a) ($5b$) renowned little city (4)
b) Food buried in Shinto ($5a$) (4)
c) Execution ($3e$) not in place (6)
d) Province's complicated rules about ($5c$) terminal (6)
e) Half of ($5d$)'s capital backing short pastor Phoenix (5)

Level 7 (↺)

a) ($6d$) city not fast to give points as capital (8)
b) Bury ($6a$)'s entrails next to grave (6)

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  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Wow @jafe. That is a lot of effort. Your puzzles are well thought out. +1. Another note. Is it me or it just seems like the readership on PSE has suddenly come down in February? $\endgroup$ – DEEM Feb 10 at 14:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is fun. @jafe, am I right in thinking that (4h) is a little bit loose? I mean, the definition part of the clue is (adjective) (noun) and the answer is X, and really it's X (noun) that matches (adjective) (noun), right? (Apologies if this is incomprehensible; I'm trying to avoid spoilers.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 10 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan If I understand correctly, I think you're right. Wiktionary lists X as a noun with the meaning "X (noun)", but in normal speech I think you'd be more likely to say "X (noun)" than just "X"... Does that make sense? $\endgroup$ – jafe Feb 10 at 15:59
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Huh, so it does. Never heard it used that way. Also, I think you have all three parts, not just two, in 3a. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 10 at 16:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Aargh. I have just about everything (including the final answer) but there's one damn clue I am failing to solve :-). $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 10 at 16:55
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First of all, the solutions to the cryptic clues:

Level 1 [Iberian peninsula - Vettones]

SHOP      a) Make purchases for clergyman without dumb Thai followers (4)
EWOK      b) Furry creature makes fifth dinner with Chinese pan (4)
SINGULAR  c) Remarkable chant turns initially left and right (8)
BOMBARDED d) Tolkien dwarf deceased, reportedly raided (9)
COUPLE    e) Dylan's twin gets up to join train cars (6)
PHI       f) TV doctor does not get to finish letter (3)
IMAM      g) Swim team finishers turn to clergyman (4)
RHUBARB   h) Car hub arbitrarily stores vegetable (7)
MAC       i) Originally marketed Apple computer! (3)
EARNS     j) Eva drinks regularly, makes money (5)
VETTONES  k) Celtic people inspect shades (8)
LVIV      l) City numbered 55-4 or 56-5? (4)
KNEE      m) Unusually keen body part (4)
DEVIL     n) Definitely head evil! (5)

Level 2 [Central Europe]

HOMER     a) Poet cartoon character (5)
SEAT      b) Automobile headquarters (4)
ORB       c) Short sibling returns ball (3)
ROOM      d) Kangaroo makes concealed space (4)
TOPIC     e) Subject is hidden in laptop icons (5)
DIMINISH  f) Reduce a short miniature in serving (8)
SLURS     g) In an odd way, sulfur rust garbles words (5)
ABRAMS    h) Maker of action flicks or armoured vehicle (6)
BOHEMIA   i) Historical region and location for rhapsody (7)
COLOURED  j) Wearing neck-covering clothing, reportedly painted (8)
MALAY     k) Truncated palindrome language is a different language (5)
YOKO      l) Japanese artist devastates Tokyo, striking giant tail (4)

Level 3 [Eastern Europe?]

DELIRIUM  a) One in two parts of rum behind sandwich (1a:SHOP) leads to confusion (8)
MONROE    b) Actress (2l:YOKO) takes McCartney's heart in the end of time (6)
FIRST     c) Before second hand clenched around last (2a:HOMER) (5)
HAJJ      d) Laughing at (2h:ABRAMS)'s spiritual journey (4)
RESULTS   e) Noted (2g:SLURS) retracted in conclusions (7)
JAVA      f) Island with (2k:MALAY) minority language (4)
TVER      g) City with televised emergency (2d:ROOM) (4)
ALIF      h) (1g:IMAM) head figure is Arabic leader (4)
EARTH     i) Blue (2c:ORB) with a twisted heart (5)
SHELLED   j) (1d:BOMBARDED) with an outer covering (7)

Level 4 [Benelux - Ypres]

NAVAJO    a) Tribe lost on (3f:JAVA) (6)
YEAR      b) Vintage winery (1j:EARNS) secretly (4)
YPRES     c) Battle site with (3j:SHELLED) cypress (5)
DION      d) Singer's dress about fouth (2e:TOPIC) (4)
SOIL      e) (3i:EARTH)'s top surveyer has black gold (4)
NEON      f) (1m:KNEE) joint regularly brightly coloured (4)
LAND      g) Country's (3c:FIRST) lady gets an award finally (4)
RUGBY     h) (2j:COLOURED) shirt covering beginners born yesterday (5)
ODDLY     i) Strangely, no middle-aged (1e) starts lynching (5)
SITES     j) Virtual places to take a (2b:SEAT) before finishing dishes (5)

Level 5 [Baltic states]

FUNERAL   a) Wake to start fires with (4f:NEON) in the mountains (7)
ALMOST    b) Nearly last (4a:NAVAJO) surrounded by exotic malts (6)
YACHT     c) Dutch octet follows the lead of (4c:YPRES) vessel (5)
LATVIA    d) (4g:LAND) with large quadricycle, among others (6)
SURF      e) Browse (4j:SITES) for extraordinary furs (4)
TRY       f) Industry covers up (4h:RUGBY) score (3)
TOES      g) Two pens (4i:ODDLY) produce digits (4)

Level 6 [British Isles]

RENO      a) (5b:ALMOST) renowned little city (4)
TOFU      b) Food buried in Shinto (5a:FUNERAL) (4)
OUTPUT    c) Execution (3e:RESULTS) not in place (6)
ULSTER    d) Province's complicated rules about (5c:YACHT) terminal (6)
RIVER     e) Half of (5d:LATVIA)'s capital backing short pastor Phoenix (5)

Level 7 [Balkan states]

BELGRADE  a) (6d:ULSTER) city not fast to give points as capital (8)
ENTOMB    b) Bury (6a:RENO)'s entrails next to grave (6)

Now we can fill in the grid:

completed grid

and observe

across the middle THE PARENT TERRITORY TELEPHONES which (as one of only two possibilities, really) we can reword as THE MOTHERLAND CALLS, the name of a large sculpture in Volgograd in Russia.

So we didn't need that extra hint, but

to use it we fill in those 7-letter region names (I'd thought the way they were described seemed a little strained) in order of use (layer 1 first etc.):
I B E R I A N
C E N T R A L
E A S T E R N
B E N E L U X
B A L T I C S
B R I T I S H
B A L K A N S
and read off letters according to the numbers given to get RUSSIA.

Thanks to @Tom for providing, in comments, the key observation for one clue I'd been unable to get. (I don't know whether Tom solved the clue as well; I expect so.) And then for pointing out (politely) the idiocy of the answer I proposed and showing me a better one :-).

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ 1 e) may be rot13(Qlyna naq Pbyr). $\endgroup$ – Tom Feb 10 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom Never heard of them before. But I guess that must be right. Editing. [Done. Thanks!] $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 10 at 17:28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Tiny change, thinking of rot13(pbhcyr - gb wbva genva pnef). $\endgroup$ – Tom Feb 10 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ rot13(V'ir tbg 1r! ) $\endgroup$ – JonMark Perry Feb 10 at 17:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Tom Duh! Of course that's better than what I had. [I've now re-edited my answer accordingly. Thanks again.] $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Feb 10 at 17:43
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The solution to each cryptic clues and reasons:

CAUTION: This post may contain URLs, spoilers and encoded words.


Level 1:

Make purchases for clergyman without dumb Thai followers (4)

SHOP (not sure yet; purchases)

Furry creature makes fifth dinner with Chinese pan (4)

EWOK (def: Furry creature; dinnEr + WOK a Chinese pan)

Remarkable chant turns initially left and right (8)

SINGULAR (def: Remarkable; SING + U-turns + Left And Right)

Tolkien dwarf deceased, reportedly raided (9)

BOMBARDED (not sure yet)

Dylan's twin gets up to join train cars (6)

COUPLE (def: twin; not sure yet)

TV doctor does not get to finish letter (3)

PHI (def: Greek letter; not sure yet)

Swim team finishers turn to clergyman (4)

IMAM (def: clergyman; SwIM teAM)

Car hub arbitrarily stores vegetable (7)

RHUBARB (def: vegetable; CaR HUB ARB itrarily)

Originally marketed Apple computer! (3)

MAC (def: Apple product; Marketed Apple Computer)

Eva drinks regularly, makes money (5)

EARNS (def: makes money; Even letters: EvA dRiNkS)

Celtic people inspect shades (8)

VETTONES (not sure yet)

City numbered 55-4 or 56-5? (4)

LVIV (def: City * not sure yet * ; LVI V or LV IV)

Unusually keen body part (4)

KNEE (def: body part; KEEN scrambled)

Definitely head evil! (5)

DEVIL (def: something evil; heaD EVIL! )


Level 2:

Poet cartoon character (5)

HOMER (def: Poet; not sure yet about "cartoon")

Automobile headquarters (4)

SEAT (ddef)

Short sibling returns ball (3)     [ This clue has a problem. ]

ORB (def: ball; BROther scrambled)

Kangaroo makes concealed space (4)

ROOM (def: space; KangaROO Makes)

Subject is hidden in laptop icons (5)

TOPIC (def: Subject; lapTOP ICons)

Reduce a short miniature in serving (8)

DIMINISH (def: Reduce; MINIature in DISH)

In an odd way, sulfur rust garbles words (5)

SLURS (def: garbles words * not sure yet * ; SuLfUr RuSt)

Maker of action flicks or armoured vehicle (6)

ABRAMS (def: the name of a company; not sure yet)

Historical region and location for rhapsody (7)

BOHEMIA (ddef)

Wearing neck-covering clothing, reportedly painted (8)     [ This clue has a problem. ]

COLOURED (def: painted; homophone of COLLARD)

Truncated palindrome language is a different language (5)

MALAY (def: language; not sure yet)

Japanese artist devastates Tokyo, striking giant tail (4)

YOKO (def: Japanese name; Scrambled tOKYO)


Level 3:
NOTE: If you see an encoded word, it's actually one of the BOLD
words from the previous pages.

One in two parts of rum behind sandwich rot13:FUBC leads to confusion (8)

DELIRIUM (def: confusion; I in RUM after DELI)

Actress rot13:LBXB takes McCartney's heart in the end of time (6)

MONROE

Before second hand clenched around last rot13:UBZRE (5)

FIRST (def: Before second; FIST + HomeR)

Laughing at rot13:NOENZF'f spiritual journey (4)

HAJJ (def: journey * not sure yet *; HA + ? not sure yet)

Noted rot13:FYHEF retracted in conclusions (7)

RESULTS (def: conclusions; SLURS + ET? scrambled)

Island with rot13:ZNYNL minority language (4)

JAVA (programming language)

City with televised emergency rot13:EBBZ (4)

TVER (def: City; TV+ E.R.)

rot13:VZNZ head figure is Arabic leader (4)

ALIF (not sure yet)

Blue rot13:BEO with a twisted heart (5)

EARTH (def: Blue rot13:BEO; HEART scrambled)

rot13:OBZONEQRQ with an outer covering (7)

SHELLED (ddef;)


Level 4:

Tribe lost on rot13:WNIN (6)

NAVAJO (def: tribe; ON JAVA scrambled)

Vintage winery rot13:RNEAF secretly (4)

YEAR (def: time; winerY RNEaf )

Battle site with rot13:FURYYRQ cypress (5)

YPRES (def: site; c**YPRES*s)

Singer's dress about fouth rot13:GBCVP (4)     [ Spelling error detected ]

DION (def: Singer; DON v. + topIc?)

rot13:RNEGU'f top surveyer has black gold (4)

SOIL (def: rot13:RNEGU; Surveyer + OIL)

rot13:XARR joint regularly brightly coloured (4)

NEON (def: brightly coloured; xArR jOiNt)

Country's rot13:SVEFG lady gets an award finally (4)

LAND (def: Country; Lady + AN awarD )

rot13:PBYBHERQ shirt covering beginners born yesterday (5)

RUGBY (def: Football; RUG + Born Yesterday)

Strangely, no middle-aged rot13:PBHCYR starts lynching (5)

ODDLY (def: Strangely,; 0 DD + LY nching )

Virtual places to take a rot13:FRNG before finishing dishes (5)

SITES (def: places; SIT frng + dishES )


More answer coming soon

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  • $\begingroup$ I found a spelling mistake in clue 4d. $\endgroup$ – Scratch---Cat Feb 15 at 3:31
  • $\begingroup$ Fixed the typo, thanks! $\endgroup$ – jafe Feb 15 at 5:41

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