As Mariia mentioned in her answer above, this is indeed
By guessing that
Now, some logic and educated guesses help narrow down the moves:
Now let's see the letters that we'll need:
Continuing on like this, all moves are forced to go in one specific place, until the solution is reached:
What is "Clap" by Steve Howe?
Top removed from crooked talking tree (3)
A bush for wingless peacock having no energy left (4)
Drive without a stick (3)
Writer of Introductions to Pharaohs of Egypt (3)
Oxford educator identifying flower in Russia's south (3)
French city seen in anime series (5)
The finale is held in crescendo (3)
The Russian desman
After much staring and thinking and dictionary-trawling I remain confused by 8d, which I can't make any sense of either as a p.d. or as an ordinary clue. [EDITED to add: M Oehm figured it out; see below.]
Credit where due:
Okay. THAT. WAS. INCREDIBLE!
It took me two solid hours of work to solve and even longer to write and draw it all up here - hopefully it'll be worth it! To start us off, here is the final maze layout and routes:
In the following explanation all colours have been abbreviated to their initials as follows: G=Green, O=Orange, P=Purple, Y=Yellow.
So first of all,
From the top right,
And now it's time for the main break-in to the puzzle: there's an interesting question hiding in this clue layout.
There's another question in there, with a similar method.
So, armed with this new constraint, we can make some more deductions:
More connectivity constraints give more deductions, leading to the solution....
This is a pretty difficult puzzle! My solution here has a lot of 'usual' deductions left unmentioned.
So first of all, all the 1s can be closed off:
Now, there's one cell that must be focused on:
Now, an important question appears:
Now, we can finish the upper right corner, and start on the lower right:
Now, I make an assumption for sake of ...
To start, some loop segments are decided already, without looking at any clues. There are also some dots we can mark (for "visited by the loop"), because their shading would create a dead end.
Next, check some clues:
Some more clues only have one way to be satisfied:
Now, two clues interact in an interesting way:
First of all:
This deduction can be extended:
Now we can start shading cells:
Now, some more cells have to extend some amount in given directions:
And now the rest of the puzzle can be easily resolved.
Some basic deductions (either "if this was shaded, there would be too many cells"; "if this was unshaded, there would be too few cells"; or "if this was shaded/unshaded, there would be no way to make up the remainder exactly with the remaining cells") get this far:
Now look at the column
...and basic deductions solve the rest of the puzzle....
The first puzzle was definitely trickier:
I did it by hand (as you can tell from the image), so I don't have @jafe's neat write-up. It did not require any guessing and used similar methods. After the start, I did the right-hand few columns, then the bottom few rows and filled in the rest from there. The deductions are very neat and were typically of the ...
Look at the second column and try to place the 6.
This leads to some immediate deductions in the right-most column, and the whole solution follows by the usual rules of the puzzle.
If you still want to solve the puzzle yourself, do not view the next spoiler!