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For over a decade, Oxford University Press has asked its staff and online community to help it choose a Place of the Year. Past winners have been as varied as our lost ninth planet, Pluto, and the host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa. This year, each of the four places on the short list was important for its own reason, but one stood out among them. Complete the crossword puzzle and unscramble the letters in the shaded boxes to spell out the chosen 2017 Oxford Place of the Year.

One Across answer in each row must be altered to fit in the grid, forming an unclued entry in one of two related categories. When the grid is filled, the circled letters, read left to right, will say where these new diagram entries appear, ultimately. Enumerations for the Across entries are withheld; Down entries are normal. Good luck!


 1 Cushion stuffed with long-processed grain

 5 Sensual messenger, perhaps, in Berkeley

10 Greek letter on back of napkin—it might be double

11 Resting places with a turkey? Nonsense

12 Bird went into the water

13 Young animal is oddly chubby

14 Chief of police to agent: “A passport could be settled in advance”

16 Digital storage in retrograde medium, or…

18 …alternatively, Michael’s electronic holdings

20 Carefully examine sexy man at gym

21 Small beer transaction

23 For each sound made by a cat, loudly…

27 …suspicious stare is something shocking

29 Inside of café, anger is burning

30 Saucy dog, for example, swallows part of rug

31 Die in peace, drained of energy

32 Opening an old five-and-ten, surprisingly

33 Muscleman returned no strong tennis stroke, lacking height

34 Press down headgear softly


 1 Contest mediocre grade in algebra, e.g. (5)

 2 Quantity obtained from a horse (6)

 3 Meat is 29, lacking limits (4)

 4 Thanks poet for archaic garment (6)

 5 Spells “scorch” and “manuscript” (6)

 6 Assistant’s crazy idea (4)

 7 Marine beginning to nudge molten rock uphill (5)

 8 Game is ruined when some people are discriminated against (6)

 9 Aristocrat is mostly amusing in retreat (4)

15 Chemical element (copper) I stored in alcohol (6)

17 Consumed with school in England, we hear (5)

19 Boo-boos are found covering sailor’s back (6)

20 Poles in boxes (5)

22 Caterpillar? Varmint, somewhat! (5)

24 Author and university elevated knight (4)

25 Kill animal specialist at rear of zoo (4)

26 Above a river dividing many countries… (4)

28 …a way to get power from water without a dam (4)



ACROSS 1 anag. 9 CHA[t] + GRIN 10 TRI(BU)TE 11 ENSU(R)E 12 S + UPERIOR (our ripe anag.) 14 anag. 16 final letters 17 ALI + AS (&lit.) 18 L(YRIC)ISTS (I cry anag.) 20 F(RIGHT)EN 22 B(L)EACH 25 CUL(PRI)T 26 AN + TH[r]ILL 27 anag.

DOWN 1 SU(C + C)ES + S 2 “praise” 3 letter bank 4 rev. 5 OUT NUMBERS 6 anag. 7 “Jew, Belize” 8 REGRE[e]T 13 T + W + ELVES + TEP (rev.) 15 I + NITIALS (is Latin anag.) 16 anag. 17 A(F + FE)CT 19 SC(HOL[d])AR 21 rev. 23 A MISS 24 2 defs.