## Second to Last by Karla

### Puzzle explanation

The grid letters omitted by wordplay in clues spelt out, in the order specified, “twenty-nine years”. Using the specifications 2.4 and 3.6 for the number of digits before and after the decimal points, the letters’ grid positions gave latitude = 13.7675 and longitude = 120.186111. Treating both as positive (north of the equator and east of the International Reference Meridian) gave a point in the middle of Lubang Island in the Philippines (taking one or both as negative gave places in the ocean). Japanese officer Hiroo Onoda spent 29 years on Lubang as a “Japanese holdout” after the end of the Second World War; a 5×3 rectangle at the bottom of the grid containing JAPANESE HOLDOUT was erased. The corrections to misprints in clue order spelt “represent flag using a coloured shape”. Drawing a red disc in the blank area produced the flag of Japan. The wartime flag with radiating arms was also accepted, but not those of the Philippines or the Muncipality of Lubang, which were not the flags of the subject Onoda. The puzzle marked 50 years since Onoda’s surrender on 9 March 1974. The puzzle’s title referred to Onoda as almost the last Japanese holdout from the Second World War; the last was Teruo Nakamura, arrested on 18 December 1974 in Indonesia.

### Clue explanations

Conventions: * = anagram, < = reversal

No Misprint Answer (unclued letter) Explanation
Across
1 Yea(R)s ANNALS ANNEALS − E
5 c(E)ase ENDEAR EAR after END
10   (T)AOIST A + (h)OIST(s)
11 (P)ie TARTLET (T + T) around AR + LET
13   MO(W)RA RA after MO
16 ho(R)seman CHIRON CH + IRON
17 (E)ast COOPED CO-OP + E + D
18 (S)easons NOELS 2 meanings
19   P(E)OPLING POP + LING
21   (N)ONSENSE ON + SEEN * around S(crum)
24 Chang(E) RE-EDIT DEER < + IT
25 So(N) STOPED S + TOPED
27   AT LENG(T)H LATE * + (whe)N (payin)G (cas)H
32 profi(T)ing GAINSAID GAINS + AID
35 (F)iction LIEGE LIE + GE
36 (L)ocks TITIAN TITI + A + N
38 L(A)ke GOETHE GO + LETHE − L
39 un(G)ulate DOETH DOE + T(riptyc)H
40   MALA(Y)AN MAN around ALA
41 ta(U) ELUATE ((lik)E TAU LE(vy)) <
42 re(S)ort SCARPA CAR in SPA
43 p(I)t HOTTIE HO + T + TIE
Down
1 (N)est ATMANS (c)A(n) N(e)S(t) after ATM
2   (N)OWHERE ERE after (O + W + H)
3   A(I)RILY (Y + LIRA) <
4 pa(G)e STOOP P after STOO(l)
5   (E)TON TON
6 f(A)int DROOP (POOR + D) <
7   (A)LAP LAP
8   (R)ECENSES CE in ESSEN *
9   (S)TODGED TOD + GED
12 (C)heat ANCON A(merica)N + CON
14 s(O)me ARSHIN (h)ARSH IN(terior)
15   DOL(E) DOLL − L
20 C(L)ass HETAIRAS (THIS AREA) *; “mistress” in the clue should have been “mistresses”
22 (O)f OPT O’ + P(i)T(s)
23   ST(Y)LED ST + LED
24 t(U)ne RAGTIME RAG + TIME
26 pea(R) PREHEAT (THE PEAR) *
28 (E)at ENID DINE <
29   GA(N)JA GA + JA
30 Re(D)ding SIT OUT OTIS < + UT
31 heart(S) TEE-HEE TEEPEE with H for P
33 (H)orny SATYR SAT + YR
34 b(A)shes DOSEH EH after DOS
37 (P)ussy TALC L in CAT <
38 che(E)k GENA GEN + A