Note: This is another in my sequence of post-Mystery-Hunt cryptics, which started with "Still There," "Post-Game Predictions," "The Sequel," "Power Lines," "A Lesson in Cryptography," and "Yet More Villainy"; this one was written before the 2010 hunt and refers to the 2009 hunt. (The abbreviations 11C and NI3, as is usual in the National Puzzlers' League, refer to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 11th ed. and New International Dictionary, 3rd ed.)

by Kevin Wald

It seems like only a year ago we were escaping from Zyzzlvaria, and now here we are again. As before, this is a two-step process:

Part I: Inner Zyzzlvaria. For each clue whose answer intersects Inner Zyzzlvaria (the shaded region in the grid), you must determine the location of one vitally important letter! Namely, the letter that is not given by the cryptic part of the clue.

Part II: Outer Zyzzlvaria. Oh, no! A bunch of really important entities have gotten lost! To reflect this, for half of the remaining clues, the answer must be entered in a confused manner. (The resulting grid entries are all 11C words; they include four capitalized terms, which designate a book, city, lake, and river that are American, biblical, French, and German, but not respectively.)

The other half are more helpful, however. In each of these clues there is an extraneous three-letter sequence (trigram) in one word; this trigram must be removed before solving. These trigrams can be assembled to give a list of (pluralized) entities that might provide aleatoric felicity to those just starting out, along with the singular entity that controls them all! (The latter is not first on the list, but is in the first half.)

And that's not all. There are eight unclued entries in the grid that are also of value. Find these, and use the list of entities to reorder them (the first and last entries in the grid will remain first and last respectively in the new order). Then read the letters these entries (in the new order) have in the positions you found when you were just commencing this enterprise (in clue order), and you will all make . . . something!

ACROSS

13. The Cuban pundit in a Japanese sash displaying ÷ symbols (5)
14. Outstare Guiana's lizards (7)
15. Oakland ballplayers flipped over marsh's other half immediately (4, abbr.)
16. Ocean touching the foot of Shakespearean actor Connery (4)
17. Maroon rice-cake shop equipment (4)
18. Filming outside of Edmonton with Carol (7)
20. Lament not having uranium hours before noon (4)
22. Core of Lensman book about real West Scottish hillside (4)
25. Odd components of trifler's old piston engine part (4 3) [NI3]
27. Actor Caine remade Malice (7)
28. Over-comfortable with firearms (4)
29. Shamuses overheard people who maintain machines (4)
31. PS: Card, unfortunately, was abrasive (7)
36. Short note before Fats's chord, finally being inverted, gets darker (4)
39. Reshoot of Quatre-Vingt-Un in modern German and French (4)
41. Edward, entering real "rumpus rooms," blushes (7)
42. Waldoes in Taos reconstructed Rome's seaport (5)

DOWN

1. Chunk of beef Al cooks for actress Edie on The Sopranos (5)
2. Balfour in the center of Lisbon dancing with members of an African tribe (4)
3. Once again showed nurse comprehends sclera (5)
4. Gratify quiet lady with facility (6)
5. Earth orbiter's center obstructs the sun (4)
6. Spicy, petite bit of chile to add to the pot (7)
7. Opposed t' getting old saloons \$1000 (4)
8. String instrument up at Paris in Roman times (7)
9. Bein' eager to fall when going around amorally out west (5')
10. New mythical bird in school heads towards the spooky creature with one horn (7)
11. Live next to one source of coffee (4)
12. Radical certainly drinks from a whiskey bottle (4)
19. Land of shamrocks and angry internet messages? (4)
21. Regret returning old French or German coin (4)
23. Ultimately, brands and cups on French street had piled up (7)
24. Can identify a yeast-like fungus (7)
26. Mother of Hercules, Cal, Dotty, Tom, Dick, and Harry, say (7)
28. Endorsers of big gala can have words with elephant-headed Hindu deity (6)
30. Guide an ox (5)
32. Reportedly draw salary like a real go-getter (4 1)
33. Deflate unenergetically a half-step away from cove (1 4)
34. "A pilgrimage? Harsh!" said (at last) Jay (4)
35. Level of noise from cartilaginous fish (4)
37. Issue of news magazine getting tossed (4)
38. Spinning vessels cease to move (4)
40. Leon, who wrote Exodus and The Smallest Stearate In This Country (4)