Irregular Crossword Clue Explanation (January 2008)

Theme: SCYTHER

5 across: A playing card that transmits electromagnetic waves. (9)

Answer: AERIALACE

An aerial transmits electromagnetic waves, and an ace can be a playing card. Relates to the theme because Scyther can learn the Aerial Ace TM.

6 across: Use 27 across before while making sure not to confuse it with 7 down. (10)

Answer: BRICKBREAK

27 across, Focus Energy, forms a contest combo with Brick Break. "Brick Break" and "Rock Smash" sound awfully similar, but of course, they do completely different things. Scyther can learn the Brick Break TM in Diamond and Pearl, which is how it relates to the theme.

8 across: From nonexistence to 34 to tutoring to 87. (7)

Answer: SWAGGER

Swagger didn't exist in Red, Blue and Yellow, was TM34 in G/S/C, not a TM but an Emerald tutoring move in the third generation, and is now TM87. Scyther can learn Swagger by all those methods.

11 across: The theme's Reign. (6)

Answer: DIALGA

The Day of Scyther, August 6th, is in the Reign of Dialga in the Cave of Dragonflies Zodiac.

14 across: Quite possibly the most needed new TM of Diamond and Pearl. (10)

Answer: FALSESWIPE

False Swipe is a great TM, considering its usefulness for catching Pokémon. Scyther learns False Swipe by level-up.

15 across: But that's my favorite hobby! (5)

Answer: MIMIC

Copycat tells you this in Red, Blue and Yellow to protest your apparent request for her to stop mimicking you. Scyther can learn the Mimic TM in R/B/Y/G/S/C as well as by move tutor in Emerald or FR/LG.

17 across: Hand over that wand! (9)

Answer: BATONPASS

Hand over (pass) the wand (baton). Scyther learns Baton Pass as an egg move.

18 across: It wouldn't have done the theme much good if it hadn't been for the physical/special change in D/P. (10)

Answer: NIGHTSLASH

Night Slash is a Dark-type move, meaning that before D/P, it would have been special, and Scyther's Special Attack is far too low for it to pay to give it any special moves. This can only be Night Slash because it says it "wouldn't have done the theme much good if it hadn't been for" rather than "didn't do the theme much good until", so it could only have been a move introduced (at least in Scyther's movepool) in D/P; it learns a couple of other Dark-type attacks as well, but has had them since before the change.

21 across: The theme is one of the better users of this move in the game, but only sometimes. (3)

Answer: CUT

If a Scyther has Technician, only a few Pokémon will be able to pull off a more powerful Cut than it. If it has Swarm, however, it's clearly nothing outstanding.

23 across: A guy on Seven Island gives free dance lessons. (11)

Answer: SWORDSDANCE

This is not a reference to the Chansey Dance house, but to the Swords Dance move tutor located on the bridge. Scyther learns Swords Dance by level-up, but can of course learn it from the tutor as well.

24 across: You'll need to rush it to the Pokémon Center for this. (9)

Answer: SONICBOOM

Not a reference to an in-game Pokémon Center, but to a New York Pokémon Center giveaway where one could obtain a Scyther with Sonicboom.

26 across: A Psychic move learned by a whole bunch of Pokémon but only one pure Psychic-type and two other part-Psychic evolution lines. (7)

Answer: AGILITY

Agility is learned by 83 Pokémon in total, but of them only the Speed Deoxys, Girafarig and Metang/Metagross are actually Psychic-types. Among those non-Psychics that learn the move is Scyther.

27 across: Possibly the most bugged Pokémon move in R/B/Y. (11)

Answer: FOCUSENERGY

Focus Energy is supposed to raise your chance of scoring a critical hit, but in R/B/Y, it instead decreased your chances of critical hits or didn't affect them at all, depending on the situation.

28 across: Until recently, the theme's evolution was one of only two Pokémon to be able to use this move and get STAB for it. (9)

Answer: STEELWING

Steel Wing is a Steel-type move, but learned virtually only by Flying-type Pokémon, making Skarmory the only Pokémon to get STAB for it at first glance. However, the exceptions are Scizor (which evolves from a Flying-type Pokémon, Scyther) and Empoleon (which is based on a bird).

1 down: Kind of like the starters, except not. (5)

Answer: SWARM

The Swarm ability is functionally identical to Overgrow, Blaze and Torrent aside from applying to a different type (it boosts Bug-type attacks by 50% when the user's HP is 1/3 of the maximum or less). The latter three abilities are possessed only by the starters from each generation of the respective type, so this effect is particularly associated with the starter Pokémon. This relates to the theme, of course, because Swarm is one of Scyther's two abilities.

2 down: It has a job? (10)

Answer: TECHNICIAN

The word 'Technician' generally refers to an occupation. It relates to the theme because it is the other one of Scyther's two abilities.

3 down: Trivial? (7)

Answer: PURSUIT

Reference to the game Trivial Pursuit. :P Relates to the theme because Scyther learns Pursuit.

4 down: The tables have turned? (8)

Answer: REVERSAL

The name 'Reversal' refers to the move's ability to deal heavy damage to the foe when the user is about to go down, having the potential to reverse the situation, or turn the tables. Relates to the theme because Scyther can learn Reversal (by breeding).

7 down: An HM much improved. (9)

Answer: ROCKSMASH

Rock Smash used to be a pain to have to teach one of your Pokémon in R/S, since it had only a lousy 20 base damage. In D/P it has been doubled to 40, which makes it at least not quite as bad as before, and of course still has the side-effect of lowering the opponent's Defense 50% of the time.

9 down: The TM you get from a Gym leader who, appropriately, has the theme. (10)

Answer: FURYCUTTER

Bugsy gives you TM49 in G/S/C, which contains Fury Cutter. Bugsy has a Scyther, and in a way Fury Cutter can be called Scyther's signature move.

10 down: Learned by the theme ever since Yellow. (10)

Answer: WINGATTACK

Wing Attack was not part of Scyther's movepool in Red and Blue, but in Yellow it learns it at level 50, and in the subsequent games it has retained it as a level-up move, although it has learned it earlier.

12 down: The more intimidating version of two functionally identical moves that a few Pokémon learn both of. (4)

Answer: LEER

Leer and Tail Whip have the same effect, same PP and same accuracy. However, a number of Pokémon, including Tauros, Cubone and Rhyhorn, learn both Tail Whip and Leer naturally anyway. It is relevant to the theme because Scyther learns Leer, though obviously not Tail Whip.

13 down: Would have been appropriate for the theme if not for the physical/special change. (8)

Answer: AIRSLASH

Air Slash is a Flying-type move, meaning that Scyther gets STAB for it, and if it had existed prior to D/P, it would have been physical. While Aerial Ace outclasses it in damage on a Technician Scyther, Scyther's nice Speed would have been able to use the 30% flinch rate, and of course, it does have "Slash" in its name, after all. However, since Air Slash is a special move, Scyther can't use it well at all.

16 down: Wrong typing, poor base damage, two turns, no first-turn benefits, useless TM... what more can they do to humiliate this poor move? (9)

Answer: RAZORWIND

Razor Wind is a Normal-type attack that screams to be Flying-type, takes two turns to execute without any sort of benefit on the first turn, has only 80 base damage for this (less than for example the single-turn Body Slam, and only slightly more than the single-turn also-high-critical-hit-ratio Slash), and was nonetheless a R/B/Y TM-exclusive move. Now, in D/P, it is learned naturally by a few Pokémon (including Scyther, the theme), but lo and behold, all of those Pokémon have higher Attack than Special Attack, and Razor Wind is of course special. Is it some sort of "Haha, look how awful this move you just taught to your Pokémon is!" inside joke by Game Freak? Then again, that would actually make some sense, because it's move #13 after all.

19 down: An earlier move given a different name to replace it. (10)

Answer: GIGAIMPACT

Giga Impact and Hyper Beam are functionally identical, except that Hyper Beam is now special and Giga Impact is physical. As all Normal-type attacks, including Hyper Beam, used to be physical, Giga Impact basically now functions exactly like Hyper Beam used to. Scyther can learn the new Giga Impact TM.

20 down: The only way the theme will want this is if it comes from XD. (8)

Answer: SUNNYDAY

Sunny Day powers up Fire-type moves as well as increasing the potency of Synthesis, Morning Sun and Moonlight and removing the charging turn for Solarbeam. Since Scyther is weak to Fire-type moves and doesn't ordinarily learn any of the moves Sunny Day benefits, it doesn't seem like a very useful move for it, but it can learn Morning Sun through Pokémon XD, giving it at least a motive to use it.

22 down: The primary owner of the theme in the anime. (6)

Answer: TRACEY

Tracey had a Scyther in the Pokémon anime.

24 down: What the theme appears to have been made for. (5)

Answer: SLASH

Well, what do Scyther do if not slash things?

25 down: The latest common healing move. (5)

Answer: ROOST

Two recovery moves were added in Diamond and Pearl: the Vespiquen-exclusive Heal Order and the Flying-type Roost. An exclusive move is obviously not common, leaving Roost the only possibility left. Scyther can learn Roost.

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Page last modified August 12 2016 at 22:34 GMT