Irregular Crossword Clue Explanation (April 2006)

4 across: May have been Ash's first kiss. (6)

Answer: LATIAS

Well, either Bianca or Latias came and kissed Ash at the end of the fifth movie. Personally, I think it was Latias, but you never know. (At least I *think* that was Ash's first kiss, and judging from most of the entries, most people think so too. I'm not sure whether to call it a real kiss when Melody randomly kissed him in the second movie.)

6 across: It's not a bird, so get the plural right. (8)

Answer: ZANGOOSE

I've seen some people refer to many Zangoose as "Zangeese". However, even ignoring the fact that Pokémon names stay the same in plural, the name "Zangoose" is derived from the mongoose and has nothing to do with geese, and the plural of "mongoose" is "mongooses".

8 across: The only item that a specific wild Pokémon is guaranteed to hold. (9)

Answer: SACREDASH

Ho-oh will always be holding the Sacred Ash when you encounter it in the wild. Even the most common of other wild Pokémon hold items only have a chance of being held. The only other exception, Snorlax, always holds Leftovers as of G/S/C, true, but in R/B/Y there is no such thing as a hold item. ;)

9 across: Its signature move has the highest average damage per turn of its type unless you use a combo. (8)

Answer: SCEPTILE

The combo thing should have tipped you off there, as it is obviously referring to Sunny Day and Solarbeam. Sceptile's signature move is Leaf Blade, and no Grass attack other than Leaf Blade averages higher than 60 damage per turn except for Sunny Dayed Solarbeam.

11 across: One could say that it appeared in the anime once, but it had a sort of reverse effect there. (8)

Answer: SPELLTAG

This was one of the really tricky clues in this crossword. In the episode "The Ghost of Maiden's Peak", there was a funny scene where magical stickers that were supposed to repel ghosts were attached to Brock and James because they had fallen in love with the maiden's ghost. When I first saw Spell Tags, they made me think of those stickers, although of course the stickers were made to repel ghosts, not make them more powerful.

13 across: Funnily enough, the English name kind of sounds more Japanese than the Japanese name, which is simply an English word written in Japanese. (6)

Answer: KAKUNA

Kakuna's Japanese name is "Kokuun", which is basically the Japanese way to write "Cocoon". Meanwhile, "Kakuna" sounds very Japanese - it's three syllables, each consisting of first a consonant and then a vowel. I could have sworn it was the Japanese name unchanged until I learned it was actually not.

15 across: It looks more powerful in Japanese, but doesn't really sound it. (8)

Answer: CASTFORM

Another one of those very tricky ones. Both the "looking" and "sounding" are referring to Castform's Japanese name, "Powarun". The connection that an English speaker can make between the first part of the name and the word "power" is obvious. However, the actual way it's pronounced in Japanese doesn't sound like "power".

18 across: The other move known by the Pokémon of two guns. (9)

Answer: SKYATTACK

Another slightly tricky one. The "Pokémon of two guns" is Missingno., which knows Water Gun twice. Its other move is Sky Attack, so that is the answer.

19 across: The second Pokémon Ash Ketchum caught. (9)

Answer: PIDGEOTTO

Ash never caught Pikachu - he just received it. Therefore, the first Pokémon he caught was Caterpie, and the second was Pidgeotto.

20 across: It failed all the hopes from the instruction booklet type chart in R/B/Y... (4)

Answer: LICK

The type chart in the instruction booklet of Red, Blue and Yellow said that Ghost was super effective on Psychic. As the Psychic type was extremely hard to beat at the time, that seemed like great news, but unfortunately, Lick turned out not to affect Psychics at all, and the only other damaging Ghost move, Night Shade, dealt set damage anyway.

23 across: Appears to not only exist on its own, but also as a parasite on another Pokémon. (8)

Answer: REMORAID

Well, you always see Remoraid attached to Mantine, and I don't think the Mantine is benefitting much from their presence.

24 across: Is that Waldo's arm I see? (7)

Answer: ARMALDO

Yes, I was feeling very weird when I made this clue. It's obviously a reference to "Where's Waldo?", but I always remember when people were complaining about Armaldo's name and saying it sounded like Waldo. Waldo's arm then becomes "Arm-Waldo" or "Armaldo". Yeah, shoot me.

25 across: The third way to revive a fainted Pokémon, other than a Pokémon Center or a Revive/Max Revive/Revival Herb. (9)

Answer: RARECANDY

If you use a Rare Candy on a fainted Pokémon, it will be revived because of the added hit points - unless, of course, it's level 100 or if its hit points don't rise with the new level. (A couple of people have pointed out that technically Sacred Ash also revives fainted Pokémon, but that was supposed to be included in Revive/Max Revive/Revival Herb, because it's another "revival item" - it was just a small oversight that I forgot to include it in the clue.)

26 across: Popular for a glitch that is also used on 25 across. (10)

Answer: MASTERBALL

People love to duplicate Rare Candy (25 across) with the Missingno. trick, but duplicating Master Balls is very popular too...

28 across: The one he replaced has returned and replaced him again in revenge. (6)

Answer: TRACEY

The clue is meant to be confusing, but Brock left the anime temporarily to be replaced by Tracey. Brock then came back and replaced Tracey again.

29 across: One of those moves that scream out to have two types, especially considering the only Pokémon that learns it. (9)

Answer: BLAZEKICK

Blaze Kick is Blaziken's signature move. Blaziken is a Fire/Fighting type, and given that Blaze Kick is after all a blazing KICK, it does sound appropriate for it to have both types.

30 across: Your last confrontal with Suicune in Crystal takes place here. (8)

Answer: TINTOWER

In Crystal, Suicune does not run around like Raikou and Entei, but instead just waits patiently for you to arrive at Tin Tower and fight it once you have met it at a few other special places.

1 down: I thought it was a Grass-type the first time I saw it, and I still have a hard time thinking of it as the type it is. (6)

Answer: PINECO

Pineco is, well, a pinecone, which is basically the reproductive organ of some plants. Obviously, one would NORMALLY think that's a Grass-type. However, Pineco is, as strange as it is, a Bug-type. Sure, technically it's supposed to be a bagworm, but we can all see it's just a pinecone with eyes and doesn't look a bit like any sort of bug. Right?

2 down: Steals eggs from Pidgey, which might be when its less apparent type comes in handy. (7)

Answer: SNEASEL

Sneasel steals Pidgey eggs to eat, according to the Pokédex. Sneasel's Ice type isn't exactly evident from the way it looks, but perhaps he uses Ice attacks to fight the Pidgey off (as they're super effective).

3 down: They said it would be a new type combination, but alas, it wasn't. (7)

Answer: VOLBEAT

Before Ruby and Sapphire were first released, Pokemon.com published pictures of all the known new Pokémon, including Volbeat. They also mentioned their types, and Volbeat was said to be Bug/Electric - however, fans were disappointed when they got the game to find that it was just a pure Bug-type.

5 down: Stalker... (9)

Answer: SLEEPTALK

This is a subtle one, but Pokémon that use Sleep Talk are sometimes referred to as "stalkers" in competitive battling, which is where it comes from. Try taking the "leep" from "Sleep Talk".

7 down: Found in Emerald at Mt. Pyre, both inside and outside, and on two routes near it. (7)

Answer: SHUPPET

Well, it is found in Emerald at Mt. Pyre, both inside and outside, and on two routes near Mt. Pyre (121 and 123). What else would the explanation be?

10 down: The only Pokémon whose baby was discovered at the same time as it. (7)

Answer: TOGETIC

All the baby Pokémon we have were created in a generation that comes after the basic Pokémon - Pichu in the second generation with Pikachu in the first, Azurill in the third with Marill in the second, etc. The only exception is Togepi, whose evolution is Togetic - both of them debuting in the second generation. Togepi isn't technically a baby Pokémon (its cards call it a basic Pokémon, for example), but we can all see it's a baby. Just look at it. And at how it behaves in the anime. It learns Charm and Sweet Kiss, it evolves by happiness... it has all the symptoms except being introduced later than the original Pokémon.

12 down: This would make Zap Cannon a little more useful if the latter were a bit more powerful. (6)

Answer: LOCKON

Zap Cannon has 100 power and always paralyzes, but only 50% accuracy. Lock-on makes the next attack 100% accurate, so it seems like a good combo, but the bad thing is that the opponent can switch in between, leaving Zap Cannon only 50% accurate anyway. Meanwhile you could as well be using a 100% accurate Thunder Wave and a 100% accurate Thunderbolt to paralyze and deal nearly the same amount of damage. If Zap Cannon were something freakishly powerful, it might be worth it, but currently, it unfortunately isn't.

14 down: The first of five. (8)

Answer: VAPOREON

What is the first set of five Pokémon you think of? The Eevee evolutions, most likely, and Vaporeon is the first of them (#134 by National Pokédex, with Jolteon #135, Flareon #136, Espeon #196 and Umbreon #197).

16 down: If 8 across were a Pokémon, it would probably be related to this one. (8)

Answer: RAPIDASH

Congratulations! Your RAPIDASH evolved into SACREDASH (8 across)! Can't you just picture that? =P

17 down: Funny how more than half of the Pokémon that learn it naturally have no use for it whatsoever. (8)

Answer: MUDSPORT

The Pokémon that learn Mud Sport by level are, according to veekun, Geodude, Graveler, Golem, Mudkip, Marshtomp, Swampert, Zigzagoon, Linoone, Barboach, Whiscash, Anorith, Armaldo and Relicanth. Out of those, Geodude, Graveler, Golem, Marshtomp, Swampert, Barboach and Whiscash are part Ground-types - 7 out of 13. What Mud Sport does is make Electric attacks less powerful, and as Ground-types are immune to electricity anyway, they have absolutely no use for Mud Sport.

21 down: The only live Pokémon she appears to have quotes a fairy tale. (7)

Answer: COPYCAT

Copycat's room is full of Pokédolls, but she does have a real Doduo that, when you talk to it, says "Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" which is obviously a quote from Snow White.

22 down: Functionally exactly identical to a move introduced in the generation before, but with eight times the PP. (10)

Answer: ODORSLEUTH

Odor Sleuth works exactly like Foresight (all accuracy modifiers are removed and Normal/Fighting moves will now hit Ghost-types), but has 40 Power Points, unlike its predecessor which has only five.

27 down: A move that the good guys should perhaps not be using, but what the heck, they do so anyway. (5)

Answer: THIEF

Hey, isn't stealing bad? Tsk tsk.

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