Irregular Crossword Clue Explanation (November 2009)

2 across: Originally not so original. (8)

Answer: GIRATINA

Giratina as we originally saw it was only its Altered Forme, with its Origin Forme coming in Platinum.

6 across: Can't Run? Something isn't right here... (7)

Answer: RUNAWAY

Originally, when pre-release information for Ruby and Sapphire was being released and we first got to know about Pokémon abilities, Poochyena's Run Away ability was mistranslated as "Can't Run".

7 across: Doggedly pursuing? (7)

Answer: DUSKULL

Duskull's Ruby and D/P Pokédex entries both say that Duskull pursues prey until the break of dawn. More amusingly, they both describe it with the words "doggedly pursue", even though the rest of the entry is worded differently.

8 across: Colory? (7)

Answer: UMBREON

Umbreon's Japanese name (literally "burakki") is officially romanized as "Blacky".

9 across: Resembles two opposites of herself? (6)

Answer: PHOEBE

Phoebe's outfit is reminiscent of both Bellossom and Shaymin, which seems decidedly odd for somebody who trains Ghost Pokémon - Grass Pokémon are associated with life and fertility, after all.

11 across: Now rises at last. (9)

Answer: MAGNEMITE

We've seen Magnemite hovering in the anime (and in the game sprites) since the first generation, but only in the fourth generation got the move Magnet Rise that allows it to avoid Ground attacks.

12 across: Surprisingly, not found living in 18 down. (10)

Answer: BELLSPROUT

Sprout Tower, despite being dedicated to Bellsprout and containing Bellsprout statues, does not contain wild Bellsprout, only wild Gastly and Rattata and Sage trainers with Bellsprout.

14 across: According to some, the predecessor of Plusle/Minun and Pachirisu. (5)

Answer: PICHU

Many comment on how every generation includes a new "Pikachu-ripoff": first Pikachu itself, then Pichu in the second generation, Plusle and Minun in the third, and then Pachirisu in the fourth.

17 across: A Japanese robot dog? (7)

Answer: NINJASK

Ninjask's Japanese name, "Tekkanin", could by some obscure train of thought probably unique to me be read as a corruption of "tech canine" (not as it's pronounced in Japanese, of course, but just how it's written).

19 across: Now sick again. (5)

Answer: AMPHY

Amphy was sick in the original Gold, Silver and Crystal, and since HeartGold and SoulSilver are remakes, we now see Amphy being sick again.

22 across: The one Pokémon that cannot possibly appear in this crossword. (7)

Answer: PORYGON

The answer is actually Porygon2, but because all non-alphabetic characters are stripped out of words that appear in the crossword, Porygon2 cannot appear because in the crossword it turns into just Porygon.

24 across: Perfectionist? (5)

Answer: AARON

Aaron's introduction when you battle him in D/P/Pt includes the declaration that he wants to be perfect (just like his Bug Pokémon).

25 across: What you need to obtain 26 across. (10)

Answer: OAKSLETTER

Oak's Letter is the key item used to activate the in-game Shaymin event in Diamond, Pearl and Platinum.

26 across: Apparently, 2 across wants to eat it. (7)

Answer: SHAYMIN

In the eleventh movie, Giratina and the Sky Warrior, Shaymin is convinced that Giratina wants to eat it.

28 across: A peculiar ray. (7)

Answer: PSYBEAM

The flavor text for Psybeam in both the third and fourth generation describes it as "a peculiar ray".

29 across: Will now be available in HeartGold too, even without the help of an NPC. (9)

Answer: AEROBLAST

In Gold, there was no way to get a Lugia with Aeroblast, since the Lugia one caught in Whirl Islands was level 70 and had already forgotten it, and it was impossible to breed legendaries. In HeartGold and SoulSilver, however, Lugia learns Aeroblast at level 43, and when you capture it at level 70 in HeartGold, it knows Aeroblast, Punishment, Ancientpower and Safeguard - not even the Move Relearner is needed to get an Aeroblast Lugia in HeartGold.

30 across: What you get when you combine a skullless 7 across with a rock and five HG/SS fours. (9)

Answer: HONCHKROW

A skullless 7 across is dusk - take the "skull" out of Duskull, and you're left with the other word combined with it. When you add a rock (or rather, the word "stone") to that, you get a Dusk Stone. The five HG/SS fours (completely obscure, I know) refer to Karen's Murkrow: the fourth Elite Four member's fourth Pokémon, which is level 44. Thus, use a Dusk Stone on a Murkrow, and you get a Honchkrow.

1 down: It's magical! (9)

Answer: MISMAGIUS

According to its Pokédex classification, Mismagius is a "Magical" Pokémon.

3 down: Does not have the ability of its counterpart even though the name is closer. (8)

Answer: ILLUMISE

Illumise's name is derived from the word "Illuminate", but unlike Volbeat, Illumise does not have the Illuminate ability.

4 down: The perfect EV yield for a mixed sweeper... along with a legendary. (9)

Answer: INFERNAPE

Only Infernape and Deoxys give one effort point to each of Attack, Special Attack and Speed, the most important stats for a mixed sweeper.

5 down: The second best prize for getting to 2 across's location. (8)

Answer: RAREBONE

When you go through Turnback Cave after capturing Giratina, the game counts how many rooms you passed through on your way, and when you get to Giratina's room, a prize will be waiting for you depending on how many rooms you went through. The "second prize" is a Rare Bone.

9 down: A direct counterpart to D. and L. P. (9)

Answer: POISONJAB

D. and L. P. are Discharge and Lava Plume, basically Electric and Fire's versions of Poison Jab, except that Poison Jab is a physical attack that makes direct contact.

10 down: Demoted? (7)

Answer: FANTINA

Fantina was demoted from the fifth Gym leader in D/P to the third in Platinum.

11 down: A grassier version of 1 down? (11)

Answer: MAGICALLEAF

Not a grassier version of Mismagius, but of the clue: it's a <em>magical</em> leaf.

13 down: Making Lucky luckier. (10)

Answer: LUCKYPUNCH

The official romanization of Chansey's Japanese name is "Lucky", and the Lucky Punch raises Chansey's critical hit ratio, making it, well, luckier.

15 down: The only itemless way to escape Ingrain. (5)

Answer: UTURN

When Ingrain is in effect, the Pokémon cannot switch out or be Roared or Whirlwinded out of the arena. Baton Pass can be used, but then the effect is passed on to the Pokémon that is sent out afterwards. U-Turn, however, will allow the Pokémon to switch out and end the effect of Ingrain altogether.

16 down: Removed due to disuse. (9)

Answer: CACOPHONY

The ability Cacophony existed in the third-generation games' coding, but no Pokémon actually had it, and it was identical to the Soundproof ability. In the fourth-generation games, it was removed, since it was unnecessary.

18 down: Rattata below, Rattata above, Gastly above. (11)

Answer: SPROUTTOWER

This refers to the POV shots of Sprout Tower in HeartGold and SoulSilver. In the morning, there is a Rattata on the floor; in the day, there is a Rattata up by the ceiling; and in the evening, there is a Gastly up by the ceiling.

20 down: Less powerful in HG/SS than ever before. (11)

Answer: HYDROCANNON

Although the actual base power of Hydro Cannon is the same, it can only be taught to your Water-type starter, and Feraligatr - the Water-type starter in HG/SS - has the lowest Special Attack out of all the Water-type starters.

21 down: Fetch your first Gym leader here. (12)

Answer: OREBURGHMINE

When you first come to Oreburgh City, Roark is not in his Gym because he is down in the mine. He is the only first Gym leader who is not in his Gym when you first come to the city, so it could not be anyone else.

23 down: Darkrai gets it now! (9)

Answer: NASTYPLOT

In Platinum (and HG/SS), some changes were made to Darkrai's moveset. While it could always get Ominous Wind by move tutor, Faint Attack and Nasty Plot were new. My excuse for Faint Attack not being a valid answer is that there is some sort of a pun on how Darkrai now gets the plot at last. Or something.

27 down: I wonder if she died of old age. (6)

Answer: AGATHA

Agatha trains Ghost-types, and she is no longer a member of the Elite Four in G/S/C (and HG/SS, naturally), having disappeared without a trace. While Lorelei is young and must have gone home to Four Island, Agatha was an old woman who could have died in the three-year-interval between the games.

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