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Sunday 21 December 2014

Retro-Fortean Crossword

I thought I’d do another crossword puzzle this Christmas, since last year’s seemed to go down well. I assume it went down well, anyway, because it got an above-average number of page-views... but then the annotated list of answers the following week got below-average views, so maybe people just took one look at the puzzle and decided not to bother with it!

As before it’s an old-fashioned non-interactive crossword, so you’ll have to print it out or do it in your head. I originally wanted all the clues to refer to something I’ve written about on this blog in the last 12 months, but once I started filling letters in I realized that wasn’t going to be possible. Still, I’ve tried to stay on-topic as far as possible. I’ll print the answers (together with an explanation of the Retro-Fortean connections) next week.


1. ------- Bierce, who vanished without a trace in December 1913 [7]
5. Generic term for a mystery animal [7]
9. Nickname of Raymond A. Palmer, pulp magazine editor who popularized the Shaver Mystery [3]
10. “The ------- Ruined Dawn World”, short story by Fritz Leiber [7]
11. Secretive organization that Edward Snowden used to work for [3]
12. Fictional country which is the source of Doc Savage’s wealth [7]
13. “---- --- ergo propter hoc”, a logical fallacy popular with some conspiracy theorists [4, 3]
14. A short 16 mm film clip from 1967 purportedly showing Bigfoot [9-6]
19. Village in the South of France reputedly associated with a great mystical secret [6-2-7]
21. Ankh, cross and pentagram, for example [7]
24. A Runic alphabet [7]
27. --- Wein, creator of Wolverine and Swamp Thing [3]
28. Hard to pin down, like many Fortean phenomena [7]
29. Like a UFO, but not unidentified [3]
30. An unexplained event [7]
31. ------- McMahon, X-Files super-soldier played by Lucy Lawless [7]


1. Early type of UFO widely reported across America during the 1890s [7]
2. Bigfoot, for example [5]
3. Denny -----, author of The Shadow 1941: Hitler’s Astrologer [5]
4. If the Gunpowder Plot was a False Flag operation, this person may have engineered it [4, 2, 9]
5. A famous Fortean mystery from Barbados [8, 7]
6. Himalayan giant apes (real or imaginary) [5]
7. Enigmatic alien creature in Philip K. Dick’s novel A Maze of Death [5]
8. A type of scientific analysis applied to Bigfoot and Richard III [3, 4]
15. The --- Lost Tribes of Israel [3]
16. The Third ---, by T. Lobsang Rampa [3]
17. --- Levin, author of Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives [3]
18. First name of JFK’s alleged assassin [3]
19. A water nymph in Slavic mythology [7]
20. Pulp magazine which featured Eric Frank Russell’s Sinister Barrier in its first issue [7]
22. Planet ruled by Ming the Merciless in Flash Gordon’s universe [5]
23. The Magic Flute or The Flying Dutchman, for example [5]
25. Huge volcanic eruption which may have been responsible for the Atlantis legend [5]
26. Entity from another planet [5]


Anonymous said...

Merry Christmas, Andrew :)

Andrew May said...

Thanks Colin - happy Christmas to you too!

Two bits of feedback I keep meaning to mention. Thanks for putting me onto that BBC programme about The Art Of Gothic last month. I thought the scope of the material was fascinating, although I did feel the presenter tried too hard to fit it all into a single all-encompassing theory.

I also finally got round to reading Bram Stoker's Dracula a couple of weeks ago. I agree completely with what you said, that it was twice as long as it needed to be. It was basically a good story, and parts of it were very well told (the first few chapters in particular), but the total effect was diluted by spinning the action out with too many words.

Anonymous said...

Glad you liked The Art Of Gothic, Andrew - I enjoyed it too. My favourite part of Dracula is the Captain's log on the Demeter when they are sailing from the Black Sea to Whitby - I thought it was genuinely scary as the crew disappear one by one. I've read there's a movie being made which will concentrate on the Demeter's voyage.

Andrew May said...

Sounds like an interesting idea. After I read the book, I looked at the plots of all the Dracula movies on Wikipedia. Every one of them deviates from the novel in at least some ways - even the ones that were pitched as being faithful to the original. I guess that comes from the book being too long and complex to fit into 2 hours... so the idea of focusing on one episode and doing it properly is a good one.