Melbourne University Mathematics and Statistics Society

Solution for 1.5 Legendary (Answer = ARTICUNO)

This is a standard pokemon-themed crossword, which can be solved as as follows:

ClueAnswer
1. Owner of Red LightningLUNA
2. TM06TOXIC
3. ___ First MovieTHE
4. Misty Meets ____ MatchHER
5. Deduce from cluesINFER
6. Power of ____ONE
7. Mightyena, for oneHYENA
8. Slaking, for oneAPE
9. What Gary’s fossil turned out to bePOO
10. _____-en-scèneMISE
11. That last battle seemed to _____ on foreverDRAG
12. What Ash might message his mom before sleepingNITE
13. Machamp’s signature move: ______ ChopCROSS
14. ____-Will Hunting!ILL
15. Inventor of the PokédexOAK
16. One of the first moves seen in the gameGROWL

The trick here is that some of these words can be paired up to form a pokemon by adding a letter between them. Indeed, the crossword was constructed so that NITE came immediately after DRAG, as DRAGONITE would be one of the more immediately identifiable pokemon and thus an in for the puzzle. The 8 pairings are given in the following table:

LUNATONE
TOXICROAK
GROWLITHE
HERACROSS
INFERNAPE
POOCHYENA
ILLUMISE
DRAGONITE

These added letters anagram to the legendary pokemon ARTICUNO.

Note: Reading down two of the diagonals spells out CAR TYRE, which gives DONPHAN as an answer.
Teams who guessed DONPHAN got a fun Easter Egg message for this completely unintended answer.

Author's Notes:
This was inspired by a puzzle that I vaguely recall from a long time ago. I'm not even sure whether it was a real puzzle or merely a dream. The puzzle itself had no explicit reference to pokemon, but had some sort of fridge magnet that looked like a pokeball? And I think there was a boat and a fishing rod somewhere. And one of the items was SAND[S]LASH, though I don't remember if the SAND and LASH were given directly or as clues or as something else. If anyone has any idea which puzzle this might be, I would really appreciate an email!

Update: Projectyl has identified the puzzle as Magnetic Poetry by Joe Cabrera, from the 2008 MIT Mystery Hunt. Thanks!