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As frequenters of this site know, crosswords of varying difficulty have appeared sporadically since the site began. The empire was built on those little boxes, penciled in between our slings and arrows, our ups and downs. Yesterday a small start up tech firm known as The Google brought attention to the 100th anniversary of the versatile medium. Those nerds celebrated with an animated doodle. The World’s Second Greatest Detective , refusing to be outdone by a bunch of coder and cooties, decided to massacre two birds with one stone by simultaneously commemorating the 100th anniversary of the crossword with the publication of DC Comics New 52 Villains Omnibus, a mammoth tome featuring each of DC Comics Villains Month issues from this past September, with a DC Villains Crossword. The answers are all titles taken from the New 52 Villains Omnibus, so don’t go looking for Catwoman, Hush, Amazo, Gentleman Ghost, etc. If you need a list of those titles, click here.  If you click on the puzzle, it gets much bigger too.

villainscw

Across

5. what’s cooler than cool? ice cold

7. classic teen tightener

8. makes lions cowardly with gas

9. say hello to their little friend

10. pointed the Flash to Flashpoint

11. more badass than Duane Chapman

16. rules Gotham from a shadowed perch, behind granite and lime

17. the blackest night’s blackest knight

22. rough in a diamond

23. lives in the worst part of Gotham City

25. if dialing h gets you preparation e, this is how you get preparation h

29. Jordan’s friend, Natu’s father

30. Aquaman’s brother

32. Can be usually be found at the Iceberg

33. Solomon Grundy died on Saturday, but Superman died on this one

34. Born in the dark, molded by it

35. I make a point of never being clueless, who am I?

36. One of the Jor-El’s best buddies if only in his mind

38. faster pussycat kill kill

39. So Raven

43. Played poorly by Kevin Spacey

44. big bad harv

45. Has a cooler collection of bottles than any frat boy you know

47. Of all of Darkseid’s minions, he probably finds the most sexual gratification from spanking

Down

1. Coast City’s least favorite Superman

2. Not the handsomest villain but possibly the hungriest

3. one of the few female characters to put on more clothes in the New 52

4. his scientific discoveries were vital to Talia’s war on Batman, Inc.

6. Wonder Woman’s brother

8. whether male or female, a problem for hawkman

10. looking to put Green Lanterns’ lights out

12. A failure for Lex Luthor, especially compared to Superboy

13. One of Jor-El’s best buddies

14. hair like the Joker

15. Inspired the pornographic thespian Jack Napier

16. poison ivy planted seeds in him

17. gave Aquaman’s dad a heart attack

18. one bullet minimalist

19. Gems of the Gem Cities

20. digs lysistrata and wearing other people’s faces

21. most wtf character choice in Injustice video game

24. Grandfather to Thomas Wayne’s grandson

26. of Super Villains

27. just another clever beat inventing knowing

28. put the rot in rot world

31. The man with a kryptonite heart

37. aims to make aiming arrows difficult

40. once wore a lot of Sinestro Corps rings

41. christened Cyrus Gold, possibly on a Tuesday

42. iconic cosplay favorite who appeared in an animated series before appearing in a comic

45. subject of the best storyline in 52

46. kisses with his Apokolips

Google across my angry middle finger

Above you can see what Google’s doodle looked like while below you can find the correct responses to the crossword clues.

answers

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If you happen to be in Dalian, Liaoning province, China this weekend, I strongly recommend you check out the Dusk Festival. A lot of great Chinese bands will be playing. Some of my favorites are Duck Fight Goose and my dear friends Doc Talk Shock. Below is a review I did for Doc Talk Shock’s latest record Lights of Detour for Focus on Dalian magazine, a bilingual (English & Chinese) journal serving the Dalian community. While you’re reading the review a year after it was published and several reviews have been published since, I say with confidence that my review was the first published review of the record. The review is pretty glowing and you should be skeptical because of my personal relationship with the band and the fact that I wrote the lyrics for several songs on the record- but if you can look past those red flags and give the record a listen, you’ll see it’s worthy of my praise and worthy of yr. ears. Of the surprising things to come from the review is that Brad Seippel, a gentlemen from Mobile, Alabama collaborated with on a few tracks and shared billing with one of his projects Thruoutingenue many times, was living in Beijing when the article was published and it brought us back into contact briefly. I’ve had the good fortune of befriending some really talented and creative people- I’m not bragging, I’m counting my blessings. For those of you who found yourselves outside of the circle of cool, here’s yr. chance to catch up. In honor of the reprint, I whipped up a panda portrait of this international rock phenomenon. If yr. interested in more great Chinese bands, I strongly recommend Wang Wen 惘闻, the Sound and the Fury , Porcupine, Rebuilding the Rights of the Statue (RETROS), Zi Ran Juan,New Pants, Hang on the Box, ma2, Gemini Trip, and the Bear Minorities (Yu Dong and Jiang Hao from DTS making dreams melt with sound). Before I left Dalian, I made a film with Jiang Hao, Yu Dong, and an Irish DJ named Peter Donelan that exhibited our music and the ideology of a discourse-generating experiment we developed together called ‘Wonder-Were-Wolf,” the title both a nod to Wonder Woman and our monthly meetings where we turned in werewolves over heaping piles of meat and flowing rivers of drink. One last Chinese gem: My favorite Chinese song-and-dance man from my favorite province (Sichuan, of course) MC石头 (MC Stone) – if you get a chance to see him and his crew (which resembles a Chinese casting for an early John Waters film) perform live, you MUST go.

The review is posted below the pic.doctalkshockischineserockShortly after I arrived in Chengdu in 2007, an enthusiastic musician from Northeast China contacted me on the internet to say, and I’m paraphrasing quite recklessly here, “Welcome to our China. You are a musical genius.”  Few things have ever endeared me to someone like praise and we quickly began exchanging music, thoughts on music, and general pleasantries with each other. In 2010, Jiang Hao and I finally met in person. This fateful meeting occurred on my birthday and Doc Talk Shock’s first EP proved to be a birthday gift that continues to bring me ‘confusion and joy.’ While it lacked the cosmic intimacy of Bear Minorities (Jiang Hao’s previous project with fellow member of DTS Yu Dong), I could hear something really special in their new band.

Employing the powers of persuasion that have won Doc Talk Shock so many fans, Jiang Hao convinced me that my life would be incomplete without an extended detour through the city he calls home, Dalian. Once moving here, I found Jiang Hao and Yu Dong not only to be talented musicians, but also gracious neighbors. In both Doc Talk Shock and life, the songwriting duo compliment each other much like Thurston Moore (Jiang Hao) and Lee Ranaldo (Yu Dong) of Sonic Youth. In turn, these two have found a talented rhythm section that compliments them well. In addition to keeping time, bassist Evgeny ‘The Man of Steel’ Kozachinskiy and drummer Sean Rollins provide Doc Talk Shock with a certain exoticism, representing their native Russia and United States respectively. On stage or off, these four gentlemen bring a semblance of rock n roll sincerity to everything they do.

Their first EP and live shows brought Doc Talk Shock to the attention of iconic Beijing record label Modern Sky. The label offered to release their first full-length album and sent Yang Haisong of PK14 to Dalian to produce the record. Recorded in only eight days, Lights of Detour maintains the velocity of a live performance while offering pockets of headphone gold.

“Sweet Swear” begins the album with fidgeting guitar notes, reminiscent a carefree child playing with a blade of glass, that are soon joined by equally aimless, but effect-laden guitar and drums that putter out the rhythm of a slow-motion trampoline. This introduction evokes the space jazz of Tortoise and Euphone, but soon finds itself trumped by the glorious spirit of rock. This first outburst of rock triumph and its subsequent retreat back to heady instrumentation sets the tone for Lights of Detour, following a formula of climaxes and collapses sprinkled with pleasantly surprising deviations from what the ear expects to come next. “The Futurist” stands out as an obvious single- catchy, dreamy, youthful. “Paint the Volcano,” the album’s fourth track and my personal favorite, goes in several directions at once, culminating in the kind of rock triumph that lifts your heart towards the sun.

On several of the tracks on Lights of Detour, Kozachinskiy and Rollins tackle sophisticated time signatures with both cool nonchalance and raw fury.  Because the record flows so seamlessly, it’s easy to overlook the shifts in time signatures. The record illuminates how much Jiang Hao and Yu Dong have matured as songwriters since the first EP. In Red Rock: The Long, Strange March of Chinese Rock & Roll, Jonathan Campbell explains one of the major dilemmas in assessing Chinese rock music, the difference between what is ‘good’ and what is ‘good for China,’ and I deem Doc Talk Shock’s Lights of Detour to be great, not only by the standards of Chinese rock, but by the standards of both international and trans-dimensional rock.

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