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Volume 0868
A Barsoomian Crossword
Winner and Solution
Fredrik Ekman
The winner of the Barsoomian Crossword in ERBzine 0867 was:
Steve Hurley

Below you can find the solution to the Barsoomian Crossword. If you came here directly without visiting the main puzzle page you may wish to do so before you look at the solution below and spoil all the fun.

I am well aware that the crossword is not an easy one. That was not something I did on purpose, though. Only some four hundred Barsoomian words are known, and there is a limit to how they can be combined. Therefore, some rather rare names had to be used.

Here is what a correctly filled-in crossword should look like:

Some comments to the different words follow.

 A-KOR  A-Kor, who was the son of the Manatorian jeddak O-Tar with a slave woman, started out as the keeper of the Towers of Jetan, was thrown into prison by his father, but eventually himself became jeddak. CM/11
 BAN Thar Ban, a jed among the hordes of Torquas. The name Ban is also found in the compound Ban-tor (LG-2/6). TMM/4
 DAJ Vor Daj is the protagonist in SMM. SMM/1
 GUR Gantun Gur was assassin in Amhor until his brain was destroyed and his body occupied by a hormad, who later assumed the body's original identity. The name is also found in Gur Tus (GM/21) and Hortan Gur (TMM/5). It thereby appears to be a common Barsoomian name. SMM/8
 HAMAS Hamas was the major-domo of the mad genius Fal Sivas. SM/3
HOVAN Hovan Du was the man whos brain was trapped in the body of a white ape. MMM/7
 ISS The River of Death, Iss, leads to the valley Dor. GM/3
 JANAI Janai was being held captive by the hormads in Morbus. Her paths crossed, not only in this crossword, with Vor Daj and they eventually fell in love.  SMM/4
 KAJAK Mors Kajak is, of course, the father of Dejah Thoris and jed of Lesser Helium. PM/10
 KAR Kar Komak, the bowman of Lothar. TMM/10
 MAD The Barsoomian word for man is mad. This is not explicitly stated by Burroughs, but can be assumed from o mad (man with one name), hormad (synthetic man) and Ay-mad (first man). PM/14
MOTUS Motus, a cowardly noble of Invak, was eventually killed by John Carter. LG-4/1
NAR Fo-nar was watch aboard the Dusar and later First Padwar under John Carter. LG-3/6
NUR In the dungeons of Tjanath, Hadron of Hastor was cell mate with Nur An, who became his friend. FMM/5
OKAR Okar, the fabled land of the yellow men near the Barsoomian north pole. WM/9
POLODONA Polodona, the Barsoomian equator, is only mentioned once in the series. Incidentally, this is one of the longest known Barsoomian words. (Disregarding countables, only Marentina is longer.) CM/1
RAJ Ur Raj was the red man from Helium who was on display in the zoo of Amhor. SMM/25
RAN The short and snappy names of Horz are excellent for filling out gaps in crosswords. Ho Ran Kim is none less than the jeddak of Horz. LG-1/3
RAPAS "The Ulsio" is of course Rapas the Ulsio, Fal Sivas' henchman.  SM/1
RAS Ras Thavas, the Master Mind of Mars. MMM/2
SAG Sag Or, the nobleman of Phundahl who switched bodies with Dar Tarus. MMM/11
SAK Sak is a Barsoomian word which means jump. It was the first word that John Carter learned after he came to Barsoom. PM/4
SARAN Saran Tal is Carthoris' major-domo. TMM/3
SHARU When Tan Hadron was a captive in Ghasta, he was helped by a girl named Sharu. FMM/9
TANUS One of the more obscure words in the crossword, Tanus is briefly mentioned as one of the crew aboard Gahan's ship, the Vanator. CM/3
TARA John Carter's daughter, Tara, married Gahan, jeddak of Gathol. CM/Prel
U-GOR U-Gor is the province of cannibals situated south-east of Jahar. FMM/14
UMAK A umak is a military unit of ten thousand men. FMM/Fwd
VAD After Ulysses Paxton came to Barsoom, Ras Thavas re-named him Vad Varo because the original was "meaningless and impractical". MMM/2
VAJA Vaja, a princess of Zor and U Dan's beloved, was captured by the Morgors. JCM(SMJ)/2
VANUMA The first wife of Jal Had, jeddak of Amhor, was Vanuma. She was poisoned to death by her husband, who wanted to get his hands on Janai. SMM/25
VASA Kara Vasa, the sweetheart of Vad Varo's friend and ally Dar Tarus. MMM/12


The words in the crossword have been taken from the following books in the Martian series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. References are given using the same standard as in J. F. Roy's A Guide to Barsoom, with abbreviation of the title and number of the chapter where the quote is taken from.

  1. A Princess of Mars [PM]
  2. The Gods of Mars [GM]
  3. The Warlord of Mars [WM]
  4. Thuvia, Maid of Mars [TMM]
  5. The Chessmen of Mars [CM]
  6. The Master Mind of Mars [MMM]
  7. A Fighting Man of Mars [FMM]
  8. Swords of Mars [SM]
  9. Synthetic Men of Mars [SMM]
 10. Llana of Gathol [LG]
 11. Skeleton Men of Jupiter (published in John Carter of Mars) [JCM(SMJ)]

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ERBzine 0867

Volume 0868

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