Monday, May 30, 2011

Blog mob

Beginning 5/24/11, my blog saw a spike in visitors, and it seemed that all of them came via searching the phrase “Superman’s first home.”

I figured this must be because of a stumper posed by some crossword puzzle, radio challenge, or other contest.

Two days later, the stampede was still going strong.

That ruled out radio contest, since those don’t tend to last longer than an hour, or even a commercial break. But I still didn’t know what it was. (Of course, googling it did not help.)

So on 5/27/11, I posted this temporary message at the top of the post getting all the love:
Hello kind person who just Googled "Superman's first home"! For some reason, you are one of hundreds of people who have come to my blog in the past few days after searching for that phrase. Why is this happening? Is it a question in some kind of contest? Will you please take a moment to email me the reason? I'm mad with curiosity! As thanks, I will mail the first person to do so a signed copy of one of my books!
Yes, I realize my incentive is barely that, but it was worth a try. And though the hits kept on coming steadily, it took about three hours before someone did write in.

All she wrote: “I’m working on a crossword.”

Several hours later, a second person responded and elaborated. It was the TV Guide puzzle, which,
given how many were searching, I should've guessed.

So I went back and changed the message, to this:

Welcome, TV Guide crossword puzzler!

I haven’t seen the crossword, but I can help. Superman’s first home is one of the following:


And before you go back to the puzzle: If you or someone you love loves Superman, you will also love a book I wrote called Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman, a picture book for all ages that tells the true, inspirational—and heartbreaking—story of the two young men who dreamed up the world’s first superhero. The book made the front page of USA Today.

A hardcover you can find for less than $7, it makes a great Father’s Day—or graduation—gift. Every generation has its Superman!

Click here to check it out on Amazon!

Shameful? Of course. But it's not every day I'm the first search result for hundreds of TV Guide readers...

And when I looked up the crossword, I was surprised to see this:

8 DOWN: Smallville state. The clue was actually not Supermans first home. This astounded me because none of the search terms I noticed were Smallville state. How could literally all of the people doing such a search know that Smallville is Superman's first home yet not know the state in which the fictional town was located?

Soon after, the plot thickened and the pulse quickened. The kind soul who told me the source was TV Guide then told me the issue. It was not the 5/23/11 one, as shown above. It was the 5/30/11 one.

Check 22 ACROSS.

What are the odds of these clues running in consecutive puzzles?


smoki2 said...

SMART! ...and fun, fun, fun. I loved reading that post.

Richard said...

That blasted tv show. I always liked Superboy better than Superman -- partly due to my early childhood being spent in a Smallville-like town and partly due to my early obsession with the Legion of Super-Heroes -- and the idea of a series about a young Clark Kent finding his heroic path was loaded with potential. But I always found the show completely unwatchable. But that show has now defined "Smallville" and "Superman" for more people than the comics or the movies or any of the previous tv series. That just sickens me. My one consolation is that once it's gone, it'll be completely forgotten.

Marc Tyler Nobleman said...

Thanks Smoki2. And Richard...while I felt "Smallville" was uneven, I was a faithful watcher the whole decade (!). When the show was bad it was indeed almost unwatchable, but for me, it had plenty of moments that soared.

Bob Buethe said...

And the funniest part is, the answer to 22 across was not Krypton, Kansas, or Smallville, but... Comics.