Howard Bergerson's Palindromes and Anagrams —> Hot
First Issue: Dec 1985
I joined and recruited Grams (Greg Williams, who only stayed in the League for a few years) at the same time. Originally, I was planning on being “Rip” (end of my first name and beginning of my last name). We thought “Rip Grams” made a nice sounding combinom. However, in the end I didn't like the brutal and Anglo-Saxon sound of “Rip”, and decided to connect the H of Henri with the last two letters of Picciotto in reverse order, to get Hot, which is more in keeping with my Mediterranean temperament. At my first con (a sweltering weekend in Cambridge), I introduced myself by saying “I'm Hot” and dozens of Krewe responded “so are we!”.
My main combinom is Harth, with Arachne. Arachne suggested the combinom, which was inspired by a character in Ursula K. LeGuin's novel The Left Hand of Darkness. Harth, like the other inhabitants of Winter (a planet somewhere in the Milky Way), is sometimes male and sometimes female. His/her name includes letters from both Hot and Arachne. Our combi-city, of course, is Winter, MW. Another character in the same book is named Ai – quite appropriate since our first co-solving effort was a wonderful puzzle of Ai's at the Charlottesville con. At first, only Sibyl knew who Harth was. We revealed our identity at the Cleveland con, in a cryptic crossword-cryptogram competition (there's an adapted version of that puzzle here).