All six of you got it right! “Cruckwic” inspired the horned creature, and “Heonia” inspired the one with the dark blue background.
Among the interesting reasons for your guesses, my favorite was @riniscreature’s:
Heonia sounds like a dainty plant to me, like a flower. And then Cruckwic sounds more like a mischievous character. Like a creature hiding in a forest and giving people riddles and wrong directions.
That was a fun story I haven’t thought about!
Originally, I imagined Cruckwic as a gowned professor because that was shortly after I learned how to pronounce a professor’s name with a similar ending (according to which I would pronounce the final “c” as “ch” in “speech”). With “Cruck-“, it somehow sounded like an old mythical creature with rough skin, so that’s how it came to be. Surprisingly close to reasons some of you gave.
With Heonia, I imagined a creature that lasts eons, producing rings signaling time, deep under the sea.
My reasoning sounds like this association between the sound and the drawing would be language specific, but surprisingly some of them hold across cultures. I will discuss this next week. Until then – try this week’s, where I now put three creatures as a challenge!