Another anagram challenge this week, to see if you can scramble down the pyramid, from the apex of A to the 13-letter base. At each level, add a new letter and mix. Beware: the last two phrases are relatively contrived, though not downright outrageous. Away to your apex, the letter A.
- Gore of DC once (2)
- Look greenish? (3)
- Get spot on (4)
- Stoner of old TV (5)
- Grief phase (6)
- Type of light? (7)
- Reviled (8)
- 2007 thriller (1,2,6)
- Wagged work (10)
- Sleight-of hand (11)
- Greenish hue (7,5)
- Kept honest (8,5)
SOLUTION NEXT WEEK
BB414 SOLUTION: Payment (yam), shebang (bean), turncoat (corn), looniness (onion), sincerely (celery), bedews (swede), tractor (carrot), hardship (radish), footpath (potato)
Some more mysteries to chew. All of these are plucked from British puzzles in the last few months, clues that don’t quite mesh in wordplay or definition for my tormented brain. Please be that virtual aspirin I crave, and unravel the elusive logic if you can. And then to dazzle the crowd – see if you can craft a clue for any or all of the same solutions.
I tucked into God-awful starter, something pungent = AMMONIA [Starter can be A, and the pungent part is the defintion. Dear Araucaria, who or what is the awful Ammon?]
Speaker’s to keep greeting in store for farmer, perhaps = HAYLOFT [Times 9580 has me clutching at straws.]
Online engine providing tips to display = ICON [Same setter. Same muddle.]
Economist to get by smoothly talking up Scottish football team = GALBRAITH [From a while ago, Times 8522 still gnaws me.]
Baron goes for special in dessert course = SYLLABUB [Don’t know where to start with Alberich’s confection!]
Outshines without deceptions, we’re told = EXCELS [I get the definition, Gozo – then you lose me.]
A Bex and lie-down. Or can you save the pain?
Looking forward to wagging the chin with Mark Forsyth at the Sydney Writers Festival tomorrow – Thursday, May 23. (Come along and meet SK and RobT at least!) As prep I’ve been reading his splendid meander through a human day – The Horologicon – where every phase of existence is endowed with peculiar terms.
Did you know that an alarm clock, or any agent to wake you from sleep, was once called expergefactor? While that cosy groove in the bedsheets where you lie is a staddle? Nor did I. And we will explore so much more.
In the book’s intro, Mark makes a comical observation. (The man’s a double threat – erudite and droll.) He says “The problem with the alphabet is that it bears no relation to anything at all, and when words are arranged alphabetically they are uselessly separated. In the OED, aardvarks are 19 volumes away from the zoo, yachts are 19 volumes from the beach, and wine is 17 volumes from the nearest crokscrew.”
I’m tempted to find more evidence and exception to the alphabet’s tyranny. At least serene shares a page with serendipity. Or crosspatch and crossword share a hedge. Though creativity and sanity are tellingly divorced. What other couplings warrant a mention?
Care for a clue game? I do. No prizes. No ballots. More a parade of ideas, with clues to chew and solve as we roll. The theme relies on those seven letters that boast an enclosed space in their composition: ABDOPQR.
What words can you make from these exclusively? ODD is one. DODO makes two. While BOOBOO and BOOB can both mean bungles. But just to lend our game some bite, what say we clue any candidate – with definition and wordplay – but refrain from providing a letter count? That way we have to solve your work, knowing the finite set of letters available.
Provide your byline and number to help tie any loose ends, like I’ve done here:
DA1 Stole Manx pig = BOA (boa/r)
DA2 Way-out medic zeroes in?
DA3 Giant school capsule
DA4 Contagious foursome unaffected by stand-up?
DA5 A gun backfired on explorer
Care to ADD?
One glance at the DA dance card will make you understand why a Stormfront is not likely to sweep the blog this week either. Or next, for that matter, but let’s play wordplay one week at a time, like football really.
Victorians, you have your chance to drop by the Wheeler Centre tonight at 6.15 to hear about my love affair with poet Les Murray. You won’t need to have read his selected poems – our focal point. Instead, drop by gratis to hear James Ley and me unpack Les.
And if food and crosswords are more your bag, then grab the last few chairs at the Country Place Retreat in Olinda for the Dandenong Ranges Festival this Saturday, 12.30-2.30.
Meanwhile Sydneysiders, get along this Thursday to meet two dictionary addicts, or grab an early seat on Friday for the crossword session on the harbour. BYO pencil.
Enough plugola. Time for a game. When I heard the phrase ‘unfinished business’, I though TOSH(IBA), or GOO(GLE). That’s the game. Clue the opening segment of the business (or brand) name, then give the tail instead of word count. So Blog regular (SUNG), would be SAM(SUNG). And these?
- Melee (INTO)
- Fiddle (OTA)
- Home (LE)
- Kid (Y)
- Cut (ERS)
- Wisdom (AL)
- Measure (QUIS)
- Fish (UDA)
Any more? Add them here. As well as the best of Brit puzzles – last week’s lot were stellar. Do yourself a favour.
FAVRILE [fa-VREEL] iridiscent glassware developed by Louis Tiffany [Possibly influenced by fabrile, French for hand-wrought] Stained glass windows effulge with favrile.
Creeping into winter, it’s time to mash some veggies to keep the lurgies at bay. See if you can process vegetables of the matching lengths below, in order to create nine familiar words. SH(4), say, is SHEKEL, where LEEK has been mashed. Now apply your verbal wands to this batch. And can you offer another mixed medley?
SOLUTION NEXT WEEK
BB413 SOLUTION: Video-Ezy, Compaq, Whiskas, Cap’n Snooze, Vita-Weets, Mortal Kombat, Quik, BlackBerry, Blu-Tack, Berri (Other brands may meet the demands.)
In case you missed the hijinks on 702 ABC this morning, brainstorming with Adam Spencer, the idea was to cook the books. In the spirit of the budget, you needed to reflect a deficit, shaving off a letter – or two consecutive letters – from a book title.
Zoba the Geek? Cat 22? Animal FM. Check out more here. Yep – the game went gangbusters. Here are the winning entries below, plus a few notables. Reckon you lot could extend the reading list with ease.
Lice in Wonderland – hairy adventure in primary school
Ride & Rejudice – the downfall of Lance Armstrong
Huger Games – London’s bid to outshine Sydney
All Quit on the Western Front – end of the mining boom
Robbery Under Arm – history of Australian/NZ cricket
The Lap – suburban outrage about who sat on whom
To Kill a Mocking Bid – budget reply speech
We’re Going on a Bar Hunt – seeking post-budget therapy
“Please sir,” said Oliver Twit, “I want some more.”
This next fortnight marks a spell in our Storm frenzy, due to a mad stretch of events. But you know me – I love a game. So let’s call this week an imperfect Storm, with no formal vote, no prize, and no outright winner. But plenty of thrust & parry.
Good news for CL, our simpatico go-between. (I’m seeing a tech today in hope of making the voting easier for all.) And welcome news for the maverick players too, as this game could go anywhere.
On the back of last week’s puzzle – ONE FOR ALL AND ALL FOR ONE – we have a kindred challenge. The game has three elements, each entailing the swapping of ONE for ALL, or ALL for ONE. Here they are:
Who can discover the best kosher coupling? FOOTBALL and FOOT BONE is a decent benchmark. Can you top it, using legit words or phrases?
Create a word or phrase that seems OK, like CAKE STONE, or GAME OF THRALLS, and supply a comical definition. HONE OF FAME, say, could the axeman’s mecca. While a BOOTY CONE is a stolen icecream.
Make a non-word, a non-phrase (TROMBALL? BOLSHOI BONEET?) and make a classy clue, with definition (of the source) included.
Use your real names as glory stands to be immediate this week. See who stands to be our greatest (unofficial) musketeer, displaying superior wordsmanship. Have fun.
Ouch. My back is still smarting from the public thwacking. Puzzles like last week’s themer, where some entries are ‘non-words’, clearly polarise the public. For every bravo, I copped three salvos. Hence the poll you see in the right margin: what’s you response in general to non-word solutions, based on a thematic manipulation?
A reminder, the Sydney Writers Fest is fast looming, with two DA sessions as part of the schedule. Both are free and don’t require booking, but I’d recommend you roll up early (especially for Friday’s crossword powwow) as seats are finite. Say gday if you squeeze in.
(Melbourne solvers, if you want your chance of a personal puzzle session, with a view, and a vino, and a divine meal, then inquire here at the Dandenong Festival for May 25, as there may be a few seats remaining.)
Can’t speak for the rest of the week, but today’s Times is a trimmer. Great definition for 10ac, and a brilliant container: Bacon, perhaps, I put in hot dog (7) Talk more about the Times and the G below, as the week unfurls.
Regarding the Coppola hiccup in last week’s Storm, aplogies to uha if your clues were omitted. All cares are taken by the blog admin – which gracefully has included CL for the last while – but zero culpability. If there is a benign programmer out there who could help establish a shortlist template, then I will reward him/her with a bespoke puzzle, no question.
And last a puzzle to chew on, and extend. If vicburton = vicTIM, or safinhon = MARAThon, then can you restore these other non-words?
Any more to enlist?