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Diabolically Arcane

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16 June, 2015

Reading back over the last two WoWs - phedinkus and eucatastrophe - you'll notice a pattern emerging. Both words arise from well-known novelists, as well as a fine lexicon called Authorisms by Paul Dickson, a collection of words wrought by writers. 

This week's Brainstorm sticks to the theme. Each pairing below is a word coupled with its literary creator, and our challenge is to clue both. War paint, say, was coined by US author James Fenimore Cooper. If you pick that pair, you'll need to conjure clues for both, supply a definition for the coinage only.

Dig the game? Ready for battle? Let's see who can craft the classiest duo, turning both word and writer into the wondrous.


BETTER HALF - Mary Livermore

BLABBERMOUTH - John Steinbeck

BLATANT - Edmund Spenser


GOALLESS - Emily Dickinson

HYSTERIA - Edgar Allan Poe

NERD - Dr Seuss

PEDESTRIAN - William Wordsworth

PLATONIC - Ben Jonson

SCAREDY-CAT - Dorothy Parker

UNPUTDOWNABLE - Raymond Chandler

VOMITY - JD Salinger

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Welcome all puzzle-lovers, including any chompers of the Wordburger book or app. (Check them out if you enjoy words & trickery.) And if you still crave more alphabet mischief, click on the burger icon above for a fresh serve.



Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

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Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

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Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at http://ab.co/1I9t1x5

Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
OBVS I'm fine with it
Entrenched stuff - like LOL and OMG - but no more.
Words With Friends, maybe. Scrabble, no
Let the 'real' dictionaries decide first
Just the handy stuff, like FAQ and EUW
I mean, WTF?! No way
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