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Diabolically Arcane

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Bog Awful

21 August, 2012

Top o' the morning to you. I’m speaking faux-Irish thanks to a crossword I found in the expat rag, Irish Echo. For cryptic connoisseurs, it’s junk food, and not the tasty kind. Many of the clues overstrain, or lack any surface lustre. See for yourself in the five samples below, with your job this week: to create worse for the same five answers.

MAO: Chairman hides himself in O Maolbhallaigh’s townland
BEG: An insect, it’s said, for example, shortly leads to ask humbly the small Irish
ASPEN: Napes are confused for Colorado town
TREPAN: Confused parent of surgical tool
ST ANTHONY: To find this clue, pray to saint of lost things!

Gadzooks that’s guff. Can you do worse? Let’s see, as you adopt shambolic code-names for the exercise, and submit your five-clue trash for judging before Thursday 9pm. Usual voting system, but in reverse – 3 points for worst, and 1 for next crap in each word, via the DA email. Winner to receive a resounding Bronx cheer from the gallery.

PS – in the interests of brevity, since bad clues are often long clues, keep your dross to a 3-line max. Though kudos to those who can be succinctly deplorable. This will be fun, to be sure.

Welcome to the new forum. Looks scary? It’s not. Feels iffy? It ain’t. The DisQus platform is here to block spam and lend us more chat options. That’s all. Please note, you don’t have to create a DisQus account to make a comment. If you do, however, it will speed your future visits. Be assured no details are abused, misused or reused. Let’s fight spam as one, and get back to the grand conversation. Thanks, DA

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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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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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