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Diabolically Arcane

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Celebrity Semolina

7 April, 2011

This week I’m putting together a Wordwit puzzle for mid-May, one that features the likes of Tom Cruise, Meg Ryan and Steve Irwin. Can you spot their link? The secret lies in anagrams, since all three celebs can yield a single word (or nation) when scrambled:


If you know your puzzle lore, you’ll also know that all three names are chestnuts, been around for yonks, just like Britney Spears (Presbyterians) or Al Gore (galore – or gaoler). To the same list you can add Eric Clapton (narcoleptic) and Eddie Albert (deliberated).

But beyond that coterie, we start to run dry. Eligible names are either obsolete – like actor Sal Mineo (semolina) – or the hidden words obtuse: Anne Rice (narceine), Eric Cantona (canceration), Nam Le (leman) and so on.

In a bid to find fresh turf, I’ve dug up a few more specimens, but still feel there must be plenty more I’m missing. Here below I’ve given you the name, coupled with a clue to the anagram. Can you solve all five – then extend the modest list?

1 Tim Lane disease
2 Conditions Red Symons
3 Overcame Dee Smart (actress)
4 Spring Ben Cousins
5 Sways Cass Elliot

Think of any more?


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.



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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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