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Diabolically Arcane

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Cheaper Cheeper

2 May, 2014

Today’s title is the answer to the schoolyard riddle: What do you call a less expensive bird? Well, at least a riddle doing the rounds in 1982, when Marvin Terban published a book called Eight Ate: A Feast of Homonym Riddles.

This last while I’ve been researching riddles, a labour of laughter and wincing more than anything. But I thought we could reprise Terban’s work with homonym gags of our own. Let’s abide by the Q-and-A format, where you pose the riddle and we do our best to wrestle for the homonym pair.

What do you call a ship full of dogs?
Barque bark
What do you call an odious chicken?
Fowl foul

Ensure you precede your riddle with your byline and a number, so we can keep tabs of the conundrums. Names and proper nouns are fine, but answers must only be a homonym couple. See how you fare with this fair handful.

DA1What would you and I do to improve our garden?
DA2Where do you buy weird wares?
DA3What planet owns fingerprints?
DA4What did the craven playwright do?
DA5Who runs ‘Horsham’?

Riddle us roughshod, old school.

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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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