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Diabolically Arcane

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Clues of 2013

1 January, 2014

Happy 2014, word lovers! Yet before we plunge headlong into the new year, I’m keen to parade the pick of clues from 2013. Without answers, as you’ll see. These will hail in a future post, part of a Best Of series in coming weeks.

Most of these gems hail from the Times, unless stated otherwise. Regulars will recognise a few from earlier dispatches. Each has a sleek surface story, with a fresh burst of wordplay. (Damn, if only I’d thought of these darling deceptions first.) Feel free to answer them in the Forum below, so long as all comers know the risk of checking.

  1. Provocative poster displaying prostitute, perhaps wanting work (5)

  2. Temporary suspension gives a diva a change of heart (8) [Paul]

  3. Sensed Kama Sutra might be very passionate (2,4,2,7)

  4. Booklet: What To Do Next (7) [Puck]

  5. Stand up in bath (4)

  6. Prizes left over at races (8)

  7. Vamp explored love in bed – not really fair! (8,6) [Picaroon]


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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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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