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Diabolically Arcane

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9 September, 2011

Will Shortz, the New York Times crossword editor, and puzzle master heard on National Public Radio, threw out a cute challenge last week. The gimmick involved two members of the same category who shared two overlapping letters, such as TUBA and BASSOON, VOLVO and VOLKSWAGEN, or CROW and OWL. To warm you up, here are a few more Shortz shorties:

  1. Connecticut
  2. Obama
  3. Peach
  4. Genesis
  5. Matisse
  6. Omega
  7. Othello
  8. National

If we can’t crack them all as a squad, I will post the answers later next week. Though I’m more interested in unearthing treble-plus examples, or maybe a few more sweet doubles that Will could have chosen?

The Dutch beer AMSTEL, say, leads to the Belgian, STELLA ARTOIS, while GRENACHE can overlap with CHENIN BLANC. Feel free to extend the list with 2-3-4 overlaps, by supplying the opener to see if the rest of us can pick up the partner.

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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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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