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Diabolically Arcane

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Dec Climax

18 January, 2011

EMMA MAILL is an amazing name. First up, all her consonants are Roman numerals. Look at them: MMMLL. This Sydney writer joins a rare coterie that includes such luminaries as Lady Di and journo David Dale.

And secondly, Emma was the name attached to a note I received this Xmas past. The note was tucked into a parcel that held two cufflinks, the A to Z of word-nerd chic. How gob-smacked was I? When not writing, Emma turns her hand to making artisan jewellery – a hobby to whittle writer’s block, she reckons.

Just enjoy the cufflinks,’ the note went. ‘Consider them a token of my appreciation for your investment in my grandfather’s cognisance. He’s been doing the Fairfax cryptic for years and is now a nonagenarian with a killer noggin!

Wow. Thanks Grandpa Maill for being such a Diehard 9.0, and thanks Emma. Even now I’m lost for words, which doesn’t happen often. I’ll wear my Scrabble bling with zeal, any formal chance I get. As for those other Roman numeral honorees, treating Y as a vowel, try to crack these other clues:

  1. Black activist (7,1)
  2. Roman poet (4)
  3. Cape Fear avenger (3,4)
  4. Chrysler exec (3,7)
  5. Leading Women author (3,3)
  6. Ex-English XI coach… (5,5)
  7. …and ex-Oz bowler (4,4)
  8. 2010 World Cup hero (5,5)
  9. Three singers – from three different nations

Name any others in the Romanesque clique?

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