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Diabolically Arcane

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Disappearing Dictionary

7 April, 2016

If you follow my Twitter feed, you'll know I've been smitten by David Crystal's recent book, The Disappearing Dictionary. The volume captures fugitive terms from UK dialect, from radgy (peevish) to wordify (to articulate).

Leafing through, you'll find bastard French - like the Scottish surree for a social gathering - or comical hybrids: shupernacular (super + spectacular). How can you not love this brittle trove?

Ideal fodder for a fresh-minded Storm as well. Even better, as I'm tied up all next week doing afternoons on 774 ABC, filling in for Clare Bowditch. Around that time I'm also hoping to post a guest puzzle to enliven our solving week as well. Keep the peepers peeled. 

Before then, however, can you cryptically wordify these shupernacular specimens?

ARSLE - to move backwards

BOWDYKITE - fat person; one who greedily stares at another's meal

CEFFLE - to cough sharply, similar to a fox bark

GLAT - gap in a hedge

LINNARD - the last to finish a meal

NOOF - sheltered from the weather

PONOMMERINS - fleecy clouds

PRICKMEDAINTY - fastidious; conceited

QUEZZEN - to burn without flame

RYNTLE - to roll about in a chair lazily

SAIDMENT - malicious hearsay

SPLUTE - someone who exaggerates

YONDERLY - vague

Who can craft the least yonderly, prickmedainty clues? Have fun.

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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Recent Comments

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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