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Diabolically Arcane

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Eye of the Bemuser

7 May, 2013

Psst, wanna be in the movies? This Storm offers you that rare chance. Last week a film-maker dropped a line, eager to get some ‘visual clues’ for his short film. By visual, I discovered, he meant clues that can be captured well on screen – those that inspire imagery, or play with letter shapes.

His request triggered our contest. We all know good clues paint interesting pictures, but let’s focus on the alphabet this time. Using a directorial codename, we need to craft two clues, one per the following categories:

1) A clue involving a fresh take on letter shapes. Last month I suggested Y to be a slingshot. While M maybe a child’s bird drawing. O, we know, is a bagel, a donut, a hole – but what else?

2) A clue that considers a word’s shape, or component shapes. It may entail letters being changed, or inverted, or an answer shifting cases, etc. A W can become an M, just as O can turn into Q. Or FIJI gets dotty in lower case…

Hard to describe, unless we see it! Let’s use the optic nerve for a change, and show some nerve on the drawing board. Answers can be drawn from anywhere, though bear in mind the best clues will have a visual pull, and potentially a story to play out in the solver’s mind.

As best as I can vouch, the winning clue/s will appear in the film. I may even invite our mystery director a casting vote on the shortlist.

So do your best. Invent and imagine. Later, between Thursday 1-6pm, declare your best two clues (one per category), and let’s vote 3/2/1 in each section over Friday. Remember, to play, you must vote, and voting is done via email DA, before Friday 6pm. This will be epic – and may the winner be credited.

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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Wordburger Awaits!

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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Cluetopia roams the planet – and century – to find fresh crossword stories in 30+ languages. From shipwrecks to hoaxes, Cluetopia is a holiday for the head. Buy 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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