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Diabolically Arcane

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Fear Dinkum

12 September, 2012

Two puzzly treats to keep your mind in shape. The first comes from Dabbler RK who’s back in the creative groove with two new crosswords. RK8, which I tackled yesterday, is an elegant themer with plenty to like.

The second offering is older-school, those abbreviated equations you confront at every trivia night (8 = T on an O, etc), but here’s a difference. This is one almighty long list, and there’s bound to be some coded maths you haven’t met. (Thanks for Nib for the link.)

And lastly, a creative challenge for you. The New Yorker blog runs a Twitter game called Questioningly, posing readers with offbeat dares. Like invent a new phobia, as happened on Friday 13. With apologies for trimming the contributors' names, here are some comical suggestions,:

Shymalanophobia: “The fear that your life will have a great twist ending, but you’ve already figured it out”

Susuphobia: “The fear of Phil Collins”

O’phobia: “The fear of all things Irish”

Phophobia: “The fear of delicious Vietnamese noodles”

Rosebudophobia: “The fear that you won’t enjoy a movie because people have already told you its secret”

Fee-fi-phobia: “The fear of giants”

Möbiusphobia: “The fear of moving forward and ending up back where you started”

Read more here. And concoct your own fresh fears 3.0 in the forum.


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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