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Diabolically Arcane

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Googlology

8 November, 2013

Google has just launched a new toy, a search engine that leads you into the labyrinth of word origins. If you enter GOOGOL, say, followed by ETYMOLOGY, you’ll learn that a maths professor named Edward Kasner relied on his nine-year-old nephew to coin the number. Try it out.

You may find the answer to either conundrum:

  1. What eight-letter word – first used in 1632 – owes its name to a logo?

  2. What six-letter cooking term derives from the Sanskrit phrase, ‘he causes to be brought together’?

Any other etymology enigmas to chew?

And while you’re Googling, feel free to visit three Q-&-As I just completed, one about the future of crosswords, one on my bombsite called a desk, and about (to come) about Operation Phub. Maybe they all knew tomorrow is my birthday!

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.

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Wordburger

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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Riddledom

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

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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