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Diabolically Arcane

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Huh 29

21 July, 2011

Oldies but goodies, this bunch. While doing the Bali tour of duty, I dug up some old puzzles (a mix of Times and Guardian) to see if the craft has changed. Not really – some gems, some gimmes, and a smattering of huhs. These seven all failed to add up completely. Can you tell me what I missed, or argue for the defence? And just to prove your lasting cleverness, can you re-cook these morsels of yore, with a new draft of your own?

  1. For Spooner, essential father leaves here = TEA CADDY [Sorry Paul – this makes me say key taddy, and where’s papa in all that?]

  2. Language almost dead, going by name = LAOTIAN [Times 8474 – nearly late?]

  3. Investing in nothing, no merchant banker! = GOOSE [Is this rhyming slang, Mudd? Is Gose anybody in particular?]

  4. Clobber? = CLOUT [At least Fawley is brief, albeit opaque.]

  5. Don’t breathe easily, given plan = WHEEZE [A Pommy slice of slang I’m missing? This from Paul.]

  6. Not the feature film villain’s footwear? = BROGUE [Is Brummie implying that movie villains can’t be Irish?]

  7. Turned very worried, going to block or to swing = OSCILLATE [From Times 8503, I get SO ILL – but not the Blanchett bit…]

Seven great mysteries. How do the clues work – and what better clues can you cobble?


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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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