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Diabolically Arcane

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Hungry Games - and Wowlets

1 February, 2013

Imagine you’re starved. So you try to play a game or a sport to distract yourself, but everywhere you look you see food. Cribbage looks like cabbage. Then there’s Scrabble eggs, lacroissant, croquette, garlic football…What else?


In Puzzled, you may recall Peter Valentine, a crossword poet. His formula is simple. The first stanza relies on words from the Across clues of a given puzzle. Stanza #2, the Downs. The closing verse, a sample from the answers.

Peter emailed to say he’s back on the black-and-white pony, arranging fresh stuff after a spell. Even without seeing the grids in question, you can appreciate the off-kilter effect the technique creates here.

So let’s join the fun. Pick a word from the WOW index and fudge a couplet, using your chosen word as one of the rhymes. Here are two to get you going:

My shoulders are OK, but I have ugly knees.
That’s why I favour the salwar kameez

Apple sauce would go well with this rump.
So climb that orchard wall and scrump

PS – all players: don’t forget to vote in this week’s Typeface Storm before 6pm today. There’s a Smith Journal up for grabs.

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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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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