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Diabolically Arcane

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Japas & Tweeps

3 February, 2012

Fresh back from my Sydney trip, arguing the virtues of burqini over japas (Japanese tapas), or fracking over announceable (a snippet pollies use to divert attention from the bad news). Or tweep (a Twitter follower) against dogfooding (consuming your own prodict.)

Our committee was a balance of academia (Sydney Uni vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence, and campus provost Prof Stephen Garton), possum-stirring poetry (the glorious Les Murray), the Joy of Lex (Macquarie editor Sue Butler) and a crossword maker.

Les was dead-set keen on dairyness, and I made a last-gasp case for cloud server. Other words rose and fell in the parley. Planking was out early, and photobomb made a late surge. Though a hint to our verdict lay on the table, namely a plate of ham bagels.

Think about it – the kosher and the treif. The Jewish and the Christian, making a delicious fusion. Just like a BURQINI – our Word of the Year – combines Islamic and Aussie, Basra and Bronte. It’s perfect. And a cool click of phonemes too – with a u-less Q, and a godsend for the next awkward crossword corner.

To glimpse the final list of category winners, and a honourable mentions, go here. And see if you can use any two in a single sensible sentence!

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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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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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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