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Diabolically Arcane

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19 October, 2010

That seemed the best name: milericks. Or that will do for now. Just like a limerick, a five-line poem with the same AABBA pattern, the milerick ignores rhyme in favour of anagrams. Here’s a sample:

Calling all poets, the droller, the sager:
Time to create, and shift mental gears
To dabble in this new idea
With word-warping your aide
And see who rocks as this Storm rages.

At least that’s a pure milerick, where whole words are scrambled in all five cases to keep the pattern tidy. But feel free to take a few departures, such as this more familiar milerick ditty:

There was a young crossword solver
Who met a girl, and they became lovers,
But when things turned nuptial
The church stuffed up Latin,
Proving you can’t rely on ol’ revs.

Not sure about mixing whole lines to make new lines. That sounds both unwieldy and unwise, and maybe outside the milerick spirit. Let’s restrict our riot to the mixing of single words – or a few words – to obey the format. In short, let’s keep it short, and real, in honour of Edward Lear.

Alert your Muse. Muster your emus. You have till sundown Thursday to make your best milerick, with Noble Prizes for the finest pure versions, and the smartest freestyle, while the overall winner wins a trip for two to Nantucket.


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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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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