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Diabolically Arcane

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(Missing) Letters & Numbers

27 June, 2013

Love this nifty puzzle from Graham Hanlon, a maths teacher with a dangerous flair for wordplay. I wish I could say I’ve nailed the solution, though I’ve yet to examine the patterns in closer detail. Before I do, I thought I’d share Graham’s devilry in the meantime.

Beware all browsers, if you wish to figure out the code on you lonesome, then I suggest you resist the Comments, as all comers are welcome to identify the group. (And can you construct your own encoded list?)

In Graham’s own words: “I’m thinking of a set of 9 objects, where each 1 stands for the same letter and similarly for 2 and 3.” Meanwhile zero stands for any other letter. What’s the set?

1 2 3
0 0 0 0 2 0 0
0 0 3 2 1
0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 1
0 2 0 0 0 0 0
1 0 0 2 0 3
0 0 0 3 2 1
3 0 0 0 2 3 0

Thanks to GH for the puzzle. A deft roll-call. And if you have a puzzle to share, send it in. These teasers are the mental callisthenics we love here.

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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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
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