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New Word Rally

26 April, 2011

Every year the Macquarie Dictionary declares a list of words and phrases to be part of language’s new wave. In years past we’ve seen pod-slurp and tweet being anointed as Words of the Year. Very exciting, if you make crosswords for a quid, as often these terms present the terra nova of wordplay.

This week, scanning the Mac for 2010, I have picked nine new words and phrases to wet your cryptic whistles. Your challenge is to clue as many as you like, with the best clue for each word entering our Master List at week’s end.

Treat this Storm as one-part ruthless contest, and two-parts simpatico workshop, as together we refine our drafts into beautiful creatures. Be extra nice if all players could handpick their own clues and submit their favourite nine (or less) before the deadline of Thursday 9pm. Aside from that minor chore, please have fun, and wreak havoc with these nine newbies:

EGO-SURF – to search the net for your own name

FAUXMANCE – fabricated affair, often between celebs

GOOGLEGANGER – namesake you discover online (see ego-surfing)

LOW-HANGING FRUIT – easily attained objective

MAMIL – zealous cyclist aged in his 40s or 50s [Acronym for Middle Aged Male In Lycra]

POCKET DIAL – to make an inadvertent phone call by sitting on your mobile

PRESENTEEISM – the custom of attending work despite being ill, especially when falling below productivity

SCREWAGE – restaurant surcharge for BYO wine [screw(top) + (cork)age]

SHOCKUMENTARY – film or TV show highlighting violent footage from real life

Best way to submit any clue is your target word first, followed by the clue. For example:

SHOCKUMENTARY: Graphic show disturbing customer with hanky?!

Or POCKET DIAL: Mistakenly contact Spooner’s expense records?

If time is short, or inspiration finite, then choose the words that work best for you. Or treat this Storm’s next three days as a Nine-Clue Enduro, with your best list the final post. Blow the vuvuzela – the New Word Rally has begun!

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