Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

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News and Pew-Pews

28 March, 2013

For those who like their AFL, plus a cryptic kink, then may I remind you that Footy Almanac is resuming its DA puzzle series, with three clues per week. Make it part of your surfing week.

Second, my News Clue continues on Radio National’s Sunday Extra, where a name salvaged from the week’s press gets pretzeled into wordplay. Usual time is 745am Sundays, or try the podcast. And this week, for an Easter variation, host Jonathan Green will be quizzing me about Cryptopia, same time.


Been reading Netymology this week, a glossary on online terms from Apps to Zombies by Tom Chatfield. Plenty to like about the lexicon. Would love your thoughts on these two:

  1. Modern sound effects: If lasers go pew-pew, or eating is om-nom-nom, after the Cookie Monster, what other modern FX can you suggest? To plip means to unlock a car nowadays.

  2. The Scunthorpe Problem: Due to a vulgarity perched in Scunthorpe, the town gets, ahem, shafted by puritan filters. Just as CLASSIC may convert to CLBUTTIC for being less lewd apparently. Then there was US sprinter Tyson Gay who appeared as Tyson Homosexual in the copy. Any other likely names and words on the net-nose? And how might they convert?

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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