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Diabolically Arcane

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Nosy Mappers

4 January, 2012

Yes, that is me. Or I should say it’s a bloke called David Knowles doing a reasonable impression of me. A fan of L&N, David had to dress as a TV character for a party last month, and thought he’d turn the dictionary bloke into a living burlesque. Safe to say he wasn’t mistaken for Lily. (Thanks for posting the pic, David – not.)

In more relevant crossword news, a note from Carla online let me know about the latest New Scientist, which carries a feature about our favourite puzzle genre. Seems the crossword is the perfect fusion of memory, logic and creativity. Did I say perfect? Make that diabolical. Worth grabbing a copy if you can.

News for Melbourne peeps: you can catch me gasbagging on RRR next week, a guest spot on The Breakfasters, as hosted by the lovely wags behind The Enthusiast, a cultural cheerleader I happen to relish. Only catch, you will need to tune the bed-sharing trannie around 7.30am. Ouch, I know.

Lastly, a bit of wordplay to keep your summer brain in gear. Thumbing through my ideas book – a catch-all of stray puzzle inklings – I came upon a list: Nosy, Mappers, Neutral, Limbo, Naive. See the pattern? Each word is a scrambled brand-name: Sony, Pampers, Renault, Mobil, Evian.

That’s when the lightbulb flickered. Let’s pretend the anagram is the brand, and invent a slogan that plays with both product and meaning. Such as:

NOSY – hi-fi made to pry your mind

Keep your fuel costs way down low with LIMBO

MAPPERS – the key to baby’s comfort

Over to you. Let’s keep anagrams down to single words only, just to spice the quest – though plausible pseudo-words are fine. A vintage bottle of SNOTYARD shiraz to the best.

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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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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