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Diabolically Arcane

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Oooh, We're Looking For Clues

18 October, 2012

The things you find in the Library of Congress. As you know, I’ve been neck-deep in research these last few months, assembling a new book about crosswords through the century. A long slog, but then you find a morsel like Frank Crumit’s novelty tune of 1925, Cross-word mamma, you puzzle me (but papa’s gonna figure you out).

Note the hyphen too. Back in the 1920s, crosswords were cross-words, having changed already from a word-cross (in 1913). But visit the library’s vault and savour a grab of chequered history.

And last, to keep In The Mood, let’s see if we can compile a Top Ten of crossword songs, offering or modifying existing hits (or bands) to suit the cruciverbal art. Some suggestions:

Bittersweet Homophony
Unfinished Symphony
Seven-Lettered Army
Where Is My Mind?
Checks on Speed
Moody Clues

Together, let’s make some beautiful B&W music…

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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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