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Diabolically Arcane

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Paul's Pearls 1

23 May, 2012

Before I launch this idolatrous miniseries, a big thanks to Dabbler Anthony for sending through 100 superb Paul clues, as handpicked from the setter’s Guardian collection. What you see below are seven gems, in alphabetical order, with two lots of seven to run in the coming week.

Then, once you have solved, enjoyed, absorbed the virtuoso chops of John Halpern (alias Paul), our next Storm will dare you to outshine him. More about that contest next week. In the meantime, relish these seven – and see how many you can crack.

(For the record, my outright fave is Clue #4 – ingenious. Mind you, #7 staggers too.) Anyhow, rather than blurt, may be more genial to offer insights in the forum to those still lost.

  1. An idiot fails with another D+ (8)
  2. Break down completely when Spooner calls me an old codger (4,5)
  3. Covering people in manure is sane (6,6)
  4. Death produced by coma, we hear? (7)
  5. Elected body which should make a difference? Not entirely. Endless crawlers (retired) (7)
  6. Figure to spell misery without a Y (7)
  7. I haven’t a clue for dictator? (4,3,8)

Solution next Paul post. And three cheers for archivist Anthony.

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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