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Diabolically Arcane

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Pieces of Eight

17 July, 2012

Aaaargh, etc. This Storm has nix to do with pirates, despite the title, and everthing to do with classy clue-making. A prize is up for grabs too – Cryptic Crosswords Volume 2 – with 25 DA brain-curlers to keep you off the streets. (This book is out of print now, so a real score for the diehard.) So get in it to win it.

Here’s the game: pick an 8-letter word (like DAIQUIRI say), then clue it, with definition included. That’s your first challenge. Next, you need to halve your 8 into two blocks of 4, and change one letter per half to make new words: DAIQUIRI could become DAIS and SIRI. (Names and brands are fine, but you do no to change one letter, and one only.)

Guess the rest? Spot on, you need to clue your two 4s as well, making a trio of clues that make up your cluster. Hence PLATFORM could turn into PLAY and FARM, and you clue all three words. File your clusters like so:

KEROSENEBunch, like rose needing fuel
KERREx-GG Mudlark ending on blunder
SEREBurn, say, like a desert

Due to the prize, you need to invent an alias relating to EIGHT. Submit as many clusters as you like at draft stage, but our Thursday 9pm deadline demands one cluster only, plus one other of your clues (an 8 or a 4), you also like. Four clues all up, each with a precis of their workings.

Voting will be for best 8 (5 points for best, 4 for next, etc) and best 4-clue (ditto). As for the orphan clue – the fourth clue submitted – just pick one, as this give us a tie-breaker option. The book will go to the best overall scorer (and therefore the best cluster creator.) We desper8 to initi8? GO!

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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?
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