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Diabolically Arcane

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Crosswords emerged 100 years ago. Cluetopia is one mad time-trip from jails to jungles, in search of the best crossword stories.

Sydney Queues and Clues

October 20, 2010

imagesCAF3CDFJ A shout to any Sydney browsers. You will catch me signing copies of Puzzled in the Dymocks store on George Street next Friday 29/10, from 12.30 till 1.30. Come and say gday. Or tell me why I’ve upset your breakfast with one of the year’s strangest crosswords.

And if you’re extra quick, why not book your place at a unique clue clinic in Gleebooks the day after, from 4 till 6? More details here – and to come.

Including one detail concerning the BYO crossword. At the moment, Gleebooks is asking all comers to arrive with Saturday’s puzzle. Of course, Saturday’s puzzle belongs to my esteemed colleague, DS, or David Sutton. While I admire and enjoy the DS wrangle, I think our session will be the merrier for tackling a crossword to which I’m answerable.

So bring in Friday’s bizarro crossword, and let’s chew on that. And next, to fire up your brain cells, I will give you all a brand-new crossword, tailor-made for the session, teasing you with clue recipe by recipe. Should be a lot of fun, and be great to put a few faces to aliases.



21 October at 04:34PM

Thanks DA. I'm a Sydney lad, but will be in Melbourne next Friday!

Looking forward to brain-warping cryptic next week.


21 October at 09:55PM

thanks for the heads-up!

i hope to make the saturday event with my philthy flatmates and another bloke from uni.

looking forward to the madness on friday


29 October at 05:02PM

thanks DA! i'm gonna run out and get another copy of today's SMH now, so that i've got an unsullied copy for tomorrow's session.

you have done well out me today, Fairfax...


31 October at 03:58PM

Sorry I missed your Sydney visit DA...I was sloshing around in Melbourne instead.

Was I missing something re Friday's cryptic? I was expecting a mega-challenge with multiple twists and turns, but sailed through it without much difficulty. And the only subliminal reference looked to be the Where's Wally clue, but I couldn't see the linkage elsewhere in the puzzle. Was there something happening on a higher plane that I missed? (...story of my life...)


31 October at 08:00PM

SK, you did realise there's a quest to be completed, once the grid is complete, hunting down four oblique Wallies? (Hop over to DA Trippers for more discussion & debate.)

And Dr P, Fairfax passes on its gratitude. Heritage media needs as many friends as it can find.

philth, good to meet you, and wonderful to strike so many other ardent solvers out there, at both events. The whole trip was a crossword maker's joyride.


31 October at 09:03PM

Ahhh...now I get it. I was looking for Wendas etc, but never bothered to look diagonally. Nice one.


10 November at 07:27AM

Goodmorning David,

I love letters and numbers, you are all so good
together on this show, a little corny but i ove it, i record it and watch after my work.

My dad loves the stress of your crosswords, too much for me though, Can i buy a book of your crosswords for him, or are they only avaiable in the newspaper??

Thankyou for your time with this,



16 November at 02:28PM

Hi Charmaine

If you inquire through Fairfax books you will be able to find a lot of puzzle collections, some of which carry my crosswords. (Just check the authors linked to each title.)

Second, since your Dad is clearly a word lover, then my latest book Puzzled is a good mystery tour, that also has 7 cryptics to solve, as well as 100 other word teasers.

Hope that helps, best DA


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This Month's Winner

Well done to Sam for his Emmy makeover in our latest Storm, turning Best Actresses into the best wordplay, and winning a copy of Superstar Crosswords.



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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A pocketbook packed with 250 word stories – from Aga to Zemblanity – plus 175 new puzzles for all comers, this is a word nerd’s summer necessity.

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Puzzled combines memoir, wordplay history and a how-to guide for solvers. With bizarre crossword stories, example clues plus mini-puzzles to test your skill – and nerve. Buy here.

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Bendigo Blathering


Rug up, roll up. This week I’m chatting at two Bendigo sessions – crosswords on Sat (9/8) & grammar on Sun (10/8). Go here for passes and more info. Breeze by.

Spoiler Alert


Today’s DA crossword [6/6] has a video link showing you a time-lapse of the puzzle’s hatching. Or peek at the story in Tower, the UTS magazine.

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