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Diabolically Arcane

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14 December, 2011

We interrupt this week’s Stormathon (Part II) with a cute announcement. A mate called Fred, who loves all things innovative, tugged my sleeve the other day. He said he’d seen a crossword on the Fast Company website that’s designed like a QR code.

Cool, I thought. What’s a QR code?

If you work in logistics, or massive stock transfer, that question is 101. For the rest of us, QR stands for Quick Response, and embodies the next generation of bar code. Easier for scanners to read, apparently, as well as owning the aesthetic advantage of resembling a portrait in melting snow. Or a crossword, as a film-maker Christian Kolding figured, turning the square into many squares.

The gimmick is part of New York’s MoMa expo, Talk To Me, where every artwork comes with its own QR. If curious, patrons can scan any code with their iPhones to hear more about the installation. Nifty idea. Cool crossword. Though with due respect to Christian, I’d say as a clue setter he’s a brilliant film-maker. Worth a peek but.

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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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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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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