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Diabolically Arcane

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Rhubarb Pi

31 March, 2011

Keeping to a letter/number flavour this week, I’ve been chewing on pi, that old Greek letter that meant so much to Pythagoras and every other digital freak to follow. Most of us knew the symbol to mean 3.14 (or roughly 22 over 7), although the actual value is impossible to finalise, since the irrational string of numbers spills into infinity and beyond.

In fact, breaking pi down to 20 places, you get this catchy non-numberplate:


(Of course, you say. Recite it in my sleep.) But how to play with this mystic sequence from a word perspective? That was the real question. And then I had an Archimedean eureka.

Too clunky for a Storm, but let’s see who can compose the most lyrical sentence(s), using as large a grab as you like of that 20-digit string, where every word owns the equivalent length of the numbers on show, and every number observes the correct order. For example, using the first clump, I fudged this attempt:

For a nerd, I think, chemistry is mostly bliss and boron.

As you’ll discover, owing to the erratic numbering, this challenge ain’t easy. Even that 3141 opener is a hair-puller. But then again, what else do you expect from applied maths? A Fulbright Genius Grant to any dabbler who can compose a single fluent sentence to 20 places.


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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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