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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 12, Or Is It?

28 April, 2014

At a cafe on the weekend, I came across a sign that read: This door is broken. Please enter via the other side.

Seems clear enough. Except when you consider this was a double door, not to mention the cafe had an alternative entrance off the junction’s other street. I found myself torn between two doors, and took my business elsewhere.

Ambiguity is a topic I’ve been pondering a little more lately, as has John Rentoul for The Independent. Click here to see his Top 10 List of Ambiguous Signs, including such head-benders as:

Slow Children Playing
Train Drivers Must Not Be Disturbed

Any more ambiguities you can add? We deal with them all the time, as crossword solvers, but what about at work, on signs, in cafe culture?

And while at the cafe, why not solve some stellar clues, like this Times dazzler: The only article newsman finally pulled, working on paper (13)

Share other gems, or clangers, from the week’s worth of crosswords here. And have a wordomatic week.

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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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