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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 19

13 May, 2013

Ouch. My back is still smarting from the public thwacking. Puzzles like last week’s themer, where some entries are ‘non-words’, clearly polarise the public. For every bravo, I copped three salvos. Hence the poll you see in the right margin: what’s you response in general to non-word solutions, based on a thematic manipulation?

A reminder, the Sydney Writers Fest is fast looming, with two DA sessions as part of the schedule. Both are free and don’t require booking, but I’d recommend you roll up early (especially for Friday’s crossword powwow) as seats are finite. Say gday if you squeeze in.

(Melbourne solvers, if you want your chance of a personal puzzle session, with a view, and a vino, and a divine meal, then inquire here at the Dandenong Festival for May 25, as there may be a few seats remaining.)

Can’t speak for the rest of the week, but today’s Times is a trimmer. Great definition for 10ac, and a brilliant container: Bacon, perhaps, I put in hot dog (7) Talk more about the Times and the G below, as the week unfurls.

Regarding the Coppola hiccup in last week’s Storm, aplogies to uha if your clues were omitted. All cares are taken by the blog admin – which gracefully has included CL for the last while – but zero culpability. If there is a benign programmer out there who could help establish a shortlist template, then I will reward him/her with a bespoke puzzle, no question.

And last a puzzle to chew on, and extend. If vicburton = vicTIM, or safinhon = MARAThon, then can you restore these other non-words?

  1. uspectorl
  2. tarankain
  3. pahode
  4. parcowelly
  5. pholmo
  6. pafey
  7. haridor
  8. grefalcor

Any more to enlist?

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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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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