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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 20

19 March, 2012

If you like your footy – and your puzzles – then make sure you follow the season’s batch of brain-teasers over at the Almanac. The year’s opener looks at the AFL flukes nesting among four of our current Test XI. The series can take any shape, so long as there’s a football flavour, with a good whack of wordplay. (Feel free to solve online, add suggestions, or propose a guest puzzle this winter. You’re more than welcome.)

And while writing is on the radar, I’ve been having fun this morning turning authors into their rightful adjectives. We all know Kafkaesque, or Shakespearean, but is the work of Martin Amis – Amish, or Amisty, or even Amystic?

Could Noel Coward’s puns be Cowardly? Or Graham Greene’s moral dilemmas be Greenish? What other scribes can you transcribe?

Of course, as a Salon post, here’s the place to chat about the week’s crosswords too. (If you never saw the latest Sunday Times, then sadly you missed a head-spinner: an ab-fab puzzle of giddy deception.) So share the joys and woes here, ensuring we don’t miss any marvels.


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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