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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 21

27 May, 2013

This post is a Salon 21-salute to Captain James Barry Astle. The merchant skipper left us on Friday after a long and arduous struggle. He was 84. Last week, on the same morning, I devoted the festival’s crossword session to my ancestral salt, there at Wharf 3 where he’d once worked. In a previous life, the arts precinct of Sydney had been a maze of containers, bales, forklifts and berthed ships where the Astle boys ran riot. Eerily, it was the right place, and the right venue, to salute a strong and gregarious man.

With the funeral slated for this week, all usual services are suspended. Though I must alert you to the festival’s other wordy session, now available as a podcast. Why Read Dictionaries, asked Mark Forsyth and I. Click here to find out why.

In a dabbler first, the festival also enticed Boniface, SK, RK and JC from the ether – as well as RobT and AC (who kept on the down-low). Thanks for dropping by – your support proved to be a cheering counter to the inevitable news on the homefront.

And if you do feel like a game – I know I do – then let’s play Celebese. If The Lucy ignore the Jude, (The Lawless ignore the Law), or Bad Minnies crash Harrisons (Bad Drivers crash Fords) – then can you construct any other sentences, recruiting two implied surnames? Bylines and numbers please.

And let’s share some Brit crosswords if you get the chance. The latest tide of Times has lapped a very high watermark. And The Guardian has been no less zingy. Have a good week.

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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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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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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