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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 28

15 July, 2013

Picked up a quirky book over the weekend. Imagine a Scrabble dictionary with pictures, and sidebars, and you have Is That A Word, by David Bukszpan (which isn’t a word, but should be.)

In one detour he lists familiar names with unfamiliar meanings, likes Timothy (fodder grass), Pam (the jack of clubs in some games), Tammie (curtain liner) and Johnny (a hospital gown). More amusing than must-have, I can now say I’ve seen an illustration of a Welsh crwth.

A busy week at the desk, compiling Puzzles & Words 2. But here’s a whimsical puzzle to get your brain cogging. If WUZZLES comes from PUZZLES & WORDS, or BLECKER comes from BLACK & DECKER, what pairings can spoon out these eight?

  1. Atchy
  2. Pisher
  3. Lardy
  4. Casey
  5. Work
  6. Watler
  7. Tooch
  8. Sten

(Any more?)

And of course, the Salon is the place where we toast the best of British crosswords, like Anax’s golden clue from the other week: Mister Bob Hope (7)

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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Recent Comments

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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