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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 3 - Hangman Hangup

24 February, 2014

You may have read my tweet: is there a more humane version of Hangman? A mate of mine teaches English to Iraqi refugees, where junior crosswords are going down a treat, along with primary readers. But he’s a little reluctant to introduce Hangman due to the grisly artwork. Even the name suggests a sorry end which could well evoke painful memories within the class.

So what’s a kinder alternative? Do your own kids, or cousins, or friends, observe a different end-game? Have you met a more PC label for the pastime? Could be the seed of a Wordplay column. Would love to hear your field reports – or brainwaves.

Also in the news, Barack Obama is due to meet the Dalai Lama. Can’t remember when world headlines obsessed over two rhyming VIPs sharing a teapot. Inspires a fun idea: who else could we match-make, making an equivalent splash? Kate Moss and Hugo Boss would hardly raise eyebrows, compared to Tim Winton and Hilary Clinton (who’s after a warmer speechwriter). Or Christopher Pyne and Miranda Devine: in hope of spinning the right media message…. Who else?

Crossword clues get their views here too, with the best of the Times, the Guardian and the Financial Times up for a gander, as well as any other cryptic-cum-verbal titbits you encounter in your travels. Have a wordy 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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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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