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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 31 (Between Junkets)

5 August, 2013

Morning word lovers, puzzle nuts & general verbal rubble. Oh what fun your blogmeister had in Byron Bay last week, spreading the word at the Writers' Festival. If you feel like a shot of warmer weather, a swim, good music and some fascinating sessions – keep your calendar free for early August.

I caught Kerry O'Brien quizzing Maxine McKew about her Bennelong experiment. Simon Crean on the spill. Peter Carey on the oeuvre. Archie Roach and Paul Kelly harmonise. Robert Drewe discuss atomic megatons. Heard surf writers, kids writers, memoirists, poets, critics, and met a riot of wonderful people in a cultural jamboree. Best fest in the West – or Far East anyway.

Came home to a uteload of emails including a query from Naomi about accessing crosswords on the digital platform. I’m still a pen & paper sucker, but can anyone share some light about the best methods (or tips) to solve online? According to Naomi, “The only way is on the ipad and accessed via the ‘newsstand’ icon for active digital subscribers. So there was much excitement last week! Unfortunately no such joy for my Samsung Note…not yet anyway…”

Is this the only way? The best way? Be good to get your tips on the meeting place of clues and cursors.

Later this week is a media conference in Sydney, learning more about this morphing technology, and how journalism, and cruciverbalism, can navigate the gnarls, as well as make the most of the expanding platforms.

To finish, here’s a brilliant code-pushing clue from a recent Paul: Cuckoo clocks, chocolates, snow, Alps and Heidi ultimately this?

Share other clues and crossword coups through the 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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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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