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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 5

4 February, 2013

This will be a tricky day. Missing my football, I may need to succumb to some Superbowl hype over lunch. As well as write a word column and a chapter about Dutch crosswords…

Not to mention maintain a dazzling blog and Twitter feed. (Who says males can’t multitask?) And part of the Salon smorgasbord is half-a-Wordwit below, with the best suggestions sure to make the full Wordwit in six weeks.

A simple idea. G can be soft or hard. If you swap one for the other, then DRUG sounds like DRUDGE. While GOAL comes across as JOEL. Hence Acquires squadron (4,4) is GETS JETS. (Try to keep the vowel sound, rather than fall for MANGER MANGA.) Here are six more:

  1. Bigger beer (6,5)
  2. Prison blow (4,4)
  3. Fair blow (4,4)
  4. Pompous Mark? (4,6)
  5. Master group (5,6)
  6. Bully critic? (6,6)

Blab answers, and invent clues with bylone & number, below. (And of course, here’s the place to chew over the week’s best & worst cryptics too.) Have a great week, and go you 49ers, I think.

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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