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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 57

17 December, 2012

Any good books to read? With beach towels and poolsides a-wooing, we should swap a few good titles to tackle. I’ve heard Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer (the brother) is a gonzo gem about the Memory Olympics.

There’s a lot of buzz about The Flame Alphabet too, a non-narrative about the toxicity of language. Guaranteed to polarise. And if you want a good crime yarn? Harry Bosch is back in action, with The Black Box. I’m also looking forward to a translation riff, Is That a Fish in Your Ear? There must be others you loved, or heard good things about.

One more favour: what would be a tough film title to charade? Let’s see if we can make a top ten list of stinkers. My early nominees: Shawshank Redemption, Koyaanisqatsi, Hudsucker Proxy, Erin Brockovich, Minority Report, Quantum of Solace, Mr Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. What else?

And for those of us still solving Times and Gs, in this mad pre-Christmas spree, then share the joys and frankincense right here.

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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