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Diabolically Arcane

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Salon 7 - The A-List

24 March, 2014

Halfway through the A-listings in the latest Macquarie, hoping to get to B by this time next week. It’s quite a long read at 1720 pages. Dry at times, the book has too many characters in search of a narrative, though there are some delightful side-stories along the way. Like these:

Al Siratthe razor-thin bridge that one needs to pass in order to see paradise [from Arabic – the road]

Acrowpropthat object above, in fact, which supports buildings when foundations are partly removed [From A. Crowe, the inventor’s solicitor]

actrineactress of good looks but dubious ability

almaRussian yeti [from the Kazak town of Alma-Ata]

aggiornamentopapal practice of updating customs and doctrine

Just four of the fab discoveries I’ve made in March, attending to A. You will see a few more abstruse [Latin, abstrusus, concealed] A-words in coming WoWs, as well as crossword solutions. While look for some posts and Wordplay columns (in the SMH) about my dictionary marathon. It’s serious fun.

By all means, please convert any of the 5 A-words above into clues, then I’ll join you. In the meantime, share the crossword lore here too, such as a devious innovation in a Monday Times where ‘wife split’ yielded a double-V, or a bisected W! Ingenious things, intriguing thing, anything verbal – the Salon is the place to post. 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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