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Diabolically Arcane

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Sound the Vuvuzelas!

3 February, 2011

Congratulations to our resident Gym Bunnies whose status has been officially recognised by the Macquarie Dictionary. Last night, in a red-carpet gala, our nation’s lexicon read out the Words of the Year in each category, from Business (presenteeism) to Sport (rail trail), from Technology (pocket-dial) to the Environment (flying cane toad). And in the Colloquial category, up popped gym bunnies, triggering rabid applause from the rowdy Brainstorm table.

Other newbies to catch the eye: sandbagging. (Nothing to do with Queensland floods, but the practice of shoring up swing voters with desperate pledges.) And the louche trio of vajazzle (Fashion), neurosexism (Psych) and screwage (apparently Eating and Drinking). Oh yes, the heir to corkage, of course. As you were.

To see the whole pantheon, including some delicious runners-up, click here. The same ‘hop’ will also you tell you that Googleganger wears the tiara for 2010, being any person who shares your name within the cyber-wilds of search engines. To my shame, David Astle is also the anti-Semitic author of The Babylonian Woe, a football hooligan fond of hurling piss bottles at rival terraces, as well as being the victim of colliding into a moose in Maryland. (Quite the birthright this handle.)

Out of interest – retaining your online anonymity if you prefer – what illustrious heights have your own Googlegangers reached? Should make for a comical Who’s Not Quite Who.

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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