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Diabolically Arcane

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Suffering Submarines!

7 January, 2012

Nice e-note from Nib during the week, alerting Dabblers to Captain Haddock’s creative lexicon. For those who don’t know Tintin – shame on you. For devotees, you will know the cap'n well, including his salty language when faced with adversity.

Bung the skipper into a crisis, and he’s bound to holler Jellied Eel, or Subtropical Sea-Louse. As well as a dozen more refined curses that could all merit Word of the Week status, such Moujik, Anacoluthon, Colocynth and Doryphore. And I’d love to know the setting for the mariner’s utterance of RKRPXZKRMTFRZ! Shades of an etaoin shrdlu.

Keeping things on a nautical keel, I am deeply enjoying Submarine, the Welsh version of Catcher in the Rye by Joe Dunthorne. Any novel which owns such chapter headings as Nepenthe, Osculation and Triskaidekaphobia is my kind of roman á clef. A wry helter-skelter of a hoot.

What other books, films, diversions of colourful websites do we need to know about, landlubbers?


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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.



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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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