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Diabolically Arcane

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Taking Five

22 March, 2016

Four years back, I made a variety puzzle based on the phrase TAKE FIVE. Once you cracked that answer, the gimmick became clear, as every other clue required you to subtract its V.

WHATEVER, therefore, could be clued as:

Wild weather? Who cares? 

Or GODIVA might read:

Prime setter, perhaps, flipped to see nudist 

See the trick? Nominate a V-word, then ignore the V in your wordplay. Or perhaps choose a double V-word, like VERVE:

Poetic prior to dash

That's our challenge this week.  A vexatious week for yours truly, as I craft my customary puzzles & columns, as well as holding down the graveyard shift on ABC radio. Insomniacs and vampires are welcome to listen. The show is national, and the hours unholy, from 2am till 6. With those circadian rhythms in mind, please excuse the delayed stage-name results, and the sporadic blog visits, as I take five from regular diurnal duties. 

Vibrant verbal connivers - move!

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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Wordburger Awaits!

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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Recent Comments

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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