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Diabolically Arcane

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'Th' Friday Follies

12 July, 2013

See if you can recognise these two mystery voices in Newcastle’s Treasure Hunter Contest? Oops, I almost gave the answers away. One day I’m hoping to set one of these quests, a clue scramble around the region, though I can tell you know the grail will await you in a winery (winter) or a surf hangout(summer). That place teems with attractions – now with added clues!

Whack it up. Stir it up. A great podcast about Boston mobspeak, drawing on Yiddish, Russian and Shakespeare. And if you are a Sopranos fan, enjoy David Chase’s eulogy for big Jimmy Gandolfini.

And lastly, a bizarre story about a Melburnian restaurateur who wants to reduce ‘the’ to a symbol, in the same way the ampersand has supplanted ‘and’. What’s your take on this? What word would you reduce, and how? Or can we downsize any word with creative pizzazz? Like this:

-iki = DASHIKI

What else?

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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