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Diabolically Arcane

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Three-Lettered Race

4 October, 2011

Small is often beautiful, talking mortgages, or crossword clues. And a deft clue, for a short answer, is also a thing to marvel.

That’s your challenge this week. To nominate any three-letter word, and give it a gorgeous clue. Anagrams are obviously off the agenda, but don’t neglect the potential of double meaning, hidden, alternate letters, homophone – and all the other arrows in your quiver.

Use this forum to toss around ideas, and 9pm Thursday (that’s 3 times 3), hand in your best three clues. Come the weekend, I’ll pick the best three overall, and invite you to help launch the People’s Choice debut, selecting the one clue that deserves three cheers.

The entire Storm is inspired by a clue from last week’s Times:

COS: Island in Mediterranean often associated with sin

That’s the best way to file your stuff, with answer then clue. And across the Storm I’ll be submitting other actual crackers for other three-letter solutions. Red? Set? Run!


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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