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Diabolically Arcane

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Tis the Cup, So Giddy Up

2 November, 2010

Can you hear the Flemington fanfare, Fernando? The drum of hooves? The allegro racing of the heart? The falsetto sigh of drunken marqueens?

That’s right, punters: the season is here for the handling of horse flesh. A clue contest in fact, turning the eight previous winners below into an elegant piece of wordplay – plus the winner of this year’s race, to make a total of nine possible prizes.

Pick a horse, any horse, and convert the creature into a clue (with no definition required). Or pick the field and see how well you can handle the conditions. As chief tout, I’ll be on the lookout for fresh approaches, concision, elegant surface sense – and good pedigree of course.

So, your choice of champs:

Makybe Diva
Media Puzzle
Rogan Josh
Vintage Crop
At Talaq
Plus this week’s winner: AMERICAIN

To post an idea, just identify the horse by its initials, followed by the wordplay, like so:

MD: Possibly gained $1000 from opera star

VC: Graffiti signature in foreign province

The crowd is hushed. The barrier gates locked. The starter mounts his gantry. His finger settles on the button – and they’rrrrre off. (All bets invalid after Thursday sundown.)


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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