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Diabolically Arcane

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To MarkER the Occasion

5 June, 2012

Diamond jubilees deserve the fanfare. (Should I ever reach 60 years of crossword making, a barge up the harbour is the least I’m owed.) That’s why the Oxford Dictionary is offering to enshrine ER (the eternal queen of clue-speak) into a word, phrase, name and title.

To make the most of Commonwealth expertise, the OED seeks your ER advice. Pick a word, add ER to coin a comic novelty, and provide a definition. Or pick a phrase, and pull the same stunt. And with a name, insert ER and tell us about this person. Ditto with a title (book, movie, song), give us a brief synopsis of the ER-creation. In order, five of mine:

TOERUPEE – pedestrian income in Mumbai

MINIBARER – apprentice flasher

MORE BANGER FOR YOUR BUCK – extra-long Kransky

BONER SCOTT – Glaswegian butcher

21 JUMPER STREET – crafty soapie set in a needle exchange

STARER TREK – A bird-watching safari

Note: adding just an R (like turning RANGE into RANGER) is not regal enough. And should another player snag your first impulse, like BRIGHTON ROCKER say, then fret not. Often the gag lies in the accompanying remark.

To keep our pageant above board, pick a queen-related pseudonym, and let’s toast Her Madge with styleer (piggish ogle). Free-wheel your ideas for a few days, then submit your four-pack (word, phrase, name, title) by Thursday 9pm for the sole adjudication by mere. Shoulder be fun.

(PS – I will play under a royal alias in Phase 1, but then play judge & executioner by the weekenerd.)


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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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