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Diabolically Arcane

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Two Girls, One On Each Knee

25 February, 2014

The answer is PAT-ELLA, a clever charade clue composed by Roger Squires. Appearing in the Telegraph, the clue in fact was the 2 millionth from Squires' desk, making him the most prolific cryptic compiler in history.

The clue is also the title of a scintillating crossword history, written by Guardian blogger Alan Connor, to toast the puzzle’s centenary. And I have two copies – one on each knee – thanks to the generous people at Particular Press, an imprint of Penguin. Care to win one? Here’s the contest:

Keeping with the two-then-one-idea, players are invited to chose a word with a double letter that becomes a new word when that double is slimmed to a single. SLIMMED and SLIMED is one such pairing. DESSERT and DESERT. POSSESS and POSSES. You get the gist.

Clue both words – with both definition and wordplay elements – for a chance to score the Patella novella. To keep things above board, select an alias with a set of doubled letters, and handpick your two best pairs – here in the forum – before Thursday 6pm. Here’s a taste:

GRIPPINGBigfoot awesome, exciting
GRIPINGLamenting break in horse laps

By all means, provide an explanation where a clue seems less clear. To join the knees-up, I will be a covert contestant, as well as the sole judge Judy – not Juddy – in order to streamline the end-game. The winner will have wrangled two fine clues, not just one zinger within a pair, so take care with booth subterfuges. God luck to Al.

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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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
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