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Diabolically Arcane

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Venez the Menace

15 May, 2012

In case you missed the yarn across the weekend, a crossword setter named Neptali Segovia found himself in major doo-doo. The Venezuelan puzzler intersected ADAN (the president’s brother) with ASESINEN (the plural of the imperative form to kill). The palace wasn’t pleased. Secret police in unmarked Cadillacs came to make inquiries….

Segovia is safe for now, thank God. The criss-cross was accidental. But the story highlights the danger of a volatile clue. And that’s where we go with this week’s Storm – another clue-fest, but this time with full disclosure.

Create a clue that may oblige a midnight call from ASIO, the CIA, the FBI, the Stasi and/or Mossad. Please, for reasons of lawsuits, don’t make things too red-rag, just edgy. Enough to cock a security eyebrow. Like this:

SHORTEN: Throne’s rigged by Cabinet Minster

BIMBO: Lara Bingle, perhaps, detonated one bomb

DERRICK: Cabal murder Ricky with old gallows

Be alert, and alarm us with your wordplay. Before Thursday 9pm, submit your favourite three, and I will judge the pick on (a) quality, closely followed by (b) menace.

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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