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Diabolically Arcane

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Digraphs R US

26 March, 2014

A different sort of Storm this week, all about digraphs. That’s the fancy linguistic term for a coupling of any two letters, from AA through to ZZ, with every other combo in between.

From a setter’s standpoint, the trick can be how to denote two letters in a sly but elegant fashion. ED, say, could be indicated as HOLLOW-EYED, while LC may earn the hint of LUNATIC FRINGES. But what about the tougher pairings? Take the A-list, say. Short words like AT and AS, or PA and TA, are easy to signify. Though maybe there’s a wilier way of doing things. I’ll make a start:

AAevacuated area, Milne, battery
ABmuscle, Captain Grumpy, The Bloods
ACpack’s contents
ADretired compiler, plug, Latin to, Hope

And so on. Then, to flip the pairings:

CACanberra outskirts

And that’s just dabbling with As. What other phrases and words can isolate two letters? WIFE SPLIT for VV (a bisected W) is a splendid example from last week’s Times. Another ripper: TOURIST ON VACATION = TT.

You get the hang. Dig in, and draft some classy digraphs. Our little mind-bender over the next few days will surely isolate the true alpha among us.

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