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Diabolically Arcane

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19 July, 2011

Cryptic clues! Cryptic clues! Cryptic clues! (I can almost hear the chant from my desk. You lot excel when a Storm requires a spot of clue crafting, so here’s the meat for your appetite. Or tofu, if that’s your thang.)

Choose any five-letter word that has the ability to convert into a four letter word, when any letter is removed. For example, LEAST (or ASTLE if you wish to catch the eye, since proper names are cool) can dismantle into SEAT, SALT, LETS, TALE and SEAL (among other possible words). And after the destruction, comes the construction, with a clue for each of your 6 words – the source word, and five offshoots.

Here’s my example:

DREAM – Elite change of leadership is fantasy
REAM – Matutinal papers?
MADE – Loud domestic on Easy Street?
DRAM – By end of round, memory is shot
MR ED – M-Marxist in stable condition?
DEAR – Precious bivalve (heart) in the German

Give it a crack, and dream big. Just drop each letter once and scramble, and submit your six clues in similar fashion, with dear prizes afforded to the top three cluers. (And just a favour, nearing deadline by 8 on Thursday, if you could put your best few sets forward, as the medals will be for the best cluster, with only special mentions for one-off clues.) Dream on.

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Rewording The Brain

Focus & memory, lateral leaps & logic - every aspect of cognitive health is lit in Rewording The Brain, a book revelling in how puzzles boost your brain. Part 2 equips your brain to conquer any twisty clue, plus the wild crossword finale. Pop science meets neural gameplay, Rewording is rewarding, and out now.


Rewording The Brain

Care to renew your noodle? Rewording The Brain explores the latest neural studies, seeing how puzzles (and twisty clues) boost your neurons. Part 2 helps you crack such clues, and prep the grey matter for the crossword showcase to finish. More here

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101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes)

From Ambidextrous to Zugwang, this mini-dictionary teems with rare or alluring words, plus bonus riddles, puzzles and fun word-facts. Dictionary detective will also nab the collection's three fakes. Ideal for late primary schoolers, or word-nuts in general.

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Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

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Recent Comments

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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