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Diabolically Arcane

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Duplicity Victory

18 June, 2011

After a sluggish start – largely due to my ambiguous ground rules – the two-faced clues surged in, with close to 20 double-dealing grids created. That was the idea – to make a 5x5 waffle square which could house two sets of answers for the one set of clues.

If that doesn’t add up, then admire the winners, each composer a rightful claimant of Mauve’s new Which game. First, with no dispute, was a blazing construction by Boniface:


4A Muslim ascetic (FAQIR/SWAMI)

5A Superstar of the 70s and 80s (EVERT/REEVE)

1D Light weapon (RIFLE/LASER)

2D Rub the wrong way (PIQUE/CHAFE)

3D Physical support (STRUT/SPINE)

Love that central Q, and the Superstar wordplay, with every clue suavely owning both solutions. A gem. Meanwhile, scoring her second Which game (gotta mate’s birthday coming up?) is RK with a late eye-catcher. Also taking a turn for the Scrabbly – with a pair of Zs in play – RK’s puzzle is equally seamless. Go on, call me a liar:

1ac. Lift notes? (MUZAK/STEAL)

4ac. Former US president (DUBYA/ADAMS)

5ac. Duck (EVADE/EIDER)

1dn. A creature with bite (MIDGE/SNAKE)

2dn. Savannah inhabitant (ZEBRA/ELAND)

3dn. An unreliable guy (KNAVE/LOSER)

Leading us to the Bronze Janus, and this was where I gnawed a while. Admired JD’s spirit – somehow making one clue render PLANB and SUSHI. Loved LR’s concision, and Mr X’s for splicing ATARI and ALBUM, or Nib for beginning with HEINZ/WORMS. Also dug SK’s ASTLE/VADER conflation, against my lawyer’s advice. But for bold ambition, on top of getting this ambiguous ball rolling, I dip my chequered cap to DC for attempting (not perfectly) to craft six cryptic clues with dual outcomes. Quite heady:

  1. Succubus veiled about drug-free (DEVIL/DEMON)

  2. Diviner sounds transcendent alarm, backs colourful covering (TAROT/AUGUR)

  3. Troubled actor changes gender, bearing revolutionary (SHEEN/HECHE)

  4. Passes tomb marking (DATES/DEATH)

  5. Words that move seer, a Roman figure (VERSE/MAGIC)

  6. Saddled after changing primary language (LATIN/NORSE)

Look for a more lucid, less laborious Storm next Tuesday. And please, those Three Whiches of Cawdor, give Mauve a nudge so that he can pass on your provocative prize. Congratz all round – for the brio, and the perseverance. A worthy Storm to warm the winter cortex.

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Text-speak is creeping into Scrabble. Where do you sit?
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