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Nation Building...

20 May, 2014

Keeping things on a geo-footing this week, let’s turn our focus onto the nations of the world, and their capital cities. (Wikipedia offers a handy list here.) The challenge here is to clue both elements – nation and city – in tandem, using the dreaded ellipses…

Beginners balk at this punctuation. Moderate solvers get a little sweaty. But seasoned puzzle-heads recognise the dots that splice two clues as doing one of three things:

1. Creating a complete story between two pieces;
2. Sharing a definition element;
3. Sharing a wordplay element.

Since we’re not defining ENGLAND or LONDON etc, we won’t be invoking Reason (2), though (1) and (3) are open slather. Here’s an early bid:

HAITIDiscussed posh meal… [‘high tea’]
PORT-AU-PRINCE…involving prune and apricot [anag]

This example entails (1) – telling one complete story. While here’s (3) in action:

FIJICharge $1000 in audit… [‘fee G’]
SUVA…of girl, Virginia [‘SUE’ + Va]

Should you wish to deliver city before nation, that’s fine. This is less a Storm than a playspace, to see who can craft the better couplings. With no prizes on offer, and no aliases required, the name of the game is style and experimentation. Now go make global chaos, you guerrillas.

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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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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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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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