Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

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News and Pew-Pews

28 March, 2013

For those who like their AFL, plus a cryptic kink, then may I remind you that Footy Almanac is resuming its DA puzzle series, with three clues per week. Make it part of your surfing week.

Second, my News Clue continues on Radio National’s Sunday Extra, where a name salvaged from the week’s press gets pretzeled into wordplay. Usual time is 745am Sundays, or try the podcast. And this week, for an Easter variation, host Jonathan Green will be quizzing me about Cryptopia, same time.


Been reading Netymology this week, a glossary on online terms from Apps to Zombies by Tom Chatfield. Plenty to like about the lexicon. Would love your thoughts on these two:

  1. Modern sound effects: If lasers go pew-pew, or eating is om-nom-nom, after the Cookie Monster, what other modern FX can you suggest? To plip means to unlock a car nowadays.

  2. The Scunthorpe Problem: Due to a vulgarity perched in Scunthorpe, the town gets, ahem, shafted by puritan filters. Just as CLASSIC may convert to CLBUTTIC for being less lewd apparently. Then there was US sprinter Tyson Gay who appeared as Tyson Homosexual in the copy. Any other likely names and words on the net-nose? And how might they convert?

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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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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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