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Diabolically Arcane

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Oooh, We're Looking For Clues

18 October, 2012

The things you find in the Library of Congress. As you know, I’ve been neck-deep in research these last few months, assembling a new book about crosswords through the century. A long slog, but then you find a morsel like Frank Crumit’s novelty tune of 1925, Cross-word mamma, you puzzle me (but papa’s gonna figure you out).

Note the hyphen too. Back in the 1920s, crosswords were cross-words, having changed already from a word-cross (in 1913). But visit the library’s vault and savour a grab of chequered history.

And last, to keep In The Mood, let’s see if we can compile a Top Ten of crossword songs, offering or modifying existing hits (or bands) to suit the cruciverbal art. Some suggestions:

Bittersweet Homophony
Unfinished Symphony
Seven-Lettered Army
Where Is My Mind?
Checks on Speed
Moody Clues

Together, let’s make some beautiful B&W music…

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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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