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Diabolically Arcane

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Phrases Of Course

25 October, 2016

All ten phrases below hail from the home straight of horse racing, with a snip of shorthand etymology in brackets. If you missed my equine cameo on News Breakfast this morning, talking track parlance, then view here. And look for this week's Wordplay column in the Sydney Morning Herald where I splice Flemington with Washington.

Meantime, a week from the Cup, can you win the 'Big Apple' with any of these gee-gee gems? All you need do is to craft a piece of wordplay only - no need for defintion unless that chimes sweetly with your subterfuge. Happy punting.

ACROSS THE BOARD [combination bet on tote]

GIVE AND TAKE [handicap system]

RUNNING MATE [companion horse]


HANDS DOWN [no need for whip]

SHOO-IN [only needs shooing over line]

HOME AND HOSED [easy win]


COME A CROPPER [fall off horse]

BIG APPLE [plump prize purse]

And we're off!

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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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