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Diabolically Arcane

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Starman Mantras

12 January, 2016

From Ziggy to Aladdin, I grew up with David Bowie. I adored the singer's shape-shifting, like a human anagram. His enigmatic charisma. His opaque lyrics. So that's the spirit of this week's Brainstorm: to create clues in the surreal tradition of David Jones, as he was born.

So get zany. Psychedelic. Bowiesque. Paint a strange picture, or invoke an obscure German librettist, a diamond dog, some serious moonlight. We can skip definitions (unless they chime) and just make mad with the wordplay. So long as your offering makes technical sense. And even better, doesn't waste a strange word.

Choose from these classics, or feel free to ransack the starman's back catalogue. Let's dance:

Space Oddity


Rebel, Rebel

Life on Mars

Suffragette City

Five Years

Scary Monsters

Modern Love

Under Pressure

Ashes to Ashes

Golden Years

Young Americans

China Girl

Let’s Dance 

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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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