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Diabolically Arcane

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25 October, 2012

Two delicious emails just landed in the DAbox this afternoon, both of a cruciverbal stripe. The first is a question, the second, a treat. Here’s hoping you can help with the former, and consider the latter as your reward.

Can anyone pinpoint the name, or possibly coin one, for the kind of clue that treats a solution as if it were a piece of wordplay? To give you an example, a month ago I clued NOD in such a vein: Agree this makes crowd show off.

The same inside-out chicanery can apply to most of the principal recipes. ROCKHAMPTON, say, could be clued as Queensland town producing Phantom? (Perceiving the solution as a command to rock-HAMPTON.) Just as BACKSTAB may cop the clue: Treacherous act deemed to be crazy (An allusion to the reversal of STAB = BATS.)

You get the drift. Like a refracted formula. But surely we can drum up a neater name.


Now for a different mind-tickle. Maths maven and puzzle hound, Geoff Bailey has sent along the latest set of conundrums from the Sydney Uni Maths Society. This first link will lead you to a landscape familiar to Fairfax readers, a subversion of the Herald’s puzzle section. Geoff suggests you scroll to the second page to confront a fractuous cryptic.

And if you have a pathological hunger for puzzles of any variety – logic, logistic, numeric, semantic – then head for the SUMS menu in full. Thanks to Geoff for the shout. Have fun.

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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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