Tag: wordplay


How to make palindromes

26 February marks the 200th anniversary of Napoleon Bonaparte’s victorious escape from the isle of Elba. He had been banished there a year earlier, as part of the Treaty of Fountainebleau. It was this act of exile that created the historical pretext for one of the best known palindromes in the English language, Able was […]

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Clues, code-breaking, and cruciverbalists: the language of crosswords

The recent release of The Imitation Game has revealed the important role crosswords played in the recruitment of code-breakers at Bletchley Park. In response to complaints that its crosswords were too easy, The Daily Telegraph organised a contest in which entrants attempted to solve a puzzle in less than 12 minutes. Successful competitors subsequently found […]

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March Madness: we have a winner!

Cricket ball

With only five votes separating victory from grim defeat, the sport expression that has claimed the championship title in the Oxford Dictionaries Bracket Challenge is: butterfingers. The champ Who would have guessed that clumsiness would be a winning trait in a sports competition? This slightly ironic turn of events might be deemed less so if […]

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