exercise your creative imperative home | wordplay | bookhooks | Avocabo | links | who? | kudos | blog

Welcome to The Vocabaret, my friends!

ABC Words
Solve clues to *A*B*C* words

Alternating Current
Words are discovered woven into larger words.

A Quiz of Collectives
Hey, get a bunch of animals in one place and who knows what they're called. Test your collectives sense.

A Sprinkling of Snow
Clues refers to a word containing the letters 's-n-o-w' (in that order, but not necessarily in consecutive order).

A Stampede of Carniverbs
Man the dictionaries!  You won't believe how many animal-verbs there are.  We've found 100! Can you doggedly ferret out the answers?  This is a great activity for English teachers.

AWAD Quizzes
Are you one of the more than 500,000 subscribers to Anu Garg's A.Word.A.Day mailing list?  Time to put you to the test! These vocabulary quizzes, each based on a weekly AWAD theme, will test how well you were paying attention. Non-AWAD players will find the quizzes challenging vocabulary builders.

Quiz 1  - Beastly Words
Quiz 2  - Which Craft?
Quiz 3  - Ten Words
Quiz 4  - Pass the Spaniard
Quiz 5 - A Study in Scarlet
Quiz 6 - Character Assassination
Quiz 7 - Eponymous Origins I
Quiz 8 - In the Beginning was the AWAD
Quiz 9 - Pre-theme Days
Quiz 10 - Not all that Nautical
Quiz 11 - A Word A Day About Words
Quiz 12 - Vocabulaire en passant
Quiz 13 - Terms of Endearment
Quiz 14 - Savory Words
Quiz 15 - Timber!
Quiz 16 - Verbal Zoo!
Quiz 17 - Strange Plurals
Quiz 18 - Collective Nouns
Quiz 19 - Unusual Body Parts

Beasts at Bay
Thar's beasts embedded in the clued solutions. And much verse!

Syzygies (see below) for those who preferred "fill in the blank tests" in high school English classes.

Checks in the Mail
Solve clues to words and phrases caching 'checks'

Chop Chop
Some words can survive having their head and tail letters lopped off. 'Mideast' becomes 'ideas'... Here are three games based on loppable words.

Closed for Lunch
Complete the punning signs that one may find at lunchtime on the door of a local business. Here are twenty witty submissions, missing significant (punning) words.
Take a time-out to complete the signs...

Colourful Quizzes
Complete the colourful clued expressions:

Blue by You
Green Space
Are you Red-dy
The Black Whole

Lyn Andrews researches, compiles, prints and mails a quiz magazine to a loyal membership throughout Australia. The magazine is called "Frustration" and it is a bi-monthly publication which contains word association and general knowledge quizzes (the profits of which go to Cancer research). Lyn regularly submits word association puzzles to Wordly-Wise. We have dubbed the games COMPONENTS.

A perennial favourite word game!  Can you make LOVE into HATE in 5 steps, changing only one letter at a time -- such that a new real word is created at each step?  Using Lewis Carroll's innovation which permits anagrams at any stage, the Doublets puzzles generate lots of email responses. See also the new challenging derivation, Word Origami!

Well, you solve six clues to 2-letter words and then shake 'em all about and then solve four clues to 3-letter words and you shake 'em all about and then you solve three clues to 4-letter words.  These ingenious wee challenges are well worth the time it takes to devise them!

Estranged Relatives
Five phrases are related. They have been shaken (not stirred). Straighten them out and determine their bond.

First Things First
Solve for the following words and then determine how the solution words are related.

Four Eyes
Each answer here is a word or name that contains four I's.

Funny Films Fiasco
Set right these mixed up comedy movie titles

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Three clues refer to 1. a synonym, 2. an antonym and 3. an anagram of the answer word (in no particular order). Unscramble the clues to detemine the answer word.

The Great Divide 1 | 2
Solve clues to six-letter words on either side of the great divide. Recombine the component trigrams to solve the seven clues on the other side of the divide.

Hard Words
Solve clues to *HARD* words

Hide and Seek
Solve clues to words. The letters H-I-D-E are embedded in the solutions.

I see words hidden in sentences!  I see clues in the sentences...

Hold On!
Solve clues to phrases that feature the word 'hold'

Idiom Analysis Test
In the infectious tradition of the Equation Anaysis Tests, here's one featuring common English idiomatic phrases. 

The Editor's Choice!  Four clues to four words within words.  This was the toughest puzzle to construct until Eric Hammond generously created a Perl script to create possible answer lists generated from the third "embedded" word.  The clues are still handcrafted to amuse and enlighten!

Five words share a common key word in each of their definitions.  Got a hunch?  You are encouraged to make trips to your favourite dictionary to verify your answer. 

KeyWord Scramble
Keyword with a twist - each of the five clue words has been scrambled.

Arrange letters into a 3 X 3 grid to create words in each horizontal and vertical channel.

Lewis Puzzles
Named after the puzzle's creator, Lewis Carroll, this anagram game challenges you to create exactly two words using three vowels and seven consonants chosen randomly from five alphabets.  Often a clue is provided to a possible two word combination.  Also comes in more complex 4-20 and 6-30 varieties.

Line 'em Up
Slide words into three different horizontal configurations so that the highlighted columns show members of that group's category.

Nothing to It
Each of the clued answers has the letters NIL (intact) embedded therein.

The game of near misses. Solve clues to words that differ by one letter from a root word.

Play Ground
Solve clues to phrases that feature the word 'ground'

Proverbial Nightmare
Squashed sayings seek some support...

This compact word game features clues and a common cycling quadrigram. TOUGHIE!

Any way you slice it, this is a fun and challenging wordgame.   Find the clues to the five 3-letter words, rearrange them to find the clues to three 5-letter words.  Variations include Vingt and Vingt-Quatre.

Ration, AL!
Provide answers to three clues such that you use the fewest letters of the alphabet in your combined responses. Can you name a car make or model, an actress, and a one-word book title using only 5 letters? Three of the participants in Rational, AL #001 did!

A testament to the symmetry of language.  Who'd have thought that the first four letters of VERBOSITY reversed would make the first four letters of BREVITY? This puzzle has bounced onto the Wordly-Wise list a few times. Each issue features the clues to two words. Reverse the first x letters of the first answer word and you have the first x letters of the second answer word.

Reverse Verses
They spell something left to right and something else right to left, and they're gameworthy! Answer the couplets to determine the two clues words. This puzzle was inspired by William Espy.

Rhyme and Reason
This "in two rhyming words" game was the first of the Wordly-Wise games.  It was featured on Anu Garg's wordserver and on Crossword America's AOL forum.  The RNR Archives contain well over 1,500 Rhyme-and-Reason puzzles.

Rhyme-n-Reason Internal Rhymes Special
The answers to these RNRs feature internal rhymes, as in 'Mordor'.  First published in a series through April 1996, this RnR Special reappeared in an August 1997 posting to Wordly-Wise.

Take a word and roll it around and you have a rotagram.  For example, take the word 'grin' and roll it forward starting at the 'r' and you get 'ring'. The clues below will produce a rotagram pairing solution. For a complete list of all possible rotagrams in the U.K. Advanced Cryptics dictionary, write to me.

Solve clues to palindromic words.


'Sanctum' is an anagram of must/can. Some letters you CAN use, some letters you MUST use. Create the longest words possible in this great word-creation challenge.

Insert or delete letters from the head or tail of words to go from source to target words.

Reshuffle the anagrammed words and figure out what they have in common!

This puzzle idea comes from a book by puzzlesmith Everett M. Smith published in 1931 called Synonym Golf.  The objective of each hole is to provide the SHORTEST synonym for the offered word. Par ratings are provided. Scoring is based on word length. This is a great game for the classroom!

Something I Threw Together
Solve clues to phrases that feature the word 'throw'

Spooner or Later
If butterflies can flutter by, then Adrian Road-Headache can challenge you with this fun word puzzle.

The Spectral Quiz
Know your colours? A mammoth and colourful quiz, with 152 clues to colours-that-are-also-things!

Sports Movies Changeup
Be a sport and coach these sporting movie titles back into shape!

Another innovative Lewis Carroll word game. Doublets on steroids.  Behead and curtail words to create new words.  Lewis loved them and you will, too.

The Letter Bank
Withdraw as many of the letters in Letter Bank Word (LBW) as required to solve the clues.  The answers start small, and the words (and interest) accrue quickly!  This word transforming technique is at the heart of the success of Word Origami (see below).

Timed Bigram Challenges
You have 5 minutes to find 26 words featuring the bigrams IA - IZ. Go!
You have 3 minutes to find 26 words featuring the bigrams LA - LZ. Go!
You have 5 minutes to find 26 words featuring the bigrams RA - RZ. Go!
You have 10 minutes to find 26 words featuring bigrams HA-HZ. Go!

Complete the following clued "____ to _____" phrases

This compact word game features clues and a common cycling trigram. 

Many Wordly-Wise subscribers have told me about licence plate games that they played as children (and adults!) and that's exactly where I got the idea for this game.  What's the smallest word you can make with the trigram SYE?  Trigram is one of the more popular of the games, with its unique golf paradigm and fierce and wordly competitions.

Trigram Twist
A derivation of Trigram, in which the letters of the Trigram are twisted into all possible permutations.  Kind of like playing the Trigram Valley course with a speed cart.

Answer a variety of word clues.  Be correct, but also be wittily uncommon.   Your score depends on how many other entrants gave your answer to the clue. This game, introduced in February 2000, is played in weekly instalments and is one of the most popular weekly competitions!

A cool variation on Alternating Current, this game has clued words interspliced forwards and backwards in source words.

Unscramble words to insert into the opening of a famous novel.  As a final challenge, identify the literary work and its author.

Verb Names Quiz
Match clues to famous First Names to the definitions of their verb forms. West Winger Lowe steals... and author Conroy strokes a cat!

Weird Words Quiz
Match each unusual word with its definition! (or perhaps save some of the arcane definitions for your next game of Balderdash!)

cur - curb - curfew - insecure... Answer clues to words which fan out from a common root letter combination.

Unearth the word from its etymological fossil.

Word Origami
Turn the FUTURE into the PAST. A challenging derivation on the Doublets game.  Word Origami permits letterbanking, as well as letter swapping and anagramming.  Beat par. Lewis Carroll would have loved this one, as the source and target words need not be of equal length. Here's a helpful strategy guide for this game.

You are what you eat!
The Wordly Wise were asked to submit in question and answer form a riddle thematically linking a person and some agreeable element in their diet. Example: What would an equivocator eat for breakfast? A: a waffle! Can you determine the twenty dietary peculiarities?

Hoadworks Game Servers

Try the Rhyme & Reason @ Random Server! Play your favourite rhyming word game as long as you want. 1500+ original clues and rhyming word answers.

Play a random issue of the keyword game. Then another, and another... from the 700 or so in the archives on the KeyWord Server

Wordly-Wise Archives
Games from the Wordly-l listserver.  Enjoy these pastimes of times past.

1995: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
1996: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
1997: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
1998: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
1999: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
2000: Jan
|Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
2001: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
2002: Jan |Feb |March |April |May |June |July |Aug |Sept |Oct |Nov |Dec
2003: Jan |Feb
 |March |April |May |June


©1996-2015 Hoadworks, inc. Adrian Hoad-Reddick.