The Fun Word Game - Where Lexicon meets Logic
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Nigel Brodrick-Barker is a wordsmith and he devised the Alphabetagram in 2008. He is the author of a collection of poetry -‘A Chapter of Accents’ as well as a number of songs. He is a guitarist/ singer and enjoys crosswords, mind games and associated madness.

“Nigel, I wish you had never given me that Alphabetagram on Thursday. Of course, I had to try it and a frustrating experience it was too.

No freedom to move words round, no opportunity to insert useful little words like “the”, “a” and so on. Still, I got to the end although it remains pretty meaningless. I attach my effort – but please, if you have any more bright word playing ideas, don’t show them to me -I have work to do! My very best wishes (or “All beautiful caresses”) John “

“Don’t ever ask me to do that again!” (Nick.)

These comments are typical of the fascinated frustration of Alphabetagramists, but the ‘Intrepid’ persevere: Their efforts can be seen in the ‘Alphabetagram Attic‘.

We also have plaudits from The London Times, The Poetry Society and Countdown on Channel Four.


No, it isn’t some miracle cure but a new word game, invented locally, which could become a worldwide craze. It is the brainchild of Nigel Brodrick-Barker, a poet and folk singer, who lives in Dinton and is married to Elizabeth, whose solicitor‘s office is in The Square..

The rules for writing an alphabetagram are very simple but can be fiendishly difficult to execute. All you have to do is write a passage consisting of 26 words each beginning with a different letter of the alphabet in their correct order. The passage should make as much sense as possible and avoid too many proper nouns. Here is an example (which I think is rather good) written by that regular contributor to Village Voices, Mike Neal .

“Artistically beautiful choral descants emanate from gentle harmonies in joyously keyed lullabies. Meanwhile noble orchestra’s percussionists quickly restore structure to unruly violinists while xylophonists yodel zestfully”You have probably realized that it is the end of the alphabet which causes the most difficulties together with the frustration of not being able to slip in useful words like “from”, “to” or “by” when you need them . However, you don’t necessarily have to write one in English but can use any language which is alphabetically based. Polish, for example, could be a good one to try since it seems very well blessed with zeds. Alternatively, a classicist among you might like to write one in Latin which has the advantages of fewer letters in its alphabet and the freedom to put the words in almost any order. Alas, it is also pretty limited when it comes to Xs and Zs.

Writing alphabetagrams is a challenging way of passing the long, dark winter evenings, costs nothing and can be done in the privacy of your own home. So why not try one and send it to Village Voices for publication. Alternatively, if you feel you want a wider audience you can publish to the world by sending it to the Alphabetagram website at












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