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One of the trickiest parts of writing a ‘fairplay’ whodunnit is creating clues. One way you can compose a clue is by using anagrams; a phrase or sentence formed by rearranging the letters of another group of words. Sort of a cross between scrabble and … um  … scrambled. So unscrambled scrabble. (There’s a bit of a tongue twister.) And in the creation of an anagram there’s a bit of sudoku thrown in too. But back to the clue.

Suspects, involved as they are in nefarious pursuits, can’t just leave straightforward messages lying around. That sweet young psychopathic teenager would be deceptive in her diary doodles.  The two-faced politician would be indirect in his daytimer. Maybe there’s a clue in the classified that’s begging to be decoded.

To create the clue you would start with the final phrase and rearrange it to make the phrase that the detective finds. Especially clever people can come up with phrases like these:

FORENSIC EVIDENCE:
When you rearrange the letters
SCIENCE OVER FIEND

COMPUTER STATION MELTDOWN:
When you rearrange the letters
WE LOST IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

ASTRONOMER:
When you rearrange the letters:
MOON STARER

DESPERATION:
When you rearrange the letters:
A ROPE ENDS IT

THE MORSE CODE:
When you rearrange the letters:
HERE COME DOTS

DORMITORY:
When you rearrange the letters:
DIRTY ROOM

SLOT MACHINES:
When you rearrange the letters:
CASH LOST IN ME

ELECTION RESULTS:
When you rearrange the letters:
LIES – LET’S RECOUNT

SNOOZE ALARMS:
When you rearrange the letters:
ALAS! NO MORE Z ‘S

A DECIMAL POINT:
When you rearrange the letters:
I’M A DOT IN PLACE

THE EARTHQUAKES:
When you rearrange the letters:
THAT QUEER SHAKE

But don’t worry if you don’t have time to be that clever. The scrambled letters can just seem like a bunch of jumble. Then it’s your detective that has to be clever figuring out there is a message hidden there and not just a bunch of nonsense.

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