Puzzles, posts, news and general word-chat.

Diabolically Arcane

Bingo. You’ve reached David Astle dot com, a carnival of words, puzzles and more words. Welcome aboard, and have fun.

Loading tweet...


23 March, 2013

Our 3D challenge drew a record 14 players, and I didn’t even play ball! Nor did I vote, entrusting the tourney to you players holus bolus. So, to see who wins the crossword calendar, let’s start with the 3D category.


Shared silvers and shared golds in this category. In ascending order, we have:

DODDLE: Led astray over rum in piece of cake [Triple Threat ices the sponge with 9 points/5 votes]

WEDDING DRESS: A white outfit for match? [I do like Day Tripper’s pun for a 9/3 dowry.]

HIDDEN AGENDA: Cryptic setter holding paper to scorn, finally showing ulterior motive [Trixie shares the podium peak for a bespoke container, with 11/4.]

DUNDERHEAD: Idiot died then zombies devoured her in a frenzy [This splits the gold for Hat Trick with 11/3.]



TRIBUTARY: Little River Band try guitars pared back and distorted [Bizarre Love Triangle does a masterful remix for 8/3]

TRIFECTAS: Craftiest flutters!? [Clear category win for Tic-Tac-Toe with a whopping 20/7 return.]

Though while that’s the best single clue haul, I tallied all votes accrued across both echelons to find the winning candidate. In ascending order: Triptych 1, Tribal Vice 3, Trifle 3, Triplets 3, Ternary 5, Little Pig 6, Day Tripper 9, Times A Lady 9, Bizarre Love Triangle 10, Tri Hard 12, Triple Threat 19, Trixie 20, Tic-Tac-Toe 25, Hat Trick 27.

Howzat eh? A brilliant effort in a dazzling field of players, with some of the best clues that DA.com has generated, certainly in terms of overall excellence. And again, I wasn’t part of the party. Or maybe that tells me something. Well played and thanks for the TRI-bunal duties.

And a final hurrah for a steady-handed Hat Trick who wins the 3D Crossword Calendar Don’t worry about April looming – this is a great and good-hearted diversion any time. Go buy one.


Welcome to the new forum. Looks scary? It’s not. Feels iffy? It ain’t. The DisQus platform is here to block spam and lend us more chat options. That’s all. Please note, you don’t have to create a DisQus account to make a comment. If you do, however, it will speed your future visits. Be assured no details are abused, misused or reused. Let’s fight spam as one, and get back to the grand conversation. Thanks, DA

comments powered by Disqus

Wordburger Awaits!

Welcome all puzzle-lovers, including any chompers of the Wordburger book or app. (Check them out if you enjoy words & trickery.) And if you still crave more alphabet mischief, click on the burger icon above for a fresh serve.



Packed with games, pickles, codes and cheesy puns, Wordburger is your chance to be a champion puzzler in 20 quick bites. Ideal for wordy kids keen to open a new language door, or grown-ups who want to cut their cryptic teeth. Click here. 

read more +


Riddles in song, in code, in pictures. From Ireland & Wonderland, Einstein & Pompeii. Riddledom reveals 101 wry questions from 50+ languages & shares their secrets. A book to unlock culture via conundrum. Order here.

read more +


Cluetopia roams the planet – and century – to find fresh crossword stories in 30+ languages. From shipwrecks to hoaxes, Cluetopia is a holiday for the head. Buy here.

read more +

Recent Comments

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
See Results