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...

3's A Crowd-Pleaser

6 March, 2012

Making crosswords for a crust, you soon twig that the most recurring batch of words will be the shortest – those piddly threes like ERA and ADO and SKI and EMU. You know them well, as they keep cropping up.

By the same token, clueing these beggars can be tough, as the anagram approach is usually out, and far too many angles have already been tried. Hence a nifty clue, like the one in today’s Times, caught my eye. The answer, as you guessed, had three letters, and the clue read this way:

Not the first to unlock cage

The answer is PEN, being OPEN minus O to make cage. Neat, sweat and the impetus of this week’s Storm. Pick any three-letter word you like, and make an ab-fab clue. Looking back over the best-clue archive, I found these pearls:

Eggs fit for Croesus? = ROE

Line delivered in sarcasm = ARC

A hollow victory makes one bristle = AWN

Early bird rejecting a worm, oddly = MOA

Beautiful stuff, but can you match it? Doesn’t matter if two players choose the same word, as the clue angle will most likely differ. To add a pinch of salt to the contest, let’s set up the clues as things to solve. Just use your byline, plus the clue number, so we can keep track of the influx. For example, to get your engines purring:

DA1: President shakes leg for love

DA2: Drag diametrically away from Orient?

DA3: Minor slash

Let’s skip proper nouns and other names, keeping our focus on words only. Feel free to solve each other’s offerings as we wend, and let’s all put forward our best three 3s by ale o’clock on Thursday. Wit and lol will see a lot of fun.

"

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.

Medal

Wordburger

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 +

Riddledom

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

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