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...

Alternate Accolades

19 October, 2013

Now and then a Storm appears that makes the most of ‘now and then’, and all those other signposts for alternate clues: occasionally, oddly, evens out, losing seconds, off and on. You get the hang. Alternate clues make strings out of every even (or odd) letter in a word or phrase. If you want to see some fine examples, read on.

We had seven cluesmiths competing, with each player ranking merit points in my final tally. Voided made me see BOAT hiding in BUOYANT, just as Bifidus Regularis revealed FIT in FAINT. I loved the ambition of Guerre Acrid, who contrived to pack RIESLING into a Rhine story, and felt Rococo’s AFL CHAMPION NEED was a just one small smidge unfair, where the odds of each word – not the phrase – render AL CAPONE.)

Anyhow, the Alternate podium:

Nepalese local is as odd as the European = SHERPA [Qetuo gets bronze for a nifty multinational stunt, perhaps with a redundant ‘as’, but still mighty classy.]

For fitness, train at regular intervals and fast = INSTANT [On any other day, Syzygy would seize the prize with this streamlined piece of splendour. It reads like a dream. The signpost is such a snug fit too, out of the mouths of gym junkies.]

Wizard at using Apple (ALT-DELETE) = SNAPE [But after gnashing and gnawing, I couldn’t resist the freshness of Sex v Tennis’s clue, one which borrows on zeitgeist twice, with magic and Macintosh, and a brilliant signpost.]

So thanks for the alternation, all players. The formula can be a brute to compose, as the grammar seems so finite and rigid, yet all week we hit that myth for six. As Either/Or, my own modest musings would have been pummelled by the podium trio. Great gathering.

"

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