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...

And The Winner Is...

18 February, 2012

A triple-digit Storm to prelude the authentic Oscars, with a furious and simpatico workshop to distinguish proceedings. All the more reason to carry my critic duties with honour, rating each clue on zing, concision, originality and story. Cue drumroll, as I read the nominees:


Admired the two Moneyball ideas – Buckshot and Doughnut – and a special mention to Rooster Cogburn’s spoonerism of the same movie: Bugs attack Spooner? Flick’s the answer

But in the end the academy plumped for modernity, and the seamless surface of Clapperboard’s HUGO:

Xbox hub?


Rooster again did some deft reduction with Gary Oldman (Fishy almond paste?), and special mention to Midnight Cowboy for a compact Demian Bichir (‘Mexican actor made rich man die,’ I bragged), but the Tinsel Committee pushed long and hard for Red Carpet’s elegant BRAD PITT:

Daughter in riotous bit part


Bill Blass drew gazes with his terse treatment of Michelle Williams (Obama sisters), and Parisitic Nostalgia drew oohs with ‘Child actress’ (for Streep), though special mention went to Sacheen Littlefeather for her nimbler Streep: Secretly perm frizz without first consulting actress. Lovely. But the Celluloid Mafia adored the originality of Cut Crystal's ROONEY MARA:

Wicketkeeper scores duck for $500, gets Australian cap for his silence

Or the subtitled version: RODNEY MARSH [swaps D for O, and SH for A]. How’s that?

Call it rigged, call it propitious: but that leaves us with a lockdown, where Clapper, Carpet and Crystal share gold, and Rooster/Midnight/Sacheen pool silver. Or do you see the appraisal otherwise?

In short, the year’s first blockbuster Storm comes complete with a Hollywood ending. Well done all production houses. Thanks for the emotional rollercoaster. Now who the hell are you?

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