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...


2 March, 2014

Sifted the clues over a Sunday coffee, settling on the overall winner. As you know, players had to conjure wordplay and definition for a double-letter word (BELLOW), then the single-letter version (BELOW). And below, you’ll see one cluesmith stood tall, winning Alan Connor’s excellent crossword tribute, Two Girls, One On Each Knee. Before I trumpet the best, here’s a few gems that caught the eye:

NAVVYWorker shrewd to change direction [Scooter is in form, in the navvy.]

DESERTDead, rotten trees where nothing grows [Cacti may quibble, but I warmed to the Cormac class of Mississippi.]

FERRULEMake a mistake in assembling fuel cap [Maybe adjusting works better, but Loopy’s surface is superb.]

Though the challenge was to engineer the ideal double, and that’s what Aaron the Aardvark managed with this pairing:

CARTOON“Striptease” actor? No
CARTONWorks undercover in fraud case

Double congratz my anteating friend, whoever you may be. Let me know and I’ll send you Alan’s classy history this week. Thanks for all double agents for contributing to a top-shelf Storm. Chin, chin.

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