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...

Breaks & Ladders

16 August, 2013

What, no Storm results? Not yet. Not tomorrow either. I’m heading up to Trentham this weekend. The plan is pretty simple: drink cab-sav, listen to music and slam poets, toast the toes and later on, do my Sunday crossword gig. So relax already.

Instead, a grab-bag of odds & sods for puzzle bods. The first is a code-breaking challenge that blog brat Nib Oswald has told me about. Not sure whether our verbal chops will help, or if we need Alan Turing on the team, but here’s the link. You have another 12 days to register.

Speaking of brilliant minds, I found this website about word ladders. You know the kind: CAT > COT > COG > DOG. Guardian setter Brendan has reawoken my interest in the Lewis Carroll game, and this poindexter site about record-length ladders. Check out the marathon chain from CHARGE to COMEDO!

If you feel like a weekend challenge (with no solutions promised), see who can come up with the shortest and/or most elegant chains for these words:

CROSS > WORDS
RUDD > TONY
TRAIN > WRECK
GREAT > WHITE

Any other neat ladder extremes? Storm results early next week – OK?!

comments powered by Disqus

Gargantuan News

Yep, my Gargantuan Book of Words is big & full of words. Not just English but secret codes, Papuan pidgin, Zulu worms, sound FX, funny goldfish, letter origami. You get the drift? It's big. It's fun. And it's out now

Medal

Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

read more +

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 +

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