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...

Bulletin Board

19 May, 2011

Three bits of wordy business to announce – two plugs and a word quandary. The first applies to anyone with a footy gene in their DNA, and by football I mean the AFL.

So if a high-flying bomber suggests James Hird in his heyday, rather than a radical with nitro in his carry-on, then Football Almanac is your kinda lair. At the same site you’ll also find my Clue of the Round. Just a few weeks old, the puzzle is open to all comers, with no prizes, but total glory. There’s one to unravel every week. And the Almanac link (right) is now a fixture.

Second, in case you missed the first hearing, I’m confessing my crossword dependency on Radio National this Saturday at 3.45. The show is called Lingua Franca, and the piece is the abridged Meanjin essay I wrote in 2009, the seed that germinated into Puzzled. And yes, a podcast is possible.

Third, a word challenge. A blog visitor called Izzy Perko (his real name, he swears), has asked a curious question. Over to you Izzy:

I’ve invented a word for a passion of mine, the study of borders and frontiers. It is Grenzology and on my business card I have” Izzy Perko, Grenzologist” . It’s from “grenze” the German word for border, as I have seen enough signs near the( East) German border saying “Achtung ! Grenze !” . Do you know of any other term for a border nut like me? Love you to investigate if possible.

And please, I don’t want to hear about borderline sociopaths. This is a genuine question from a lovely bloke. What word/s can we offer him?


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