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...

Can We Pip The Poms?

14 August, 2012

Scouring my clue-banks, those wordplay gems collected from UK puzzles, I found six stand-outs from 1995 which I don’t think can be bettered. Or can they? That’s the gauntlet that’s been tossed your way this week.

Here’s the game. Below are the six answers which you’re invited to clue. But rather than hiding your ID under a bushel, or working at odds, I urge you to gang up and make the best clue possible for each of the six. Naturally I will help where I can (as I’m off-site this week – and do know the rival clues), but come Thursday, before 9pm, let’s aim to nominate our favourites (one for each word – plus two reserves as leeway). And by all means, do your voting and discussion in the open forum.

That way, when I release the UK zingers on Friday morning, we can contrast and compare the cream, and see which ones truly rise. (I’ll try to cut and paste the Pom and Dabbler versions in the Friday forum at least, just to help with the debrief.) Sound a good dare? Let’s do it!


Don’t dally, Down Under. Get clueing – oy, oy, oy.

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