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...

Clue Heaven

5 July, 2013

What a blissful week of British crosswords. Have you been indulging? I’d rate this week’s Arachne and Loroso (FT) as being two of the finest tussles for quite a stretch. In case you’ve lacked the time – or tipoff – then here are X divine clues (to solve) and a handful of spoiler huhs from Arachne (and others) to answer.


  1. Marvellous Madoff? (5-5)

  2. Transform an annoying person into a B-lister? (9)

  3. Two English animals on the loose in Pacific region (9)

  4. Diplomat’s encouragement of revolutionary? (7)

  5. Altogether fascinated by muscle reflex (2,5)


  1. Moving? What, moving walls? (9)

  2. Plug fitted in upright base (8)

  3. Wicket taken by present bowler? Well? (4,4)

  4. Entering temple, hostage turns as I swear (2,4,2)

  5. Perhaps stripper, fighting back, has to get rid off going topless (3,6)


  1. Removing meat from menu, serves exceptional seafood = MUSSEL

  2. Ban is such as to make one fearful = UNMAN

  3. Cap in hand over foreign money, a beast picking over carcasses = HYENA

  4. Relating to heart and – say – club correlation? = CARDIAC

  5. Boring with Mandela in charge? = PROSAIC

Can you answer the golden clues? Can you explain the opaque clues? Can you draft snazzy clues for any of these 15 answers? We shall see.

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