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...

Don't Be Phased

2 September, 2011

Three things of a wordy nature. The first two relate to troublesome words, while the last is an invitation to come cause some trouble with words – and numbers – in old Melbourne Town. But before we go there, let’s turn to EGREGIOUS:

1 Received an email during the week from a blog guest called Mark. He wants to know when egregious – which once meant exceptional, standing out from the flock [grex], came to mean prominent for all the wrong reasons, ie outstandingly poor? I’ve dipped into a few sauces, but can’t find an obvious moment in time. For word detectives, any clues?

2 Blog regular Nib has posted a cool link in a recent forum that deserves its own space. A few weeks ago, writing my Wordplay column, I talked about the booby traps of English – like sauce and source in that last item! [tee-hee] A site called Cracked has some hijinks with the idea. Thanks Nib.

3 Lastly a dare. Letters and Numbers is actively recruiting new contestants, and any Dabbler would be guaranteed dynamite, no question. So hit the show’s website and fill out the form. After a few breezy audition puzzles you’ll be spirited to the studio and rewarded with a dictionary – whatever happens. You may end up in the finals, with your own overnight minibar. Click here, and don’t be a chicken.

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