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...

Extra Elementary

26 April, 2016

Spoiler alert, Fairfax solvers. If you haven't given last week's DA puzzle a shake, then you may need to skip this Brainstorm. Or the next paragraph at least.

Because the periodic table was my theme, using the atomic numbers as pointers to a dozen different elements. Clue 10, say, led to NEON. While 27-Down was COBALT. But the table remains largely under-plundered, ready to be rumbled by this week's clue-fest.

And just like Friday's themer, tweaking elements into clues, the relevant number is the only definition you require. Below is a sampling of some you can craft, as well as an example clue, but feel free to visit the actual table to pick and choose your own substances to make your mark.

Goggles on. Lab coats buttoned. Let's see who will excel elementally!

3 - Lithium

5 - Boron

7 - Nitrogen

9 - Fluorine

14 - Silicon

19 - Potassium

30 - Zinc

36 - Krypton

42 - Molybdenum

51 - Antimony

99 - Einsteinium

112 - Copernicum

115 - Ununpentium

POTASSIUM - Stagger up to a miss, 19

ANTIMONY - I'm totally into Shakespearean lover, 51

TUNGSTEN - 74 licks heard on Pearl Jam album

Have fun in the letters lab.

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