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...

Five-Star Remakes

29 October, 2011

A round of applause, auteurs, for what was our Katrina – the biggest Storm in living memory, with over 160 posts. Rocking posts too, where we hand-picked romcoms, anthems, sci-fi franchises for their inbuilt signposts, turning the familiar into the freaky.

One side-note: the reason wonderful Henry Thoreau missed a mention below is due to a subtle hiccup in the anagram racket. (Sorry, I should have flagged this lapse earlier.) But when mixing a phrase or title that includes THE – or any article, or incidental term – you can’t reuse the same word in your anagram. Seems strict I know, but it’s an unwritten rule of crosswording. (Hope Henry handles the tip in a philosophical fashion – and applies the advice for next time.)

So, not knowing who’s who, but only your creative avatars, I hereby unfurl the week’s credits, with the last three my Oscar nominations. Feel free to differ, and place your votes to determine our champion of the people.

Be diehards = BRIDESHEAD REVISITED [This was so close to podium, Ivan Reitman, I’m almost feeling sheepish about it. Sterling makeover.]

Involves heart = HAMMERS OVER THE ANVIL [Billy Wilder should be wilder, missing a medal with this marvel too. It’s ingenious, a super-smart rendition, with only the film’ obscurity keeping the garlands at bay.]

Homage artiste and T.V. ad vied = MARGARET AND DAVID AT THE MOVIES [Billy the Kid strikes again, with a timely title, and a clever embedded anagind.]

Road Film = DIAL M FOR MURDER [All hail Alfred Hitchcock. Not sold on murder as a signpost, but the title’s outcome is glorious.]

Satan = BAD SANTA [Plenty of bite from Nash Edgerton]

Farce = POKER FACE [PD James pulls in a full house, admiring a sneaky anagind.]

Got point, therefore felt bad = HARRY POTTER AND THE PHILOSOPHER’S STONE [Long, lusciuos, and very close to blingage for Oliver Stone.]

Gee! He was stole = [POP! GOES THE WEASEL [More bite. A dodgy signpost again, I reckon, but thinking of stole as an accessory, this is a funny blend.]

Enema Grottoes = FRIED GREEN TOMATOES [Yes, the full title involves the Whistle-Stop Cafe. Yes, this is tasteless. But Yahoo captures the syrupy ageism, with an excellent signpost too.]

Not reliable = INTOLERABLE CRUELTY [If you’ve ever seen this underwhelming film, for a Cohen flick at least, you’ll see how clever Spike Milligan is being. Ever character lets you down!]

Cutting, scorned = DECONSTRUCTING HARRY [Daphne du Maurier picks the right Allen comedy, with the right ingredients discovered.]

Memory Fits = PLAY MISTY FOR ME [It’s creepy, it’s ooky, it’s a pitch-perfect rearrangement of a cult thriller. Yay for Yahoo Serious.]

THIRD PRIZE: Hot, darn edgy = THE ODD ANGRY SHOT [I can still picture Gra-Gra Kennedy on the turps, yelling at the implacable jungle. Just as the anagram evokes. Major props Yahoo Serious.]

SECOND PRIZE: Think, dear = DANCING IN THE DARK [This title breaks a precedent, as I went beyond Nash’s submitted five to anoint this wonderful rendition. Can’t promise I’ll do that every Storm – but the cautionary comedy here is too golden to ignore.]

FIRST PRIZE: Anatomic bunk = BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN [Just like a double bunk, this works on two levels – and both of them lofty. Brilliant bigotry from Oliver Stone.]

++

A special salute to Stanley Kubrick. OK, so he did breach that Reuse Rule (recycling a few small words in the original title), his sheer ambition needs its own nod, namely: In the movies Bogart’s blood – orange or yellow. On the TV – prawn red = DR STRANGELOVE OR HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB

Or do we have a creative disagreement? By all means lodge your votes below – and your true identities! Meanwhile, stand up and applaud yourselves. The Academy is officially astounded at both response and quality. Bravo, and bring on a new tempest Tuesday.

"
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