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...

Foolish Storms-To-Be

19 December, 2013

Christmas came early this December in the guise of our last Storm. The challenge was to devise a suitable game pitched at a Storm level (more clue-focussed, a tad more technical) and a Folly level (semantic antics). I’ve just sifted the three dozen entries, peppering the margins with ticks. So many brilliant brainwaves that may well surface in 2014 – so thanks for the largesse.

As for my largesse, I have two copies of Puzzles and Words 2 to award. In isolating the best inkling in either category, I went for the game that inspired me most to play. Gee, it was tough. I loved the challenge of haiku (Twister). A cluedo tribute (Prospero) – or The Meaning of Liff (Willy-Willy). Even Black Cloud’s alphabetical clues is genius. Then there was the two-tone shoe-phone (Fool on the Hill). While Topgallant Gale – no question – was the most unlucky to miss out. But come deadline, here’s how it panned out:

Best Storm

Ego clues: create the best clue referencing yourself (as solution, or perhaps to include I, ME or your pseudonym in the solution – any other way!) [Storm Trooper comes up with a head-spinner, where your choice of alias is almost as vital as your clue-crafting.]

Best Folly

Misleading titles: A birdcatcher would find no useful info in"To Kill a Mockingbird". Similarly, a soccer fan would be disappointed with “"200,000 leagues under the sea”. [Filly admits the idea was sitting on Facebook, but hey: see this prize as impetus to share what other nifty wordy ideas you find in the ether. This will be a guaranteed cack.]

So let me know who you are and I’ll send out a Puzzles and Words 2 to both of you (or are you the same person??!) Thanks again for all the marvels – this time round and throughout 2013. Merry mayhem to you all, and enjoy the silly spell as the blog enters aestivation for a while.


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