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...

Glencadam Gold

10 November, 2012

This was a Storm without Precedence, receiving entires from as far as Ethiopia and Dunedin. The idea was to craft wordplay morsels for the three top horses, plus one unplaced favourite, and the standard was as high as the Flemington breathalyser readings. Let’s parade the champs in the mounting yard below.

GREEN MOON clues were excellent in general, with 6 different players receiving applause. But the best two were Godolphin on 15 points/3 votes for the wonderful Gillard idea (Gillard leader no more, entangled), running second to Slack Caviar (18/3) for a classy reduction anagram: Fashion model from Montenegro.

FIORENTE was a two-horse race, with two new players joining the scramble. Rene Pogel notched up 14/5 for invoking a nostalgic gameshow: L&N not showing in Florentine broadcast. But the triumphant jockey on 16/5 was yours truly, aka Persuader, for channelling Lily Serna: Bungled five or ten minus five.

Being hard to clue, JAKKALBERRY elicited some creative desperation. Notably, two new syndicates entered the fray, with 6/5 for Flutter’s ploy (Frost heard Gore proclaim cover-up) losing in a photo to Fascinator (6/3) for a bizarre code recipe: Jump and kick, kick and left, back extend right, repeat your first positions.

So who won the crucial dark horse derby? Dead heat, people, with Slack Caviar and Birdcage both on 9/3. Their clues in order:

MOUNT ATHOS: Southampton in strife without leading player
SANAGAS: Popular Aussie lunch, a sandwich

You can now guess our winner, with Slack Caviar hitting the winning post twice, when the stakes were utmost, collecting a total of 35. Next was Persuader on 28, then Rene 24, Flutter & Fascinator spliced on 18, Godolphin 15, Birdcage 9 and Quinella under a steward’s enquiry. Kudos and the Clayton Cup to the Supreme Slacker (is it an Unusual Suspect??), and thanks to all connections for a grand event.


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