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...


30 June, 2011

Riding that Hume today, aiming for Wangaratta tonight – a road movie in search of a producer. Just imagine, a Tarago full of authors and artistes, playing the most erudite game of I Spy on the highway. The gig is a duet with singer and soul sister Jane Clifton, who knows all about the open road. Her latest publication – The Address Book – is a travelogue tracing her 32 previous addresses, from Gibraltar to Malaysia.

Tried doing a count of my own historic digs, anywhere I’ve stayed for more a month plus, and the tally would probably nudge 20. A drafted list:

Wheelers Hill
Frenchs Forest
Lane Cove (skanky boys’ flat)
Paignton, Devon
Wollstonecraft (gotta love the juxtaposition)
St Leonards
Tourcouing (Norwegian cargo ship, Sydney to UK)
Maida Vale, London
Banos, Ecuador
La Paloma, Uruguay
Dulwich Hill
Millfield, Hunter Valley
Dulwich Hill (house 2)
Pemberton, WA
North Fitzroy
Tallandoon, Mitta Mitta Valley
Flemington, Melbourne
Fairfield, Melbourne

Twenty-five in fact, a couch potato compared to Jane’s gypsydom. Do we have a higher bidder in the forum? Rather than the fully Monty, just throw us the best exotica (anywhere you’ve stayed for a month-plus), and your total.

All this is my roundabout way of saying I’m on the move these next few days, then off to Indonesia on Saturday for a 10 day break. (Am I fleeing the backlash of Radar Trap being swapped for my own variety quiz called Metrohead in the Herald? Not a jot. The new feature will be fun to compose, and dismantle – though plenty of Trap fans will be mutinous, naturally.) In my absence, the blog will be active with plenty of pre-loads, just no Storms or DA commentary as solace. But ample distraction coming your way – promise.


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