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.

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Homosexual Scorches Track

2 May, 2012

Came across a very funny blooper while on language safari yesterday. As you’d expect, the American Family Association has high moral values, explaining why their website’s software is geared to alter any untoward terms creeping into their dispatches. Vulgar, loaded or ambiguous words are auto-corrected for the safer and more saccharine kind.

Fine – unless your report is about a sprint star called Tyson Gay. Yep, you guessed it. With no subs on duty, or off-guard at least, the headline ran:

Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials

Read more about the gaffe here. Sort of makes you wonder what other breast traps (wait, that should have read booby!) are lurking in the language, or the who’s who of news coverage. Here’s a few more sanitised morsels we can await:

Malcolm Turnfiction

Indigenous Cheese

Sstoole the bottom of the barrel

Bear in mind that some of your ideas may well be spam-netted. (I’ll have to go down back and see what gems I can recover from the sewer…) But thougt you’d appreciate the cackle.

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

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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

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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 

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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. 

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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.

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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
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