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...

Huh 44

31 July, 2014

This could be some kind of record, where one crossword has offered five resounding Huhs. (These are the clues that still bewilder, even after they’ve been solved.)

I’m attempting the Times Tally, entering the early 90s this week – though a recent puzzle nearly threatened the ton, namely the notable Times 10,000. A fine milestone, but a bugger of a puzzle, entailing these four head-scratchers below.

Can you explain how they work? And can you compose a sleeker clue for any of the same solutions?

  1. Film type spelt out in tableaux vivants in different form = FIFTEEN [I know there’s a film called If… Then what?]

  2. Pop back and reserve early delivery? = PINTA [Pop is PA. A Columbus ship is Pinta…?]

  3. One introducing ID for restricting entry usually does, first of all = FREUD [Yes, I get the ‘id’ upcasing, then I struggle – ]

  4. National department taking tax once a quarter Jan to Mar = IRAQI [But isn’t Jan to Mar Q3, as financial years go?]

  5. Dickensian architect needing kisses – but no bouquet! = PECKSNIFF [Trying to figure how bouquet yields NIFF]

Any insights, and renewed delights, most welcome.

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