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...

IA Amnesty

28 August, 2012

Internal Affairs?
Indian Airlines?
Israeli Army?

None of the above. In crossword parlance, IA stands for Indirect Anagram, a major no-no as a rule, but this week we relax the regulations.

Great setters in the past have done just that. Araucaria in a recent Prize puzzle asked solvers to mix German gratitude to make a word for bare. DANKE jumbled is NAKED, right? That kind of liberty feels vaguely fair, as Germans possess only one word for thanks. Just like Couples meander French capital seems semi-legit for PAIRS.

That’s the key – to give your solver a fighting chance to idenitfy the key fodder in hiding. Boniface argued in favour of last week’s AMNESTY (Pardon for gang of crooks captured in odd month), chiefly on the grounds of May being the prime suspect to scramble.

Let’s see what we can invent, using fodder you can’t see in plain sight, playing half-fair with an unfair custom. Use your own bylines too, as this Storm may morph into an open discussion, which is fine too. And by Thursday 9pm, pick your own two faves for a 5-4-3-2-1 vote. To kick off:

Plagiarises setter David’s stuff = STEALS (ASTLE’S)
WA capital mixed up with an Aussie mystery = PANTHER (PERTH/AN) Campers block the world’s fastest man, perhaps = ABLUTIONS (USAIN BOLT)

So loosen the shackles and do some mixing of the illicit kind.

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