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...

Jim Stynes Storm

20 March, 2012

For those yet to hear, today marks the falling of an Irish giant. Almost 200cms, the Demon ruckman cast a long shadow on the field, and even longer beyond the boundary. Not only did he play 11 straight seasons without missing a game, picked up a Brownlow, he next threw his heart and soul into community work, helping kids in crisis through his Reach Foundation.

Hence this Storm relies on Irish words we’ve adopted, just as Australia warmly embraced Jimmy. Six words, each with a dram of Blarney, await your clueing. But before I launch the list, from CRAIC to WHISKEY, two small favours:

First, please adopt an Irish-flavoured pseudonym if you wish to play. And second, if we can rely on peer-voting by Friday – in Brownlow fashion of course – as this week and next I will be doing two road-trips, spreading the word about language.

So with a cryptic salutes to James Stynes, the list:

CRAIC (pronounced ‘crack’) – a spree, or good time

HOOLIGAN – Jimmy? Never

LEPRECHAUN – the anatomic opposite of a ruckman

SHILLELAGH – a knotted walking stick, often used as a weapon by frustrated Dee supporters.

SMITHEREENS – a shock’s aftermath

WHISKEY – ‘May the good Lord take a liking to you, but not so soon.’

STOP PRESS: To play, file your best six by Thursday midnight. To peer-vote, submit your 5/4/3/2/1 for rival clues by 6pm Friday, using the email link. (So that’s 5 points for best, and 1 point for fifth best.) And last, to make this a wake a true wassail – I will also be playing under a Celtic cover-name. Let’s (river)-dance.

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