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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24 October, 2011

Here’s a challenge. Not a Storm, but a watching brief to run across the week, or more. If you head for this digest of big-time Scrabble games, then pick a round and report back on two or three of the more head-spinning plays. That way, if we all do a handful of games each, we can cobble together a precis of the world’s best players, whacking down some of the world’s best plays.

Bizarre words. Amazing escapes. Don’t over do it. One crazy play is all we may need from any game, a few bullet points, or a succulent tidbit with your own light research attached. We won’t be able to cover every game, but just select a round in advance, dip into it, then come back with a mini-report on the forum. (And if you are time-poor, that’s fine too. Maybe this assignment is one to last some time, if we all warm to the challenge.)

To help with an up-coming column, I’ll be focusing on the five final games, between Andrew Fisher and Nigel Richards, and sharing my findings here. Please feel free, word cadets, to do likewise with a round of your choosing. Together we’ll create a hyper-verbal snapshot.

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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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. 

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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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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.

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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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