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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Latest Lowdown

18 April, 2016

The blog has been a little low-pulse lately - a symptom of my own personal mayhem off-screen, with multiple radio gigs and several speaking engagements around the traps. That won't change in the long run with plenty more festival spots looming. Sydney Writers' Fest is soon, while Melbourne & Brisbane bods will get their chance to wordify with yours truly. Can't wait.

Meanwhile, this week marks your chance to enjoy some word-magic from the talented habitue known as CB, alias Chris Black of Melbourne. CB will be our next setter in the guest grid series, his Q&A and puzzle slated for uploading tomorrow. Prepare your neurons, good people, as CB's clues belong on the daring boho edge of libertarian.

To limber the limbic system, here's a sneaky conundrum courtesy of NPR Radio (a classic RASS - Redundant Acronym Syndrome Syndrome): 

The initials of bail, nail and mail sit adjacent on the keyboard’s bottom row. So what five words (again four letters in length, and again with their last three letters identical) own initials that form a consecutive block on the keyboard’s middle row?

(And while you're snooping QWERTY, can anyone else discover a set of words that can exchange an equivalent string of adjacent letters?)

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.

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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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Cluetopia

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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