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...

Laurel O'Clock

4 August, 2012

Just like the blue-ribbon dash in the main arena, eight runners took their marks last week, trying to out-hustle, out-muscle, their rivals. And boy, did we find a Usain Bolt in the pack, as you’ll read.

The way I rated this Storm, was calculating the total number of votes gained, across all four offered clues (or less clues in some cases). In order to give you an inkling where you stand in the IOC rankings, I’ve chosen this week to publish all totals. If you’re low, see if you can tweak that trend next meet. If you’re midfield, again, take your lumps and match it with the Jamaican soon.

Let’s enjoy some fine clues, and big vote pullers. In the legend category, 11 points saw bronze go to Stick Check’s Shirley Strickland: Temple’s secret plot

While silver and gold – spoiler alert – went to a single athlete, viz Eric the Eel. The slippery customer amassed a whopping 19- and 25-point quinella for these two jewels:

SHANE GOULD: She held an unbeatable lead in Olympic quest!

DAWN FRASER: AM followed by PM?

In the other category, Epee snared bronze on 7 for Melinda Gainsford: In medal dash, wins car. (That was me by the way, defying my own rules by choosing a non-current athlete!)

Probable newcomer (it’s hard to be sure) Not Chris Morgan swooped silver on 11 for a popular manipulation of Nick Darcy: Kid can cry foul

But that Equatorial sea-snake stole the laurels again, bagging 14 points for Stephanie Rice: Patience is her undoing.

No shock then that our outright champ is Eric on a mind-spinning sum of 62. Compare that to the ‘lowly’ silver star, Epee on 22, just pipping Samaranch on 19. For sweepstake ticket holders, the remainder of the field was Stick Check (15), Not Chris (14), Siddy (11), High Bar (2) and Chocolate Gold Medal (1).

Please let me know if you rather I don’t parade the full count in future, bearing in mind I’m a professional clue-maker and I was monstered by a gifted amateur – not for the first time! A great race. All hail the Eel, and thanks for your snivel-free sportspersonship.


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