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...

Meh 17

8 January, 2013

Seems only balanced, after picking out the best clues of last year, that I put forward some clunkers. At least, that’s how I viewed this lot, six clues that needed a little rework for reasons I outline in brackets. Take a look and see if you agree. Share your views in the forum, and by all means have a dip at drafting your new-and-improved clues for the same answers.

  1. Fine given to the old is a burden = YOKE [Crux goes a furrow too far, suggesting that ‘given to’ can act as a container signpost. I’m not sold.]

  2. Extraordinary achievement chiefly entitles one to rest in place of honour when dead = LIE IN STATE [This effort from Alberich seems to function oretty much as a quick clue, not to mention the duplicaiton of ‘in’.]

  3. Meaty bag’s false memory = MEGABYTE [Either Shed is maligning an elderly woman and/or this clue’s surface sense is a dog’s breakfast.]

  4. Computer that’s best under the work surface = DESKTOP [Classic hookworm from Orense, where work surface as desk is one & the same thing.]

  5. Screen actress a prickly one to watch = HOLLY HUNTER [Fine, Bonxie. I like your holly hint, but hunter as watcher?]

  6. Ruler making one tremble when speaking = SHEIKH [Times 8818 throws in surplus language for what should be a sleek homohone clue. Who’s one?]


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