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...

Modern Families

22 May, 2012

After so much intensoid clue-crafting recently, let’s take a turn for the pithy – and a prize. Time to exploit this week’s collective vein with more fun & flair. Our challenge is to to coin a few modern groupings. Seven in all – three fixed, and four yours to conjure.

Don’t worry about the numbering at this early stage – just chuck your responses into the forum for any and all categories. The numbers only matter when you file your final seven by Thursday 9pm to be peer-voted. (And since this is a peer-voter, choose a collective noun as alias.)

With a puzzle book on offer, come up with the collective noun for these seven challenges:

1. A group of crossword solvers?
2. Of crossword makers?
3. Of Australians?



To kick-start your cortex, Modern People/Things may encompass a wall of Facebookers, a leap of personal trainers, a can of sitcoms, a shift of paradigms. While Rejuvenated requires you to rename some established group labels. Instead of flock of sheep – why not a caucus? Or a loaf of lions? A goggle of owls? Tell us both old, and your new suggestion.

As for voting, come Friday, appraise every player’s 7-strong list, and choose your favourite three (3 for best) for the first three challenges, then favourite four (4 for zinger, 3 for next-best…) in the latter half. Sounds tricky, but it means just 7 votes in all – 3/2/1 for the top half, and 4/3/2/1 for the second.

The winner won’t just win a collective cheer, but Rainy Day Crosswords, with 75 Quicks from a [insert word] of compilers, including my good self. Not to mention, the best brainwaves will likely appear in my column next week, crediting the [insert word] of Dabblers. Have a bunch of fun.


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