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...

(Numbers)

31 May, 2012

You know me. I’m not a numerical sort of bloke, but I do like the idea of numbers doing you a favour when solving a crossword. For example, some word breakdowns are so obvious that their clues are almost redundant. As soon as you see (4-2-3-3), you know that JACK-IN-THE-BOX will likely spring into the grid. Or (2-2-2) is likely LA-DI-DA.

(4'1,2) could well be nudging WHAT’S UP, or WHAT’S ON, just as (1.1.1.,4) – I ruefully realised this week when drafting a clue – pretty much betrays the cuteness of this clue:

Doctor crams in medical test

(Treat that freebie as a pre-emptive freebie, when the puzzle appears in late July.)

But what else can be added to the gimmee list? To me (12,3) hollers INDEPENDENCE DAY, while (2,2,2,3,2,2) just has to Hamlet’s dilemma.

And if you can’t think of an orthodox example, there’s always the silly stuff as a US contest celebrated:

South African cleric (2,2)
Also consumed (8,1,2)
Aussie icon (3.14159)

2,4,6,8 – tell us your numerical giveaways, and don’t hesitate.

comments powered by Disqus

Gargantuan News

Yep, my Gargantuan Book of Words is big & full of words. Not just English but secret codes, Papuan pidgin, Zulu worms, sound FX, funny goldfish, letter origami. You get the drift? It's big. It's fun. And it's out now

Medal

Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

read more +

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. 

read more +

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.

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