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...

Operation Myops

11 September, 2012

Let’s see how this Storm goes. It may be short-sighted, but we have enough Dabblers in the loop to have some fun here.

As mentioned, I own a new book of Telegraph crosswords, including the work of Myops, among their sneakier setters. His real name is John McKie, a crafty Glaswegian clue-monger.

But – and here’s the experiment – I’ve peeked at a Myops solution (without ever seeing the clues), and handpicked five words for us to clue. Big question being: can we better the illustrious Scot? Pick a Scottish alias and give these five words a whirl.

Come Thursday, 9pm, present your best five, one clue per word. We then vote for the best per word (3 points), plus two near misses (2 points) across the flock, making just 7 votes in total. I will draft a shortlist, and then couch each zinger against the revealed work of Mr Myops. And see if we shine, or the Scot bags the lot… So, your words, Bravehearts:


Provide word and clue (plus wordplay notes) to keep things clear. And feel free to pass advice, or offer alternatives to another’s work if you see a good chance. Most important: have fun wee laddies and lassies.

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