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.

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Q&A (and Bees)

3 September, 2010

The cool literati at Spike – the blog attached to Meanjin magazine – put me through the mill this week, asking five questions about my crossword career. Regulars to this site, or the old Cassowary nest, will anticipate most of the answers, though you may not know such cult figures as Garson Hampfield, or Loroso, or Brendan Emmett Quigley.

Hop on over for the Big Five Questions, and follow the links to find your own black-and-white treasures.

And while in the literary vein, check out a book called Sleepers Almanac #6, just released with too much Guinness and too little beauty sleep last night at Trades Hall in Melbourne. Among a pantheon of rising Aussie talent is one misfit called Astle who writes about insect sex for some reason. I can’t figure out why either – just seemed an itch in need of scrathcing. Like head lice.

And while I have your attention: a big thanks to all of you for making the leap from blog to website. It hasn’t been the smoothest segue, but your input and patience and all-out camaraderie has been one princely fillip. Little by little, this new address will prove a great playground for all of us. I can feel it in my waters.

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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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
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