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...

Salon 28 - Festival Season

18 August, 2014

Crazy week this week, dabblers. Doing quite a few Fest things in Melbourne. The crossword session is a sellout, though there’s still a pew to grab if you wish to hear about secret treasures, or human handwriting. (And congrats to SK for scoring The Missing Ink prize in our last Storm.)

This week is also the kick-off week for the new MS, a look at riddles across the ages. More about that project later, but after months of research, and a few false starts, Riddling is up & roaring, spurred by a Yule deadline. If you have any riddle lore, yarns or leads, please drop a line as the marlin said.

Meantime I’m still riddling over 2 Picaroon clues, plus a Crucibile. Any ideas?

  1. A tip for trickery from one blue, politically = TORY [wordplay?]
  2. Special pair of queens in blue = SQUANDER [squander?]
  3. English paper’s readhead dropped? No latitude there! = EQUATOR [where’s OR come from?]

Any insights, or missed nuances, are welcome. Enjoy your wordy week.

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