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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Salon 30 - Spring Clean

1 September, 2014

Come Wednesday this week, the website will have a fresher look, thanks to the team at Liquorice (not to be confused with LiquorLand.) The main difference shall lie in the forums.

Nothing too drastic. More a better means of blocking spam, and allowing all of us more options in terms of responding, or creating threads, or playing watchdog if a problem flares. The new regime is called DisQus and I’ll be glad to hear your responses in the first weeks about how the system is treating you.

For those who like brain-busting conundrums, here are two:

1 – If DETECT = 1x6, JACKET = 2x3, and EQUITY = 3x2, name any word that’s 6x1. (This puzzle stems from US constructor Jeffrey Harris.)

2 – I have in mind a notorious English genius whose surname lies backwards within one of his many professions. Name him.

In the meantime, with The Oz cranking up to $2.50, I’m relieved to have completed the Times Ton. So what say we turn our attention to the G’s gems? Or any other verbal treasures you find. Share’m here.

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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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
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