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 58

24 December, 2012

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of eggnog. Merry Christmas to all Dabblers, clue-mongers, trolls and passersby. The Salon is the weekly post that invites feedback for any crossword you encounter (mainly those in The Oz, and Guardian), plus any goss – and the occasional frolic.

As for goss, listen out to 3AW this arvo for my chat with Steve Vizard about all things Scrabble. (And come January, tune your podslurper for Triple-R on Tuesday evenings, 8-10, for my iffy pilot with cartoon guy, Oslo Davis.)

Noticed too at the RK blog, that someone is having her debut puzzle published in The Big Issue, available form Boxing Day. Well done, Rachel.

And last, some idle Xmas fun – invent a clever name for a TV show’s groupies. Some actual cliques, and some Gedankenexperiments, include:

X-Philers, Wing Nuts, Boners, Bad Breakers, Jeannie Dreamers, House Party…?

(NB – The DA blog is entering cruise mode for a short while. Look for Clue of the Year wrap soon, and some general distractions. Storms to resume later in January. Have a great break.)

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