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 9

4 March, 2013

Just finished reading Crosstalk, an inbox of letters received by Eugene Maleska, one-time crossword editor at The New York Times. In one section he talks about avoiding brand names – something his successor, Will Shortz, happily waived.

Eugene mentions the pains he took to ensure Dove, or Pears, or Dial were never clued as soap, say. While coke was always fossil fuel. Of course that made me think of some fun to be had – pretending a brand is not a brand, and contriving a clue. Say:

More like Perry = PERRIER
Stosur chorused = SAMSUNG

So what brands can you dignify with pseudo-definitions? Less a cryptic treatment, than if-they-were-a-word indicator. See what we can make. Your byline and number, and we can build a solving chain too.

(Speaking of clues, talk about the best of the British stuff here too. With his uncanny foreknowledge, Anthony has already flagged Tuesday and Wednesday as puzzles to possess.)

comments powered by Disqus

Gargantuan News

Yep, my Gargantuan Book of Words is big & full of words. Not just English but secret codes, Papuan pidgin, Zulu worms, sound FX, funny goldfish, letter origami. You get the drift? It's big. It's fun. And it's out now

Medal

Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More here 

read more +

Wordburger

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 +

Riddledom

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 +

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