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...

Sex Changing

4 January, 2011

Before I vanish into the beach haze for two weeks, let’s play a game of gender reassignment. Sounds like a harmless operation. How does it work?

If male is M, and female, F, then a word like mellow, when given a sex-change, ironically becomes fellow. Hence a clue for this coupling could be:

Chilled bloke (equals MELLOW FELLOW)

Or taking another tack, cool bloke could be FAN MAN. While a trickier example is the clue: Adds peppercorns, perhaps.

The answer? FILL MILLS.

Of course, the F/M switch can occur within a word, and not just the initial. (You could probably hatch two stylish clues for LIME LIFE, or CALM CALF.) The only catch – the F and M need to occupy the same slot in either word or name.

And as a bonus challenge, give a phrase or title a sex change – such as Barton Mink, or Mull Metal Jacket – and supply a brief synopsis as clue.

For example – a repulsive spray-can competition? Mace/Off. Or John Nash uncovers the absolute value of pi? A Beautiful Find. Should be a folly, Molly.

So that’s the dual game – twisting words and titles, offering clues and synopses. Not really a Birdbrain, but more a Clayton’s Storm, or an embryonic Wordwit in fact, with maybe the best to run in a February Herald. Post your sex-change clues and scenarios – no need for enumeration – and see if we can’t spot our Arthurs from those Marthas.

"
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