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...

Spouse Swapping

18 June, 2013

This week’s freewheel Storm – no votes, but untold glory – is a challenge inspired by an RK crossword in the latest Big Issue. (At last your chance to buy the magazine with a selfish motive!) The key clue was this:

Rich change spouse to get well? (7)

The answer is HEALTHY, where WEALTHY swaps its wife (W) for husband (H). A neat & new trick, and one that provokes the question: what other words can get the same treatment?

I see this Storm as two-tier. The first is to create two clues for both words (HALLOWED and WALLOWED) in order to win the best-clue pairing. The other tier is the comical, where you swap a spouse for a droll makeover, such as:

S.H.A.T. TEAMNervous police commandoes
IF THERE’S A HILL, THERE’S A HAYFarmer’s logic stacking up
HITCH DOCTORmarriage counsellor

This is a perfect Storm for votes, but my week is too ragged. And besides, there’s something appealing about jousting without a jury for a change. Wave fun with this, and hell done RK on a clever idea.

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