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...

Starman Mantras

12 January, 2016

From Ziggy to Aladdin, I grew up with David Bowie. I adored the singer's shape-shifting, like a human anagram. His enigmatic charisma. His opaque lyrics. So that's the spirit of this week's Brainstorm: to create clues in the surreal tradition of David Jones, as he was born.

So get zany. Psychedelic. Bowiesque. Paint a strange picture, or invoke an obscure German librettist, a diamond dog, some serious moonlight. We can skip definitions (unless they chime) and just make mad with the wordplay. So long as your offering makes technical sense. And even better, doesn't waste a strange word.

Choose from these classics, or feel free to ransack the starman's back catalogue. Let's dance:

Space Oddity


Rebel, Rebel

Life on Mars

Suffragette City

Five Years

Scary Monsters

Modern Love

Under Pressure

Ashes to Ashes

Golden Years

Young Americans

China Girl

Let’s Dance 

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