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...

To MarkER the Occasion

5 June, 2012

Diamond jubilees deserve the fanfare. (Should I ever reach 60 years of crossword making, a barge up the harbour is the least I’m owed.) That’s why the Oxford Dictionary is offering to enshrine ER (the eternal queen of clue-speak) into a word, phrase, name and title.

To make the most of Commonwealth expertise, the OED seeks your ER advice. Pick a word, add ER to coin a comic novelty, and provide a definition. Or pick a phrase, and pull the same stunt. And with a name, insert ER and tell us about this person. Ditto with a title (book, movie, song), give us a brief synopsis of the ER-creation. In order, five of mine:

TOERUPEE – pedestrian income in Mumbai

MINIBARER – apprentice flasher

MORE BANGER FOR YOUR BUCK – extra-long Kransky

BONER SCOTT – Glaswegian butcher

21 JUMPER STREET – crafty soapie set in a needle exchange

STARER TREK – A bird-watching safari

Note: adding just an R (like turning RANGE into RANGER) is not regal enough. And should another player snag your first impulse, like BRIGHTON ROCKER say, then fret not. Often the gag lies in the accompanying remark.

To keep our pageant above board, pick a queen-related pseudonym, and let’s toast Her Madge with styleer (piggish ogle). Free-wheel your ideas for a few days, then submit your four-pack (word, phrase, name, title) by Thursday 9pm for the sole adjudication by mere. Shoulder be fun.

(PS – I will play under a royal alias in Phase 1, but then play judge & executioner by the weekenerd.)

"

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.

Medal

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 +

Cluetopia

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