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...

Vocal Antiques

17 November, 2010

What a trove. My mouse found the site this week, an offshoot archive put together by the Oxford English Dictionary, where hundreds of endangered words are stacked on shelves like so many quaint detergents.

Scroll around and you’ll hear the words calling to you – Over here! Hello! Pick me! And that’s the whole idea – to pick a word at risk and lend it oxygen through steady usage in the weeks and months to follow. I won’t tell you which word I picked, not yet, since my Wordplay column reveals that secret this Saturday. However, what say we all hatch a plan?

Go choose a word from this verbal orphanage, then feel free to drop that new possession into the occasional comment at DA Central. Better still, try to use your foster-word in other ways too – like meetings, emails, sandwich boards, wherever. So long as your word gets out there.

Let us know which word took your fancy – and why. And later feel free to use this post to update us on the avenues you found to release your new friend. Should make for utible reading – which isn’t the word I chose!

(PS – as some DAbblers have noted in the Comments – the linked site is a little loud and loose to navigate. Me? I love it. Every word seems to have a persona. But the leaner, quieter equivalent of the same weirdness is here.)

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