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...

Winter Wind-Up Winners

18 September, 2010

Promise you, this ain’t a wind-up. As God is my witness, I warmed to the business deciding the best clue for each super-word (see Best of Winter series), and found myself plumping for five separate compilers, one per word.

Before I reveal the crème de la crème, let me make a few observations. Quite a few COWARD clues missed selection as they settled on ‘yellow’ as a synonym, which is really cowardly. (Not on the setters’ parts, but in Rogets, I reckon. Don’t you?)

Beware too indirect anagrams, or missing definitions. Not looking at anyone directly PRS! But don’t worry. Here is the ideal think lab to attune your craft, and PRS was a breath from snaring AFFIRM with a stylish alternation formula: Even half of diorama is correct.

Another poser for all ye posters – does ‘has’ function OK as a container? So fish has fight can be CO(WAR)D? It’s very, very, very close – so close it’s there – but I waver on it, nonetheless. Even I succumb to the same temptation in my own stuff, often as a result of trying everything else.

A special mention to philth for his ‘first time with the carving knife‘ – and a Madcap Medal to SK for trying to finagle Kraftwerk backwards into POMADE. Quite breath-taking, and it almost worked! So to the laurels, in alphabetical order:

AFFIRM: Verify type of leaf fir might shed [SB]

COWARD: Chicken is source of hay fever [Mr X – with wry reference to Noel, and some subtle downcasing]

POMADE: It helps make do when work is overdone [dg]

WHACKS: Work out who packs punches [JDtres elegant, and only just shading X’s Brazilian beats]

WIND-UP: Finish twin duplex interiors [SK]

Outstanding marathon, all runners. Well endured, well solved, and superbly well wound up.

"

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