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.

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14 December, 2012

If it moves like a dog, yips like a dog, kinda looks like a dog, then it may be a xoloitzcuintli. Better known as the Mexican hairless, the X-version is now okayed by Oxford. For the record, the breed is pronounced SHOH-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee.

Avoiding a few lewd options, if you can, would anyone care – or dare – to convert this Nahuatl mouthful into a cryptic clue? I’ll be giving it a whack. Though personally I’d be astonished if anyone reaches great heights; it’s a bitch.


(Notice that last semicolon? If you wanna master those comma/colon mongrels, get your learnage here.) Credit to Toby Fehily for a lively interview.


And lastly, for Friday follies – let’s toss around some crap Apple map app confusions. On Twitter I suggested the sloppy cartography has put Cologne in Burgundy, Bologna in Frankfurt, Rye in Scone and Monte Carlo in Anzac Cove. Perhaps Orange is in Sunshine, and then there’s the Great Pyramids of Gaza. Any more?

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

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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
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