The wordy life and times of David Astle, alias DA

Decidedly Aberrant

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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David Astle

A photo of David

As crossword maker in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, as well as Wordplay columnist with Spectrum, David Astle is a full-time word nerd.

He’s the author of Wordburger - a quick-snack guide to cryptic crosswords for kids or rookies in general, as well as the time-travelling mind-trip called Riddledom.  His other wordy hits include Cluetopia, plus the ultimate manual-cum-memoir, Puzzled. To complete the set are the two pocketbooks: Puzzles & Words – and Puzzles & Words 2.

David also composes such diversions as Wordwit and Omega for Fairfax. While on telly you can catch his regular word spots on News Breakfast, looking at Hinglish, Trumpish or whatevs. And on radio, David is a frequent fill-in host with ABC Radio Melbourne, plus his biweekly Word Magic with Nicole Chvastek on ABC Drive Victoria, unlocking language and more. 

David was also part of a conspiracy to invent a new word. And of course, you may also recall his face (or flamboyant shirt collection) from the SBS cult show, Letters and Numbers, discontinued by SBS in 2012. 

To read more about his books, click the PUBLISHED option. On the same page you’ll also discover a sample from among the 70 feature stories he’s composed, from playground rhymes to senior bikies.

To glean a bit more about the man and his mania – or play a few word games – mouse around the DA domain. You’ll find such distractions as the weekly Birdbrain poser, the Word of the Week clue challenge, or a chance to revel in the many creative Brainstorms and other puzzles. You can also join his wordiness on Twitter.

If you wish to contact David directly, hit the EMAILDA option on the left, and he’ll do his best to get back to you. Otherwise enjoy your visit and play a few games. Maybe bump into a few new words and feel free to add to the hubbub.

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