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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WoW: Ravigote

29 November, 2021

RAVIGOTE [rav-ee-GOT] - piquant French sauce of chopped chives, tarragon, and shallots, often used to as a herb-butter base. [From ravigoter to refresh, linking to vigoter, to be vigorous] If the bistro's herb butter is bland, they may have forgot their ravigote.

WoW: Veridical

22 November, 2021

VERIDICAL [vuh-RID-ee-cuhl] coinciding with reality; truthful [Via Latin veridicus - from verus ‘true’ + dicere ‘say’] Often a gap lies between our perceptual memories and the veridical type.

WoW: Humdudgeon

15 November, 2021

HUMDUDGEON - needless outcry or commotion; imaginary ailment [Probably a fusion of the middle English hum/bug and dudgeon (state of resentment)] Kids whining about peas on the plate are indulging in humdudgeon.

WoW: Ken Burns effect

8 November, 2021

KEN BURNS EFFECT - camera technique 'animating' historic stills via panning and zooming [Named after US doco maker, Ken Burns.] Apple chief Steve Jobs popularised the term - Ken Burns effect - as part of that company's video production software.

WoW: Maritorious

1 November, 2021

MARITORIOUS - being fond of one's husband [From Latin's maritus, husband. The modern inversion of uxorious - being fond of one's wife] Morticia Addams was one maritorious Goth, bathing her equally uxorious Gomez in affection. 

WoW: Quaxing

25 October, 2021

QUAXING - visiting shops via cycling, running or walking [New Zealand campaign launched in 2015, triggered by Auckland councillor, Dick Quax.] To measure the 'inroads' of the Quax Campaign, try #quaxing on Twitter.

WoW: Perendinate

18 October, 2021

PERENDINATE - to defer until the day after tomorrow. [From Latin perendie - 'on the day after after tomorrow''] If I were to perendinate the weekly WoW, the post would land on Wednesday.

WoW: Mampoer

11 October, 2021

MAMPOER [mum-PAW-uh] - potent home-distilled brandy derived from peach and prickly pear [From mampuru - strong man - in Sotho language of South Africa] One shot of mampoer may see you on the floer. 

WoW: Stigler's Law

4 October, 2021

STIGLER'S LAW - a principle claiming that no scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer. [After Uni of Chicago stats professor, Stephen Sigler, who attributed fellow academic - Robert Merton - for identifying the trend.] Venn diagrams and Halley's Comet are two examples of Stigler's Law.

WoW: Cakeism

27 September, 2021

CAKEISM - derisive tag for the doctrine of having one's cake and eating it too, especially in regards to Whitehall's Brexit views [Early citing of the original phrase dates back 1538 in a letter from the Duke of Norfolk to Thomas Cromwell.] An Evening Standard headline: Cakeism Has Served Johnson Well, But The Cake Is About To Bite Back.

WoW: Tassie tuxedo

20 September, 2021

TASSIE TUXEDO - puffer jacket [Comedic slang alluding to regular outwear favoured by Tasmanians] Not just hikers and skiers rely on the Tassie tuxedo to cope with wintry blasts.

WoW: Corflute

13 September, 2021

CORFLUTE - lightweight, waterproof sign made of layered corrugated plastic, often used by candidates or real estate agents. [Proprietory name] During elections in swing seats, voters can't swing a boot without hitting a corflute.

WoW: Brontide

6 September, 2021

BRONTIDE - deep rumbling sound attributed to seismic activity [From Greek - bronte - thunder] Road trains in the Outback night can create their own terrestrial brontide.

WoW: Flimp

30 August, 2021

FLIMP - to steal by means of one partner hectoring or pushing the victim while their accomplice fleeces property [Criminal cant - origin uncertain] Pickpockets work in pairs to allow for a brisk flimp in crowded spaces. 

WoW: Remontoir

23 August, 2021

REMONTOIR [reh-MON-twah] - clock's device that compensates for any minor variation occurring within a pendulum's impulses [From French remonter - to wind] Atomic clocks, as epitomes of precision, have no call for remontoirs.

WoW: Landau Bar

16 August, 2021

LANDAU BAR - S-shaped mounting on a car's rear panel, an embellishment common among hearses. [Named after Landau, a Bavarian town where the carriages were first made] Just as flame-shaped globes on a chandelier revive an earlier finery, so too does a hearse's landau bar.

WoW: Absit Omen

9 August, 2021

ABSIT OMEN - interjection or aside equating to 'may what is said not come true'; equivalent of 'God forbid' [Latin: may the omen be absent.] If lockdown life is a 2022 reality, absit omen, then I'd best upholster my patio chair.

WoW: Yichus

2 August, 2021

YICHUS [YEEK-us] - prestige; social standing; air of nobility [From Yiddish yihus - pedigree] Some rabbis define yichus as the 'legacy of generations past'.

WoW: Pygmalion Effect

26 July, 2021

PYGMALION EFFECT - whereby positive expectations have a positive influence on outcomes; opposite of Golem Effect. [Allusion to Greek sculptor Pygmalion whose love for his own statue brought the figure to life.] When strong results are met by students whose teachers anticipated strong results, this showcases the Pygmalion Effect. 

WoW: Shemagh

19 July, 2021

SHEMAGH [shair-MARG] - Arabian headdress fashioned from a cotton scarf, used to guard against sunburn, sand and dust. [Arabic] Popularised by Yasser Arafat, the shemagh is also known as a keffiyah, a ghutrah, a hattah and a mashadah.

Rewording The Brain

Focus & memory, lateral leaps & logic - every aspect of cognitive health is lit in Rewording The Brain, a book revelling in how puzzles boost your brain. Part 2 equips your brain to conquer any twisty clue, plus the wild crossword finale. Pop science meets neural gameplay, Rewording is rewarding, and out now.

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Rewording The Brain

Care to renew your noodle? Rewording The Brain explores the latest neural studies, seeing how puzzles (and twisty clues) boost your neurons. Part 2 helps you crack such clues, and prep the grey matter for the crossword showcase to finish. More here

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101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes)

From Ambidextrous to Zugwang, this mini-dictionary teems with rare or alluring words, plus bonus riddles, puzzles and fun word-facts. Dictionary detective will also nab the collection's three fakes. Ideal for late primary schoolers, or word-nuts in general.

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Gargantuan Book of Words

Sneeze words. Fake pasta. Viking slang. Gargantuan is a jumbo jumble of puzzles & games, mazes & quizzes, tailor-made for that wordy wonderkid in your life. Or anyone in love with letters, secret codes, puns, rhymes, emoji & all things languagey. More 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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