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...

A Podium of Medals

26 May, 2012

Our collective Storm elicited a bonfire of posts. A dozen players took up the challenge, from Herd to Set, creating such wonders as a call centre of badgers, or a ha of solvers (one of my faves). But the business end turned messy, perhaps due to my haywire of instructions, or the sheer volume of classy entries. As a group, you really did excel in our break from the cryptic.

In fact, like few other ballots in the past, there is no outright winner, with a cell of Stormers clustered at the upper stratum. As Gaggle, I missed my chance to submit a final seven, and therefore vote, though I’d be happy to endorse any of this week’s winners.

Not to mention so many other zingers – like School’s rotor of helicopter parents, Cloud’s futility of leaf blowers, Pod’s swank of metrosexuals and Murder’s magnificent girt of Australians. As it was, these groupies surged:

EQUAL FIFTH is Pod (6 points, 2 votes) for a brood of crossword solvers – and, um, Pod again (6/3), for a Warhol of reality contestants. Both assemblies of repute.

FOURTH is Cloud (7/3) for an irreverence of Australians. What’s that Cumulus, you havin a go?! Rightio, you, me, outside, now.

BRONZE is Set (8/3) for a delusion of Facebook friends. (Just don’t tell my daughter. She reckons she can all 312 in her coterie.)

TIED FOR GOLD are Murder (9/3) for a puck of bustards, reviving venery jargon with a modern twist. And Shrewdness (9/5) for a furrow of crossword solvers – extending ag into aggravation.

A tough task to decree one winner, but Shrewdness does the business for two reasons. One, had I been eligible to vote, I’d allocated some love to furrow. And two, despite the tally logjam, furrow attracted a greater number of admirers.

So, in the hope that Murder will not hold good on their promise, I congratulate Shrewdness on his/her acumen – let me know your ID and snail mail. And a garland of thanks to every single one of you for the collective fun. Look for a new brand of crypticity on Tuesday.

comments powered by Disqus

Gargantuan News

Yep, my Gargantuan Book of Words is big & full of words. Not just English but secret codes, Papuan pidgin, Zulu worms, sound FX, funny goldfish, letter origami. You get the drift? It's big. It's fun. And it's out now


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 

read more +


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 +

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