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...

ABAB A-Listers

19 March, 2011

A mellow Storm, but that’s no bad thing. Sometimes we need a little slack, either from creating or adjudicating. The challenge was to compose an ABAB quatrain – in Elizabethan manner – to précis a piece of modern history, a tribute to Amy Burvall who’s doing the opposite – revisiting antiquity via pop.

PRS took history into his own hands, narrating the Christchurch quake (he only just escaped) and some SBS gameshow. AG took a turn for the Nostradaman, with every decade laden with fill-the-blank corpses. Mr X trespassed the caucus room, Robskee occupied the grassy knoll and Sea of Tranquillity in one neat pivot, while Mauve pushed the envelope with all sorts of ABBBABBAA variations.

Though the podium had room for three poets only. In order of merit, from bronze to bragging rights: RV collects their maiden Storm bling, reliving That Ball in lyrical fashion:

Bleach blonde hair, lips clowned with zinc
there’s no beach here thought Gatting.
Then drift and spin, a fateful clink,
A brave new world for batting


With a neat metre, and seamless rhyme, JD catapults us back to Wembley Stadium:

Bob Geldof,Phil Collins, Mick Jagger and Queen,
To alleviate Africa’s starvation plight, would
stage the biggest rock show ever seen.
Raised millions of bucks, got Geldof a knighthood


Top dog this week is Mauve – fresh from his Loroso glory – with a witty, pithy analysis of social media:

If you’re intending to fray some nerves
try Wikileaks – or Google
But if you want vengeance (or just a perv)
try “that” St Kilda schoolgirl

Thanks for the doggerels, hepcats. And see if we can’t take a engender a wilder tempest next Tuesday. Till then, if not before.

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