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...

Alternate Aftercare

23 April, 2011

Still not sure if this week’s alternate game was a Birdbrain or a Storm, but we had some fun nonetheless, with 70 entries turning Neptune into Keating, or uploading Mistake MySpace.

For the record, we still have a handful of clues yet to solve, including Boniface’s intriguing combo: Anax in hiatus. Or is HERNIATED DEAN MAYER the gag? Sounds painful, and not a fate I wish on any setter.

But enough patter – let’s get down to the doubles that matter. Among the welter of excellent clues I picked nine gems for us to celebrate, including a late entry from the philanthropic Sam (the man to make a Master List), which needed solving to appreciate. In order of appearance, the best:

Attractive poor = BEAUTIFUL PENURIOUS (RK proves that it’s not what you own…)

Ruined composer = DESTROYED BEETHOVEN (RK again, composing and decomposing – exquisite.)

Actor agents = VIN DIESEL MIDDLEMEN (Five-star double feature from Boniface)

Absolut & Tonic? = DEFINITE MEDICINE (Just adore SK’s clue. Could be the new Elmore Leonard.)

Enlightened teaching? = VOLTAIRE DOCTRINE (Another gorgeous clue, from recidivist RK)

Princecraft? = MAHARAJAH CATAMARAN (El Pez suspected his offering was impossible. Nine minutes later, Boniface solved it. We swim among some clever sharks.)

Obama on a mission = CRUSADING PRESIDENT (Or COMMUNIST MORMONISM, as Nib suggested. But RK’s snapshot of Capitol Hill sealed her alternate mastery.)

Let’s call it ‘iSnack2.0’ = REDEFINE VEGEMITE (Guess who? Yep, with another killer clue.)

The Farmer Wants a Wife? = BACHELOR BUCKEROO (Always impressed when a common phrase or title can be skewed into a clue. Bravo Sam.)

Nine bell-ringers, with one camponoligist the clear winner. Buxom kudos, RK, and well done in the Alternate hellhole all players. A new Storm next week, with an Archibald announcement in the interim: the pick of Picture Puzzles. Have a chocoholic and easeful Easter.

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