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...


26 July, 2011

Biobe – you heard it here first. A little word confection I baked this morning in the afterglow of Mr Evans of two-wheel fame. The idea is to pick a famous name, alive or dead, highbrow or low, and string their letters across a brief summary of their life or prime accomplishment. Here are some examples:

CADEL EVANS – chased elevations

AMY WINEHOUSE – dreamy witch, one who used

NEIL ARMSTRONG – one trip (lunar) most rousing

Notice how the celeb’s letters run from left to right. A bogus biobe for PATRICK WHITE would be a ‘what a key epic writer’. While the necessary letters may be on show, the sequence is haywire. Back to some biobes of purity:

MAO-TSE TUNG – made lots get hungry

WIL ANDERSON – wily, candid person

LI NA – linewoman

The less letters you employ to fulfil your biobe the better, though there’s much to be said for an eloquent and apposite portrait too, even if that means spending an extra consonant. Now that you have the drift of this new toy, get playing. After latish Thursday deadline, I will compile a shortlist of excellence, with medals to our three best biobists.

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