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...

Breaks & Ladders

16 August, 2013

What, no Storm results? Not yet. Not tomorrow either. I’m heading up to Trentham this weekend. The plan is pretty simple: drink cab-sav, listen to music and slam poets, toast the toes and later on, do my Sunday crossword gig. So relax already.

Instead, a grab-bag of odds & sods for puzzle bods. The first is a code-breaking challenge that blog brat Nib Oswald has told me about. Not sure whether our verbal chops will help, or if we need Alan Turing on the team, but here’s the link. You have another 12 days to register.

Speaking of brilliant minds, I found this website about word ladders. You know the kind: CAT > COT > COG > DOG. Guardian setter Brendan has reawoken my interest in the Lewis Carroll game, and this poindexter site about record-length ladders. Check out the marathon chain from CHARGE to COMEDO!

If you feel like a weekend challenge (with no solutions promised), see who can come up with the shortest and/or most elegant chains for these words:


Any other neat ladder extremes? Storm results early next week – OK?!

comments powered by Disqus

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.


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

read more +

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.

read more +

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 +

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