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...


1 August, 2014

Pity the newcomer to English – our lingo can be a brute. You only need look at the promiscuity of C, a letter that alternates between a hard K-like sound, or a sibilant S-cousin. So what if we switch roles in familiar words to sound out new words?

CLIP-CLOP, for instance, would sound like SLIP-SLOP, just as DUCK would bob up as DUSK. The same sort of wangle would make Grainy lollies SANDY CANDY, or a meat dish would be a BACON BASIN.

As you can see, the soft- or hard-C can lead or follow. For this folly, let’s ignore the CH/SH combo, and try to adhere to a matching sound, thus eliminating COUTH SOUTH, say, but okaying SOPPY COPY. A bit of fun. See what you can make of these openers:

DA1Scale gunk (5,5)
DA2Shoe craft (7,7)
DA3Punishing drool (10,10)
DA4Tender troops (4,5)
DA5‘Soft’ finale? (4,4)
DA6Food as pay? (7,6)

Your answers, and your own attempts, are ‘sordially’ invited.

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