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...

Eye of the Bemuser

7 May, 2013

Psst, wanna be in the movies? This Storm offers you that rare chance. Last week a film-maker dropped a line, eager to get some ‘visual clues’ for his short film. By visual, I discovered, he meant clues that can be captured well on screen – those that inspire imagery, or play with letter shapes.

His request triggered our contest. We all know good clues paint interesting pictures, but let’s focus on the alphabet this time. Using a directorial codename, we need to craft two clues, one per the following categories:

1) A clue involving a fresh take on letter shapes. Last month I suggested Y to be a slingshot. While M maybe a child’s bird drawing. O, we know, is a bagel, a donut, a hole – but what else?

2) A clue that considers a word’s shape, or component shapes. It may entail letters being changed, or inverted, or an answer shifting cases, etc. A W can become an M, just as O can turn into Q. Or FIJI gets dotty in lower case…

Hard to describe, unless we see it! Let’s use the optic nerve for a change, and show some nerve on the drawing board. Answers can be drawn from anywhere, though bear in mind the best clues will have a visual pull, and potentially a story to play out in the solver’s mind.

As best as I can vouch, the winning clue/s will appear in the film. I may even invite our mystery director a casting vote on the shortlist.

So do your best. Invent and imagine. Later, between Thursday 1-6pm, declare your best two clues (one per category), and let’s vote 3/2/1 in each section over Friday. Remember, to play, you must vote, and voting is done via email DA, before Friday 6pm. This will be epic – and may the winner be credited.

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