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...

Havoc Ahead

9 December, 2010

Nervous? A little, since the looming DA crossword is out of the box.

Don’t worry. I’m not dealing in spoilers. But I can say the cryptic due to run this Friday in Sydney, and in Saturday’s Age, is the strangest I’ve made for yonks. Full-stop even. And I’m nervous about it.

The key reason links to the Herald’s page, where the Cryptic and Quick grids – usually a snap in every regard – require different treatment. Patterns and symmetry are identical, but the cryptic clue-numbers within the grid break convention. Even to Age solvers, the figures will seem random. Or worse – wrong. But they’re not, as you’ll discover.

Hence the butterflies, as the intrepid Lynne Cairncross (our part-time crossword editor) will soon need to usher this odd grid past the subbies and typesetting software to ensure the puzzle escapes any well-meaning interference. Let’s hope she succeeds. And the solvers make merry, once they waken to the challenge.

And while chatting on chequered things, for anyone who happened to attend the Gleebooks Clue Clinic a month back, then the puzzle slated to follow on December 17/18 is the grid that holds the session’s six offered words and phrases, including a name (3,7) that regulars here will know too well.

Enough preambling. Enjoy the ambling, when the puzzles lob.

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