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...

Huh 29

21 July, 2011

Oldies but goodies, this bunch. While doing the Bali tour of duty, I dug up some old puzzles (a mix of Times and Guardian) to see if the craft has changed. Not really – some gems, some gimmes, and a smattering of huhs. These seven all failed to add up completely. Can you tell me what I missed, or argue for the defence? And just to prove your lasting cleverness, can you re-cook these morsels of yore, with a new draft of your own?

  1. For Spooner, essential father leaves here = TEA CADDY [Sorry Paul – this makes me say key taddy, and where’s papa in all that?]

  2. Language almost dead, going by name = LAOTIAN [Times 8474 – nearly late?]

  3. Investing in nothing, no merchant banker! = GOOSE [Is this rhyming slang, Mudd? Is Gose anybody in particular?]

  4. Clobber? = CLOUT [At least Fawley is brief, albeit opaque.]

  5. Don’t breathe easily, given plan = WHEEZE [A Pommy slice of slang I’m missing? This from Paul.]

  6. Not the feature film villain’s footwear? = BROGUE [Is Brummie implying that movie villains can’t be Irish?]

  7. Turned very worried, going to block or to swing = OSCILLATE [From Times 8503, I get SO ILL – but not the Blanchett bit…]

Seven great mysteries. How do the clues work – and what better clues can you cobble?

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