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 52

12 February, 2016

After a mad media-muddle of a summer, it's time to don the zinc, pack the novels, the flippers and head for 2 weeks of Quality Sand Time. But don't gripe. I've lined up some treats across the fortnight, including two stunning maiden puzzles from a regular dabbler. (All will be 'unmasked' next week.)

You can also look for the usual WoWs, and an overdue Birdbrain or two, just to tide you over while I'm body-bashing.

So play nice, and nimble. And see whether you can decipher any of these Times clues from recent months. Bear in mind my own solutions could be the flaw, or perhaps there's an opaque Anglicism buried within. Either way, I'd love your enlightenment - and your alternative clues for these same presumed answers. Have fun:

1. City engineer running into fisherman’s spear = LEICESTER  

2. Rest respond to storyteller in kind? = LIE BACK

3. Island’s banished female star as defined in two parts = MIRANDA [I see The Tempest allusion, and maybe the Miranda Rights, or is there more?]

4. Their decision, that is, to wrap lover’s present = UP TO THE MINUTE [Sunday Times, 977]

5. Worry if chapter is read out = CARE 

6. Two-stage formula for making smart home for bird = SAND MARTIN 

7. Lowering of price, perhaps, making a grey area? = SHADING [Seems a double meaning but the econo-aspect throws me.]

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