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...

Manet or Monet?

10 September, 2013

This week, to take a break from intense Storming, I propose a game based on letter patterns. The idea was inspired by a crossword solver called Rob, who emailed last week. Last Friday he suspected my quick clue – Ineffectual people – was pointing to LIMP DICKS, rather than LAME DUCKS!

Can’t imagine we’ll top that ambiguity, but wonders never cease across these forums. For that’s our challenge – to craft a quick clue, where two answers share a strong overlap of letters. We can look for the sober kind:

M-N-T = French artist (2)
I-E-A-D = Nation (2)
– – MBA = Dance style (3) [RUMBA, SAMBA, ZUMBA]

Or the lame-duck deviations:

-OWARD = Chinless wonder (2)
P-R-I-G = Beach preoccupation (2)

If you feel a need to spell out your answers, such as my PARKING & PERVING example, then please oblige. Otherwise, let’s just see who can unearth the neatest or drollest examples. (And if you can imagine a further tangent this idea can take, then please suggest.) With no Friday ballot involved, this is less a Storm than a spot of R&R to give our voting brains a break!

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