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...

Meh 10

29 April, 2011

Meh is Latin for mediocre, a visceral response to clues that could be better. All seven clues below have been selected from a range of UK puzzles – for the wrong reasons. Perhaps a word is missing, or redundant. Maybe the definition is off-beam, or the ask is too tall on the solver. I’ve listed the misdemeanour beside each clue. It’s over to you to disagree, or extend the argument. And, if you haven’t tired of crafting clues this week, after our New Word Storm, then try to concoct a superior clue for the same answer. Let’s proceed.

  1. Make a chiming sound faintly resonate = RING A BELL [Times 8975 – a double crime for mine. The duplication of ‘a’, and the double meaning rehashing the one idea.]

  2. Body of one people who make one cross? = ELECTORATE [Times 8977 – does a body of people make a single cross?]

  3. Gloomy note found in safe after he died = OBSCURE [Times 8961 – he died = OB?]

  4. Battle left couple of editors in tatters = FRAYED [Times 8961 again – with two beefs. Assuming battling and unravelling are separate creatures, which I will concede, then ‘couple of editors’ as ED is meh.]

  5. Moderate, not hard, persuasive tactics = SOFT SELL [Monk. Dunno. Just hate this clue. What is it that bugs me? Or you?]

  6. Herb supplied by court physician at opening of Florentine gallery = WOODRUFF [Cinephile makes you work here, with Uffizi the gallery given the arbitrary chop. Too much work?]

  7. Look to become adult almost, with contemporaries = PEER GROUP [Same setter, same puzzle, with another deletion recipe beyond the pale, I reckon. GROW UP – W? Why not R or U?]

RU rankled by any clue here? Care to make a better'n?

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