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...

Middle America

21 April, 2015

Back from a great break - lots of rock-hopping, beachcombing, book-gobbling and potbelly fires. In a word: therapy. (And thanks for sharing your own book lists. My pick of the break: Is That A Fish In Your Ear by David Bellos.)

Solved my share of crosswords too, many sourced from Big Dave's Aladdin Cave here. I can recommend anything Anax makes, as well as Gazza and Heiroglyph. (Radler is a required taste, while I'm still to sample the others.) 

One clue from Gazza almost inspired a Cryptic Court. But then I thought, hell, let's have a Storm instead. Here's the clue:

Middle America is rocked by wrongdoing (5)

The answer is CRIME, the five middle letters of AMERICA rocked into one misdemeanour. Pedants could quibble that Middle America is R only, but I don't mind the variation. Besides, the surface story is excellent.

So that's our challenge this week, to dream up a clue that matches Gazza's recipe, manipulating a central block of letters. The heart of ORANGUTAN, say, may well be G in standard clues, but here the ruse could lead to ANGUT (the fodder for GAUNT), or even NGU (revealing GNU!)

My opening bids:

Middle Eastern flower = ASTER

Rips into Middle Eastern conflict = TEARS

Style of screwball comedy, in essence = MODE 

Scottish boy vandalised central Adelaide = LADDIE

What's in your heart?

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