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...

Missing Spirits

4 June, 2013

I won’t lie. This Storm is a toast to my dad, a wee drappie of scotch to see the sea captain off – with a crossword prize for the best distiller.

Look at the list below. These seven names were once proud makers of the good oil in Scotland, now lost to the mists of time. With no need to provide a definition, can you contrive the most mellow wordplay for he first two (the compulsory pair), and any one of the ther five?

Aliases apply. So choose a clan, or put on a Braveface – anything Caledonian – and toss your ideas around the forum. Test all seven labels if you wish, but come Thursday, between 1-6, you must select your top three – the first two, and one of the others – as a shortlist on view.

Voting kicks off on Friday, emailed to the DA portal, with 3/1 for the first two, then 3/2/1 for the wildcards, meaning a total of 7 votes cast per player. The prize is an old Fairfax collection of crosswords: 75 Puzzles To Twist Your Mind (where I claim a third of those).

Yours truly will be competing, to try and save the postage! And in memory of the old salt as well. Here’s the list:



Cheers. Have fun. And clue responsibly.

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