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...

New-Word Wonders

30 April, 2011

Thirteen players wrangled nine new-word clues – and I’m the chump who has to call a winner. To paraphrase Alfred the butler, ‘With great puzzle power, comes great puzzle responsibility.’

Before I wheel out winners, joint winners, and special mentions, let me encourage newcomers. Even if you fall short of the grand shortlist, a Storm like this will only make you craftier. Anyway, with Logies a-calling tomorrow, and a tux still to collect from the rental boutique, I won’t dally. Instead I’ll name the best of a brilliant blur.

EGO-SURF: Vainly search for one love – certain trim female [RK picks up where she left off. Not a word wasted – always a feat to impress the jury. Not to mention the ‘story’.]

FAUXMANCE: Turn Wolverine, for example, into celebrity tabloid creation [Perhaps Mr X light-fingered the talon-fingered tack, but this is exquisite architecture.]

GOOGLEGANGER: Egg on bait to net twin [Compact charade from X again.]

GOOGLEGANGER: Go back and forth, and look around the crowd until you find your namesake [Eloquent tale from SK, equal first, with special mention to 47 for his ogle + Grange tack.]

LOW-HANGING FRUIT: Unfailing growth model easily attainable [Sam finds the best anagram of a mad medley, even though the definition seems mildly awry. Special mention to Boniface, with a kindred flaw, plus JPR for a Dr Who episode, and DC for his double-meaning sequence.]

MAMIL: Iron-clad male – Tony Abbott, perhaps? [As tight as Tony’s sixpack, from RK. With Nib’s alpha idea, and DC’s Mr Bean tangent worth an exultant shout.]

POCKET DIAL: Kinky plaid skirt; coke-addled model: unexpected buzz [DC shares top billing with two other compilers, below. This was the hardest to split.]

POCKET DIAL: Nick face with ring by accident [SK, and…]

POCKET DIAL: Tackle iPod malfunction for aberrant ringing […Sam.]

PRESENTEEISM: Glasshouses seen shattered by tee not working properly, as a rule [Boniface hits his drive truly here. Glass-houses is ingenious, as….]

PRESENTEEISM: Ill-attendance at work; misrepresent routine condition. [..RV. The covert command of R/OUT/IN/E is brain-spinning. A special shout to SK, Sam plus AK, who needed a stronger anagram marker.]

SHOCKUMENTARY: Chose manly truck, configured with clout, showing real biffo [RV combines cl/out with real punch. A brilliant twist from Boniface, with Harry S TRUMAN, and also loved Nib’s murky acne. Though many fine clues ill-used shock in the same sense as the answer, and SK fell afoul with ‘will’.]

Only fair that the prize-reckoning is as hearty as your clue-crafting. According to my fallible maths, with 3 points for a hall-of-famer, and a point for a special mention, the New-Clue Logies go to Sam and SK (7), with the nearby trio of Mr X, RK and RV. While Boniface and DC have every right to attend the after-party. Thanks for the teamwork, and sustained scintillation. Now where’s that monkey suit?

STOP PRESS: SCREWAGE: Scrooge drops his specs in awe, taken aback at wine surcharge [Coming from the clouds, Boniface scores gold, ironically with a SCREWAGE corker! Eight points = the Gold Logie, as DC picks up a mention for his wise/man deceit. Congratz.]

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