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...

Newt Ape

2 December, 2011

June 2006 was memorable for two reasons: Tim Cahill scored two late-game goals against Japan, and Joe diPietro created a zoological marvel in his New York Times crossword.

Out of the box, the six themed squeezed two animals beside each other, so creating a bunch of fresh phrases. Here’s what I mean:

Recording of a Jewish leader’s talk? RABBI TAPE

Way back into a boat for a scuba diver? SEA LADDER

One fashioning an auto from clay? CAR POTTER

Fishing device pictured on a name tag? BADGE REEL

Executive group with perfect pitch? BOARD ON KEY

Faucet that disappoints me? TAP I REGRET

So quirky was the puzzle that I dwelt on the idea for years, clearly. Like a tap I regret, the idea dripped in my mind as I wondered what other combinations existed, speculating on the pairings that must have landed on Joe’s drafting room floor.

So let’s contrive our own, treating the folly as a puzzle in its own right. For example, another tack could be:

Polish a sneaky snake? (7/4) = BUFF A LOW ASP (where BUFFALO & WASP combine)

Any more? Make sure you number your suggestions – both the clue itself, plus the coupled creatures – for more merciful solving.

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