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...

Oxford Arrivals

16 August, 2016

You may have missed the fanfare, given the general chaos of 2016, but the Oxford Dictionary accepted some 1000 new words in late June, with the list below a random sampling. And a red rag for cluemongers as well, a chance to weave some brand-new threads, from boteh (Persian paisley) to corrido (a Mexican ballad).

Please excuse the simplified definitions. If you'd like to explore the nuances in greater depth than hit the link and see the hardcore Swedish music of gabba is an audio assault with its own strange history, etc.

But otherwise, see if you can make sweet boteh of these fifteen, splicing both wordplay and definitions elements. Ole'.

AGENDER - person who doesn't identify with either gender

BAO - Chinese bread roll

BOTEH - Persian paisley

BOTIJO - clay pot

CONVERSATE - to chat

CORRIDO - Mexican ballad

DIVEY - Hinglish label for a seedy venue

DOPIAZA - Indian meat dish with onion garnish

DUDETTE - see ladette

FLAUTA - long deep-fried tortilla

GABBA - frenetic hard-core techno

GIANDUJA - rich hazelnut chocolate

KAYFABE - the unspoken pretence of wrestling [love this word]

SPOACHER - thief who sifts through your personal belongings 

TROUT POUT - supermodel's moue

Who can concoct the tastiest dopiaza, the crunchiest flauta? Dig in.

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