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...

Plus One

18 September, 2012

Instead of wangling clues this week, let’s see if we can invent a new alphabet. Not neo-Greek or retro-Esperanto, but an ABC of cryptic addition. You know the type. Where a single letter is added to the fodder before the rumpus begins. Here’s what I mean:

O = oxygenate (adding O)
P = plush (adding H)
Q = question put to
Z = Zambian leader contributes…

That last one is rubbish, but that’s the rub: try to find a word or phrase that denotes a letter being added to a larger combo. Long-time Dabblers will recall we did a similar stunt – called Omission Possible – where we listed an ABC of letters to be removed. This week, our gain is Cryptopia’s gain – and you may win a book prize!

So get inventive. Get silky. Get vernacular. And tell us to add whatever letter you can subtly isolate. Use an alias that relates to EXTRA or SURPLUS, and submit your letter ideas piecemeal, just like the examples above. By Thursday 9pm, hand in your own master list, covering as many letters as you wish, with no double-dipping on any letter.

To save you a headache, I’ll be sole judge and bottle-washer, selecting the best ABC from the pool and awarding the greatest contributor a copy of English Down The Ages by Linda & Roger Flavell, an intriguing meander from village green to Greenpeace. So, time to get exceptional with the additional.

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