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...

Ps & Qs

2 March, 2016

Quibbles persist about the origin of the phrase, to mind your Ps and Qs. The prevalent theory arises from the old-world typesetter's studio. Working with movable letters, an apprentice needed to know his lower-cases ps from qs. 

Other possible origins include a taverner’s need to distinguish pints and quarts, or a child’s burden to master handwriting, or possibly the curtailment of ‘pleases and thank yous’. 

Whichever the source, the Storm is dead simple. Choose any word or phrase that contains both P and Q (propinquity, Qantas pilot) and equip your selection with a clue. Let's see who wins the plaque for the quippiest!

(And for a bonus point, is there any word where P and Q are interchangeable? The best I can offer is SUQ - a Arabic market. The quaint puzzle is making me querile!)

EQUIP - Supply drug, crack




What are you waiting for? Get quadrophonic.

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