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...

Puzzles and Words

13 November, 2012

A Storm entailing word stories and wordplay this week, giving you a chance to snare an advance copy of Puzzles and Words. This quirky stocking-filler, loaded with origin yarns and related puzzles, is due to hit the stores in late November, but a Dabbler can get one early right here. Signed and gratis.

The challenge is twofold, mirroring the book. What you must do is find a word, a phrase, a brand, with an amazing source. Bluetooth, say, honours the nickname of Denmark’s Harald I, the king to unite his people a millennium ago. Sarcophagus literally means flesh-eating. To give someone the pip has nix to do with oranges, but relates to a chicken disease…

Part two of the challenge is to invent a smart clue for the word, phrase or name you’ve chosen. Though when it comes to voting, my exclusive role this time, I will be giving 4/3/2 for most surprising or fascinating origins, and 3/2/1 for best clue. That’s right, there’s gold in them backstories, people.

No need for aliases. And a line or two is plenty for the source stuff. Come Thursday, to make admin easier, just file your best two pairs and I will parade the tallies, and winner, on the weekend. Get pearl diving and find some treasure – tell us the story, and craft a gem clue.

PS – if dictionary diving is not your thing, then see who can best clue these eight words. All of them appear in Puzzles & Words, with surprising origins. Buy the book if you don’t believe me: HOCUS POCUS, JENGA, JINX, KURRAJONG, LIMERICK, MANURE, TIM TAM, YAKUZA. (Happy to figure your best clues in the tally – but origin stories remain the champion material.)

comments powered by Disqus

Rewording The Brain

Focus & memory, lateral leaps & logic - every aspect of cognitive health is lit in Rewording The Brain, a book revelling in how puzzles boost your brain. Part 2 equips your brain to conquer any twisty clue, plus the wild crossword finale. Pop science meets neural gameplay, Rewording is rewarding, and out now.


Rewording The Brain

Care to renew your noodle? Rewording The Brain explores the latest neural studies, seeing how puzzles (and twisty clues) boost your neurons. Part 2 helps you crack such clues, and prep the grey matter for the crossword showcase to finish. More here

read more +

101 Weird Words (and 3 Fakes)

From Ambidextrous to Zugwang, this mini-dictionary teems with rare or alluring words, plus bonus riddles, puzzles and fun word-facts. Dictionary detective will also nab the collection's three fakes. Ideal for late primary schoolers, or word-nuts in general.

read more +

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 +

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