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...

Results Are In

7 September, 2013

Votes have been counted. We have a majority of quality candidates, with plenty of grass-roots support, but who wins the mandate to boast for the week, and get to read Dr Johnson’s Reliquary of Rediscovered Words?

But first a general word of counsel: KISS. This week I’ve seen splendid ideas struggle due to needless uploading of words or complexity. To win general favour (bear in mind I came last recently), see how you can pare. And ask yourself: is it fair? As often a cluttered clue will carry redundancy, or demand a step that’s not lucidly supported.

Anyway, the top five vote-winners first, and then candidate with the highest aggregate, tallying both clue scores:

CORANGAMITECook organic meat [With the perfect name, Sausage Sizzle exhibits the perfect KISS example. He gets 14 points from 5 votes.]

LINDSAYLayabout independents [Despite a lack of explanation, Albert Langer impressed plenty, with 15/6.]

ASTONEmpty answers by Abbott found wanting? [Loved the ‘found wanting’ device, and the newsiness is brilliant. A worthy 19/6 for Sausage Sizzle.]

ASTONHidden agendas, Tony? [Donkey Voter struck early with a brilliant hidden, accruing 21/6]

ASTONBackflips cannot save faction [Nice to know I can still dazzle with my acrobatics, earning 28/7 as Core Promise.]

Tally time, and we have a bunch of stranded aspirants. (Hence my advice. It can be tricky to nail the tone – or Tone.) The margins go like this: A Week Is a Long Time and Cob Batter (both clean sheets I’m afraid), Kony Rubbot 3, Stephanie Bannister 6, Albert Langer 15, Donkey Voter 28, and Core Promise AND Sausage Sizzle both on 33.

That’s right a hung parliament. Though as the book holder, and prize pledger, I hereby make my concession speech, granting the Sausage full rights to the title. Congratulations. Well campaigned, all hacks. Now, who is our mystery winner?!

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