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...

Revolting Canberra (Salon 14)

12 May, 2014

A Wordplay reader has just rapped my knuckles for a crime against geography. Here’s the gist of his beef: “This week you slipped in a derogatory reference to "Canberra” when you really meant the Tax Office, the Federal Government or the Liberal Party. To use the name “Canberra” in such a disparaging sense, is to pander to the Canberra-hating populace…"

The reader makes a fair point. Federal parliament is not the same as the city – one of which is very enchanting. At first glance it seems we have entered that risky territory of metonymy, where one thing (or location) represents the whole.

Hollywood and Silicon Valley are two more instances. Some suburbs could also apply: Toorak and Vaulcluse, perhaps, to denote the monied. Or Bangalore to epitomise outsourcing… Love to extend the list.

Or is Canberra a different caucus of fish? Is this metonym, or anther device? The Macquarie has Canberra – as Definition 2 – as the Australian government in relation to other national governments or to the State governments. So what’s the correct term for such an association? Any suggestions?

And what’s your own take on this pollies-versus-polis dilemma when it comes to Canberra? I’m sensing a column to come, and would love your input.

Ditto for crossword tips and triumphs here too. I’m gunning for #13, just quietly. And today’s Times looks a delight, with four 15s to frame the whole. Dive in.

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