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...

Salon 11

18 March, 2013

Georges Perec was a remarkable wordsmith. He wrote La Disparition (The Disappearance), which eschews words like eschew, or like, or any word that contains an E. And that’s for 300 pages, the world’s greatest lipogram.

The feat inspires a puzzle of sorts. Take feat, say. Is there a synonym with out an E? Most places you look – achievement, exploit, deed – are E-ridden. The best I could conjure was act. And to define feat, without using an E, you could say an amazing act.

Avoiding Es, can you find synonyms, or lucid definitions, for this sextet?

  1. Whenever
  2. The
  3. Charade clues
  4. Bone marrow
  5. Sentence (not the prison kind!)
  6. ‘She sells seashells by the seashore.’

Maybe that’s another game – to paraphrase popular sayings etc, all the while evading that vital vowel. How the hell would you explain the Indiana Jones franchise in one E-free sentence? Only Perec would dare.

In the meantime, welcome to the week. Here’s hoping the UK puzzles bring plenty of E, if you know what I mean. This forum is the place to share, as well as exhibit your electric E eschewal. Cheers.

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