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 8

31 March, 2014

CHARLES DARWIN, as Puzzability discovered last week, contains a bird and a mammal when scrambled, with every letter of the naturalist used once. (Can you find the pair? And can you find some ten other animals as well? SEAL and WHALE are two more. Warning – the safari gets addictive.)

That’s one conundrum to kick-start your week. Another relates to odds-and-evens, where the word IMPAIR contains its synonym MAR with the even letters. Now can you name a five-letter word meaning ‘poll’ that oddly holds a word which can also means poll? (Any other odd/even flukes you know about? TWITCH and TIC is another succulent curio.)

This week will be a bit of comedy-hopping here in Melbourne, making the most of the stand-up fest, and the resumption of my personal Times challenge, seeking to score a ton from today’s crossword #9900 onward, solving a puzzle a day, with no reference books, Wiki trawls, software sorties or Google dips. Wish me luck. Or join me. The century will be mine…

Any other verbal business, let us know. Great clues? Cryptic huhs? Linguistic leads? The salon is the place. Have a wordy week.

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