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...

Sex Changing

4 January, 2011

Before I vanish into the beach haze for two weeks, let’s play a game of gender reassignment. Sounds like a harmless operation. How does it work?

If male is M, and female, F, then a word like mellow, when given a sex-change, ironically becomes fellow. Hence a clue for this coupling could be:

Chilled bloke (equals MELLOW FELLOW)

Or taking another tack, cool bloke could be FAN MAN. While a trickier example is the clue: Adds peppercorns, perhaps.

The answer? FILL MILLS.

Of course, the F/M switch can occur within a word, and not just the initial. (You could probably hatch two stylish clues for LIME LIFE, or CALM CALF.) The only catch – the F and M need to occupy the same slot in either word or name.

And as a bonus challenge, give a phrase or title a sex change – such as Barton Mink, or Mull Metal Jacket – and supply a brief synopsis as clue.

For example – a repulsive spray-can competition? Mace/Off. Or John Nash uncovers the absolute value of pi? A Beautiful Find. Should be a folly, Molly.

So that’s the dual game – twisting words and titles, offering clues and synopses. Not really a Birdbrain, but more a Clayton’s Storm, or an embryonic Wordwit in fact, with maybe the best to run in a February Herald. Post your sex-change clues and scenarios – no need for enumeration – and see if we can’t spot our Arthurs from those Marthas.

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