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...

'Th' Friday Follies

12 July, 2013

See if you can recognise these two mystery voices in Newcastle’s Treasure Hunter Contest? Oops, I almost gave the answers away. One day I’m hoping to set one of these quests, a clue scramble around the region, though I can tell you know the grail will await you in a winery (winter) or a surf hangout(summer). That place teems with attractions – now with added clues!

Whack it up. Stir it up. A great podcast about Boston mobspeak, drawing on Yiddish, Russian and Shakespeare. And if you are a Sopranos fan, enjoy David Chase’s eulogy for big Jimmy Gandolfini.

And lastly, a bizarre story about a Melburnian restaurateur who wants to reduce ‘the’ to a symbol, in the same way the ampersand has supplanted ‘and’. What’s your take on this? What word would you reduce, and how? Or can we downsize any word with creative pizzazz? Like this:

-iki = DASHIKI

What else?

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