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...

Trix or Treat?!

28 February, 2011

Keeping things Latino for a day, after our Spanish Birdbrain, here’s a curious plea from a bloke named Craig. Please, if anyone has the right classical nous, or detective skills, you may be able to help our stricken correspondent.

According to his recent email, Craig was minding his own business at Brisbane Airport some ten years ago. Out of the blue, a stranger handed Craig a piece of paper with the phrase TRIXACUPIS CAVIAG written on it.

Quoting Craig, ‘I think the phrase is old Latin, but I have not found it in standard Latin dictionaries. The closest I came was “something to do with caged lab rat”, but that’s about as far as I got. I suspect it’s some type of old Latin curse, but why me? And what does it mean?

Buggered if I know, Craig. I turned to Dr Watson, alias Google, and found myself reading all about a parasite unique to guinea pigs, but that seems unlikely, and besides, the Latin was out of whack, as the blood-sucking mite is actually Trixicarus caviae. Close, but no eureka.

Any other hare-brained theories out there? Did our man in transit cop a Harry Potter spell? A code? An anagram? A practical joke? Were you the stranger, by any chance – or has something weird and gypsy-like crossed your own path? Both Craig and I would welcome your theories, as I sense a mystical column taking shape.

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