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.

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Updates & Upgrades

14 December, 2015

By now you've spotted a little burger man - or RED GRUB ROW - in the top right corner. Click this icon to find posts aimed at a newer wordplay audience, Wordburger readers with an appetite for more games and language love. By all means drop by, or feel free to tell those L-plated solvers in your sphere.

Still on Wordburger biz, the new app is only $1.49 to upload - a bundle of beginner cryptics to help pass Yuletide. (And if you already have the toy, make sure you opt for the recent upgrades at the app store.)

Which leads us to the drumroll, announcing the latest Storm results. This was a matter of dreaming up simple cryptic clues for three words. Not an oxymoron, but a tall order. On the shortlist were:

RURAL - Back in a regular urban setting - not! [Elementary]

TWELFTH - Leading thespian was extremely lucky fellow to host Shakespearean night [Easy Rider]

ISTHMUS - Sh! Tsunami crashed, washing away an area to cross the sea [Disambiguate]

SORRY - Chris or Ryan are hiding - it's pathetic [Elementary]

ANEMONE - Extract of phenomenal climbing flower [That artisan called Elementary again]

Indeed, that same Stormer can consider themselves unlucky, as their fine clues were marginally shaded by the classiest three-pack at the picnic:

RURAL - Country group really neglects regulars
SQUIRREL - At Hogwarts, Quirrell hides stash
ANEMONE - A clownfish half-gone into coral

Congratulations Pie. All three clues were zestful and very gettable, which is the art of clueing for a start-up crowd. My own favourite clue in the Wordburger app: Dinosaur tore off ox’s head and ox’s tail (1-3) Bloody. Exciting. And very graspable.

Thanks to all players. Prize Storms will wind down for a while, reverting to general mucking about, follies, WoWs, and clues of repute. Pie: let me know your details, plus your book choice (Wordburger or a Fairfax volume), and I'll send you a Christmas present. Ho-ho-ho and merry eponym to all.

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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

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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.

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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 

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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