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...

Word Magic

10 November, 2015

Prize time, dabblers - with a succulent new Wordburger to win. Two in fact, as I'm happy to forward a Burger to the top two entries in this week's contest. (The book won't be out in stores until November 28, so this is a coup of a scoop.)

Our game is pretty open-ended. Choose an alias relating to hamburgers, and cook up a piece of word magic. By that I mean a simple manipulation or two that reveals some amazing quality about the word or name you choose. 

Like what, you ask. Like a trick that opens Wordburger:

FEAST can lose its evens to spell what happens to over-feasters - they become FAT. So why not remove an E to FAST? Or drop F and S to EAT normally?

Or: TAUT means STRAINED, which can lose its initial to make TRAINED, which means TAUGHT

Or: When I dance with LUDICROUS, I become RIDICULOUS, which means LUDICROUS.

Or: The odd letters of arch-feminist GERMAINE GREER spell out the modern literary feminist of (Hermoine) GRANGER.

You get the hang by now. Reveal some intriguing transition in a word or name, where one tweak, or a fresh perspective, wows your audience. Stick with burger-ish bylines, to keep things fair, and may the best two dazzlers enjoy the pre-sizzle of Wordburger: How To Be A  Champion Puzzler In 20 Quick Bites. (Contest closes this Thursday, 7pm. Get cooking.)

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