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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14 December, 2012

If it moves like a dog, yips like a dog, kinda looks like a dog, then it may be a xoloitzcuintli. Better known as the Mexican hairless, the X-version is now okayed by Oxford. For the record, the breed is pronounced SHOH-loh-eets-KWEENT-lee.

Avoiding a few lewd options, if you can, would anyone care – or dare – to convert this Nahuatl mouthful into a cryptic clue? I’ll be giving it a whack. Though personally I’d be astonished if anyone reaches great heights; it’s a bitch.


(Notice that last semicolon? If you wanna master those comma/colon mongrels, get your learnage here.) Credit to Toby Fehily for a lively interview.


And lastly, for Friday follies – let’s toss around some crap Apple map app confusions. On Twitter I suggested the sloppy cartography has put Cologne in Burgundy, Bologna in Frankfurt, Rye in Scone and Monte Carlo in Anzac Cove. Perhaps Orange is in Sunshine, and then there’s the Great Pyramids of Gaza. Any more?

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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
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