The wordy life and times of David Astle, alias DA

Decidedly Aberrant

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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David Astle

A photo of David

As crossword maker in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, as well as Wordplay columnist with Spectrum, David Astle is a full-time word nerd.

His Gargantuan Book of Words - a riot of puzzles, quizzes & stories - now joins Wordburger - a quick-snack guide to cryptic crosswords for kids or rookies. His other wordy hits include Riddledom (a mind-trip of conundrums across time), the chequered history of Cluetopia, plus the manual-cum-memoir, Puzzled. To complete the set are the two pocketbooks: Puzzles & Words – and Puzzles & Words 2.

David also composes such diversions as Wordwit and Omega for Fairfax. While on telly you can catch his regular word spots on News Breakfast, looking at Hinglish, Trumpish or whatevs. And on radio, David is a frequent fill-in host with ABC Radio Melbourne.

David was also part of a conspiracy to invent a new word. And of course, you may also recall his face (or flamboyant shirt collection) from the SBS cult show, Letters and Numbers, discontinued by SBS in 2012. 

To read more about his books, click the PUBLISHED option. On the same page you’ll also discover a sample from among the 70 feature stories he’s composed, from playground rhymes to senior bikies.

To glean a bit more about the man and his mania – or play a few word games – mouse around the DA domain. You’ll find such distractions as the weekly Birdbrain poser, the Word of the Week clue challenge, or a chance to revel in the many creative Brainstorms and other puzzles. You can also join his wordiness on Twitter.

If you wish to contact David directly, hit the EMAILDA option on the left, and he’ll do his best to get back to you. Otherwise enjoy your visit and play a few games. Maybe bump into a few new words and feel free to add to the hubbub.

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 

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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. 

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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.

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Riddledom Rave

If you missed my riddle chat with Richard Fidler, then feel free to slurp the podcast at