David's new book - Puzzled - and other stuff in print.

Down Across

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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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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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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Cluetopia roams the planet – and century – to find fresh crossword stories in 30+ languages. From shipwrecks to hoaxes, Cluetopia is a holiday for the head. Buy here.

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Puzzled combines memoir, wordplay history and a how-to guide for solvers. With bizarre crossword stories, example clues plus mini-puzzles to test your skill – and nerve. Buy here.

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Puzzled (UK)

The Aussie bestseller has crossed the ditch – slimmer, sexier, with updated examples to help bestow the cryptic knack, and reveal the personal and puzzly backstories. More here.

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Puzzles and Words 2

pocketbook packed with 250 word stories – from Aga to Zemblanity – plus 175 new puzzles for all comers, this is a word nerd’s summer necessity.

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Puzzles and Words

Over 170 new word puzzles – everything but crosswords – woven among 200 curious word stories, from Acme to Zzxjoanw, a Maori drum that doesn’t exist. Purchase here.

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The Best Australian Stories 2012

Edited by Sonya Hartnett, this jumbo collection holds 32 tales embracing Powerball, death, rainbow shoestrings – and Australia from a bullock’s point of view. Lowdown here.

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Smith Journal Spring 2013

Arthur Wynne grew onions in Texas. He fiddled in Philadelphia. Oh yeah, he also invented the crossword in 1913. Read my article, and solve my two-speed puzzle, in Smith.

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Griffith Review 36

Say you were taught Australian Studies by a castrated bull. That’s the scenario at play in Oxtales, my story found in the winter release, Griffith Review 36: What is Australia For?

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Sleepers Almanac 6

Boy meets woman. Boy and woman both love insects. That’s the gist ofNymphomaniacs, my buggy story amid two dozen original tales. Make a beeline for theSleepers Salon.

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Offbeat Australia

Offbeat is the alternative guide to anywhere you visit in Australia. Mermaid statues. Pebble churches. Tram hotels. Over 1000 entries from Airborne to Zany. A glovebox must.

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One Down One Missing

Join a taskforce chasing the killers of Sgt Gary Silk and Senior Constable Rodney Miller. Co-written with Joe D’Alo, this true-crime case is not on sale, but well worth hunting.

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Kiss Greeting


(The rites, rules and riddles of the kiss-greeting)

You’re the proud owner of an orbicularis oris – but do you know how to use it? 

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Ulysses Club


If I say ‘Gold Wing’ and you think ‘bird’, or ‘airline reward scheme’, then this story’s for you.

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