David Astle is a full-time word nerd. He makes crosswords for two Australian newspapers, writes a regular wordplay column and once hosted the cult television show, Letters and Numbers. He’s also written a bunch of books where he gets his word geek on in no small way. When we chatted with David earlier this year at the Melbourne Writers Festival, we found ourselves smiling so much our faces hurt. He sees words as others see images, set in a landscape of wild imagination. This article is a write-up of that conversation.