Puzzles for February

31 January, 2023

After a month’s holiday, we’re back with puzzles.

The Skeptical Crossword looks at Paranormal Pastimes. 

There are the usual twenty Mixed Bag Questions, another seven Picture Puzzles and a new set of Logic & Maths Puzzles, this time with the emphasis on logic and critical thinking.

All at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE.



12 December, 2022

Nicholas J Johnson

After a five-year break, Nicholas J Johnson has recently relaunched Scamapalooza, a podcast about con artists, scams, deception and critical thinking.
New episodes have been uploaded, with plenty more on the way.



Puzzles For December 2022

30 November, 2022

Our Puzzles for December have definitely adopted a holiday theme.

For a start, this month’s Skeptical Crossword is entitled Holidays and Festivals. 

There are one hundred Mixed Bag Questions rather than the usual twenty;

and in addition to the Picture Puzzles and  Logic & Maths Puzzles there are three Bonus Sets; Flowers, Mystery Objects and Countries.

They’re at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE.


Dr Ken Harvey’s Talk is now on Facebook

8 November, 2022

Due to technical difficulties Dr Ken Harvey’s Zoom talk for Skeptics Café on October 17

Retirement reflections: 55 years from graduation

did not receive the usual parallel airing at the Facebook Skeptics Café site. However, that has now been remedied! Watch at: https://www.facebook.com/theskepticscafe

Welcome to Melbourne Dinner

31 October, 2022

Claire Klingenberg, the Chair of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations; and Annika Harrison, Pontus Böckman and András Gábor Pintér of the European Skeptics podcast are coming to Australia to speak at Skepticon 2022 in Canberra.

They will be visiting Melbourne en route.

A Welcome Dinner has been organised for them for the evening of Friday 25th November at Graduate House in Carlton.

If you would like to attend, or are seeking more information, go to: https://www.trybooking.com/CDNVL

Puzzles for November 2022

31 October, 2022

November’s Skeptical Crossword Puzzle has Cults & Sects as its theme.

Logic & Maths Puzzles has returned; ten questions each with a worked solution.

There’s another set each of Picture Puzzles and Mixed Bag Questions, and two Bonus Sets; Crossword Clues and High or Low.

All at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE.


Playing fast and loose with your credibility

27 October, 2022

by Mark Hassed

On any list of trusted professions, I’m sure that pharmacists would feature prominently. They dispense our medications and are always behind the counter ready to offer advice when needed.

But, what do you do when you find that your local pharmacy is promoting a treatment that you know to be ineffective at best, and damaging at worst?

On a recent visit to my neighbourhood pharmacy there was a large poster by the counter promoting ear candling. I asked the pharmacy assistant if I could talk with the pharmacist.

(click to enlarge)

Read the rest of this entry »

Book Review – “Aradale”

24 October, 2022

Aradale: The Making of a Haunted Asylum David Waldron, Sharn Waldron and Nathaniel Buchanan, Arcadia 2022.

See “Reviews


Puzzles for October 2022

30 September, 2022

Our Skeptical Crossword Puzzle for October reverts to General Skeptical Issues.

Accompanying the usual Picture Puzzles and Mixed Bag Questions, we have a special one-off word-quiz about Palindromes.

All at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE.


Skepticon 2022

31 August, 2022

Science & Skepticism in a changed world

3 – 4 December, National Library of Australia
Parkes Pl W, Canberra

and on-line!

(Click to enlarge)

Early-bird pricing until September 14.



Puzzles for September 2022

31 August, 2022

September’s Skeptical Crossword Puzzle is about Foretelling the Future.

The Logic & Maths Puzzles have returned to accompany the usual Picture Puzzles and Mixed Bag Questions

Find them, blog-style at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE.


Vale Bob Nixon

24 August, 2022

by Rosemary Sceats

(photo of Bob at the 2002 Australian Skeptics Convention in Melbourne courtesy of Mal Vickers)

The Victorian Skeptics recently received some sad news about the death in February this year of Bob Nixon, a long-time member, including of the management committee. He served for a time as President of the Victorian Skeptics.

Bob was the Chief Investigator for Australian Skeptics for many years, and acted as a sceptical mentor for many a rookie Skeptic, including yours truly and Terry Kelly.

During his time as Chief Investigator, Bob was the coordinator of several attempts by people hoping to win the $100,000 prize money for the Australian Skeptics’ Challenge, by demonstrating psychic or other paranormal powers. Contestants included several dowsers and one who believed he could transmit mental images of Zener cards. He was also one of the behind-the-scenes underwriters who pledged to pay up in the improbable event that someone succeeded in qualifying for the prize. Read the rest of this entry »

SKEPTICON 2022 – Change of Date

15 August, 2022

Skepticon 2022 – December 3-4
The dates for the Australian Skeptics Annual National Convention – Skepticon 2022 – have been moved from the last weekend of November to the first weekend of December – ie December 3-4.

The last-minute change was due a large music festival being held on the original convention date accounting for virtually all hotel accommodation in Canberra and Queanbeyan.

The event will still be held at the National Library of Australia.

The Skepticon website is now live and intending attendees should go to skepticon.org.au to see the speaker schedule and purchase tickets.

The line-up is something special – Claire Klingenberg, President of the European Council of Skeptical Organisations, will be giving the keynote address on skepticism in a changed world, and the hosts of the European Skeptics Podcast will also be in attendance to give presentations and have a live recording of their podcast. Rounding off the international contingent will be livestreamed talks by Skeptics Guide to the Universe host Dr Steven Novella and Skeptoid host Brian Dunning.

There is also a wide variety of excellent domestic speakers including Major General Mike Ryan (ret.), author David Dufty, ACT Academy of Sport psychologist Kristine Dun, scientists such as Hannah Carle and Dr Jose Barrero, and many more!

The convention’s theme is Science and Skepticism in a Changed World and promises to be an exciting event. Please visit the Skepticon website for full details.

Puzzles for August 2022

31 July, 2022

aug 2022fr

This month’s Skeptical Crossword Puzzle is a kind of backhand tribute to the multi-billion dollar Wellness Industry.

You’ll also find a set of the usual Picture Puzzles, this month exclusively about TV series. The Mixed Bag Questions are there, but instead of the Logic & Maths Puzzles we’ve provided a new set of Crossword Clues. This type of vocabulary-testing exercise was among the most down-loaded of our lock-down puzzles of the last two years.

They’re all at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE.

Scroll down for earlier recent monthly puzzles, or use the ARCHIVE links at the bottom of the page to access puzzles going back to 2010.

Puzzles for July 2022

30 June, 2022


For this month’s skeptical crossword puzzle, we return to a favourite theme of Greek & Roman Mythology, together with the usual Picture Puzzles, Mixed Bag Questions and Logic & Maths Puzzles. They’re all at the top of the  PUZZLES PAGE. Scroll down for earlier recent monthly puzzles, or use the ARCHIVE links at the bottom of the page to access puzzles going back to 2010.