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‘Dah-di-dah-di-dah’ by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 16 December 2016

Start copying…

A very gentle puzzle this week.  As an aside, given the emergence of a Grade E and F (yes, F!) difficulty puzzles appearing in the splendid Magpie magazine this month then, from my point of view at least, thank goodness for that – I am not sure I could have coped with much more!

The clues started off nicely with:

                  Dead body covers wallet with contact info (8)

Ok, that’s D in CARCASE, I think.  CARDCASE.

Then:     Woollen cloth placed on horse (6)

Looks like SAT + ARA[b], with this being the first of the 41 clues with an extra letter from the wordplay.  Double-check SATARA in the BRB and yes, there it is.

With the choice of title and 18 signposting Samuel Morse, all was becoming clear.

One of my favourites was:

Spinoza was one, but if Descartes was, then so am I (8)

i.e. a Dutchman.

The 41 extra letters ended up spelling out:

  BLACK OUT LETTERS IN MORSE CODE AND ERASE THE REST.

I did like the ‘letters in Morse code’ double meaning.  When I first started blacking out the letters M, O, R, … etc wherever they fell in the grid, then there seemed to be a pixellated number 8 appearing in the top left of the grid.  Did this mean something?  [Answer: No.]  But row by row there were black dots and dashes becoming visible – that’s more like it…

Samuel Morse’s famous demonstration phrase, that I understand is from Numbers 23:23, “What hath God wrought” appears very neatly.  I particularly liked the accurate spacing between the Di’s and Dah’s used throughout the grid to indicate where characters and words ended.

I might well have missed something else in the title but its ‘CT = Start Copying’ Morse instruction is all I see.

I also had a quick go at trying to read some meaning into the puzzle number chosen.  I vaguely recalled integrated circuits being dated in the form YYWW to show the year and week of manufacture, but 24th May 1844 seemed to work out to being (just about plausibly) 4421, so that appeared to be a dead end too.  Worth a try!

Another very accurate puzzle – congratulations to Harribobs and to The Listener.

Tim / Encota

P.S. Might an alternative message have been ‘Wat: Gold hath wrought‘?  All written by Hare-e-bobs?? (editor: Errr…No!)

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