Dah-di-dah-di-dah by Harribobs
Posted by shirleycurran on 16 December 2016
Harribobs – becoming a familiar name here and in the Magpie. Does he (she or they) qualify for the Listener Setters’ imbibing outfit? I scan the clues spotting quite a few friendly anagrams and so on and find ‘Ale must perk up such as Morse (6)’ We’ve already noticed that we have to find extra letters in the wordplay of 41 of the 52 clues and this clearly gives us the first, a T, leaving SAMUEL (ALE MUS[T]*) (and a subtly thematic clue as we later realised).
So he drinks second-rate ale! Hmmm. Then we get ‘After one over the eight, maybe, tease a fop (7)’. Fine deception there in both parts of the clue, as we enter COXCOMB with no extra letter but a bit of heavy drinking of that poor ale. Cheers anyway, Harribobs!
The preamble was unambiguous and I thoroughly enjoyed this generous set of clues. Despite having to draw aeroplanes with a three-year-old grandson and construct Duplo towers for the one-year-old to destroy, we managed to fill the grid steadily and, unusually for us as we are generally struggling to decipher the message produced by extra letters, we read BLACK OUT LETTERS IN MORSE CODE AND ERASE THE REST.
The other Numpty had joined me late in the solve and had at once declared that the title, Dah-di-dah-di-dah, had to be morse. He smiled smugly now and left me to complete the task. I do wonder how solvers who use the newspaper copy manage to perform a task like this as it seems to me that there were two stages; first I erased the letters of MORSE CODE that were going to be ‘blacked out’ in the entry grid, then I had to ‘decode the result, reading row by row as a continuous string’
I had got as far as WHAT HA when the other Numpty, briefly in from flying model helicopters or filling the paddling pool (we are in California), said ‘WHAT HATH GOD WROUGHT’ – and, of course, there it was. Very elegant, I thought. Thank you, Harribobs.