Listen With Others

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin

Posts Tagged ‘Dah-di-dah-di-dah’

Listener No 4426: Dah-di-dah-di-dah by Harribobs

Posted by Dave Hennings on 16 Dec 2016

This was Harribobs’s second Listener, following on from The Name of the Game (which was Life) in October last year. He has also had some fine puzzles elsewhere, including two excellent EVs, both blogged at fifteensquared. The first of these was A Man of Letters, where TS ELIOT was writ large in the grid. A more recent one was the phenominal Snowballs.

listener-4426This week, we had a large 14×14 grid with an extra wordplay letter in 41 clues. These would spell out instructions which would lead us to modify the grid, together with a bit of decoding for what was needed under the grid.

I made a quick run through all the clues. I was appalled! I only managed to solve half a dozen of each. It looked like this was going to be a long solve. Bizarrely, however, that did not prove to be the case. The top right corner was polished off reasonably quickly, followed by the top left, then bottom right and bottom left.

All told, this took just over 90 minutes. My favourite clues were 13ac Sources of rubber used in sexual escapades (4) for ULES and 23dn Spinoza was one, but if Descartes was, then so am I (8) for DUTCHMAN, one of the last clues I solved.

That left the instructions to be followed: Black out letters in Morse Code and erase the rest. It didn’t take long to see that by blocking out all the letters C, D, E, M, O, R and S, we were left with a load of dots and dashes, or dis and dahs, which needed to be decoded. At first, I thought each row was a distinct word, but that gave total gibberish: P4N4DRUZ…. In fact, as the preamble stated, the rows had to be read as a continuous string. This gave:


This turned out to be the first message sent by Morse. It was sent on 24 May 1844 from Washington, DC, to Baltimore, and was taken from the Bible, Numbers 23:23.

listener-4426-entryThe Morse Code experts among you will spot the mistake in my animation above, where the morse actually reads WHAT HATU GOD WROUGHT. Sorry. A shame also that I couldn’t get any sound effects!

Not a difficult solve from Harribobs this week, although I suspect it was a pretty difficult feat of construction. Great fun, thanks.

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Dah-di-dah-di-dah by Harribobs

Posted by shirleycurran on 16 Dec 2016

harribobsHarribobs – 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.

img_4929-200x150The 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.



Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

‘Dah-di-dah-di-dah’ by Harribobs

Posted by Encota on 16 Dec 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:


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!)

Posted in Solving Blogs | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »