A new week – and something completely different (as promised)

## A Shorthand Code

Bell ringers are nothing if not cunning! Just imagine trying to explain a complicated method over the phone:

*“Plain hunt to the front and lead full. Dodge in 1/2. Hunt out to dodge 3/4, make fourths then thirds. Dodge 3/4 with the treble followed by fourths and thirds again. Dodge in 3/4 and go out to the back. **Double dodge at the back, lie for two blows. Dodge with the treble and make fifths. Dodge with the treble again, lie and double dodge. Go down to dodge in 3/4. **Make thirds then fourths. Dodge 3/4 with the treble followed by thirds and fourths again. Dodge in 3/4 and go down to the front where you dodge and lead”*

I’ll not go on – but that is only about half of it! A much easier way would be to write:

**x 36 x 14 x 12 x 36 x 14 x 56 12 **… but that’s a complicated one.

Let’s start with a simpler example. It’s the Plain Bob you wrote out last time. The code (it’s called **Place Notation**) goes like this: **x 16 x 16 x 16 12**

Go back to a sheet of squared paper (get it here: Squared Paper) and write** 1 2 3 4 5 6** in the top line (if it’s not already there).

Look at the code: Where there is an “x”, swap all three pairs of bells;

so 1 and 2 swap to become 2 1; 3 and 4 swap to make 4 3 and so on.

You end up with a line: **2 1 4 3 6 5**

The next code is “16” so leave the bells in 1st place (2 in this example) and 6ths place (5) in the same place and swap all the other pairs. You should get **2 4 1 6 3 5**

Next is an “x”, so swap all three pairs to get **4 2 6 1 5 3 **,

followed by “16” which will give **4 6 2 5 1 3
**

Another “x” gives **6 4 5 2 3 1** and the last 16 produces **6 5 4 3 2 1**

Now reverse back down the line. Don’t repeat the 16 – start with the “x” then 16 x 16 x . When you get to the final “x”, follow it with the “12” that’s on the end of the code. That should give you the final two lines:

**1 3 2 5 4 6
1 3 5 2 6 4
**

If you get there, you will have written out the first lead of Plain Bob Minor! Repeat the whole process. When you have done five leads, you should be back at **1 2 3 4 5 6**

Take a photo and send it to me! MidiRingers may get prizes!

If you feel cunning, try decoding that first example I gave.

It is a method called Cambridge Minor