[r-t] A ringing puzzle

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Fri May 23 12:59:56 UTC 2014

On Fri, May 23, 2014 at 8:07 AM, Fred Bone <Fred.Bone at dial.pipex.com> wrote:
> And, contrary to what Don claims, A is not a "method" now (at least, not
> as defined in (E)A.1, which requires truth in the plain course). So it
> can't be rung to a peal.

My apologies. I was not trying to claim that A is a CC approved method
today. I was simply using "method" as an informal shorthand for
"something one might ring", in the same sense as I'd call a treble
jump method a "method". Perhaps I should have been more precise,
something like what I append to the end of this message; though even
there I'm sure I've left some things that need further repair.

And the "so it can't be rung to a peal" is not quite correct. You
could ring exactly the same composition (once you've fixed the errors
I inadvertently added in transcribing it, of course), but simply
pretend that the method you rang had sixth place lead ends, giving a
strange, three hunt surprise method completely passing muster with the
Council, and then say that you rang it with two different kinds of
bobs. I suspect the average ringer would be less likely to find that a
satisfactory method, but the Council has enforced similar tricks
before to make peals come into compliance with their Decisions, and
some methods are recorded in the collections using different lead ends
than any band has ever actually rung.

BTW, I had forgotten, but a few years ago Tony Cox sent a method with
similar properties to A to this list, which is in many ways superior
to the example I used. An easier line, more tractable falseness, and,
most important, a longer gap between the leads that are false against
one another in the same course. My apologies for having completely
forgotten about that post, and not using Tony's superior example (too
much haste on my part).


In the following let method be something one might ring, possibly
without Central Council impimatur, and let Method be a "method"
according to the CC Decisions*.

Here are two surprise methods one might ring, each a trivial variation
of the other. Both have conventional palindromic symmetry, and
conventional Mx lead ends. Both can be rung to peal length true
touches, not necessarily CC compliant, approximations to suitable
compositions for each shown at the end of this page (do not ring them
as given, as I have made errors in my hasty transcriptions by hand--
when I have a bit more time I'll retranscribe them with more
deliberation). Neither would win the old Which Method's** nod for best
method of the month, but I'm confident worse in terms of line or
musical possibilities have been rung in the past.

If motion (D) to be voted on by the Central Council on Monday, 26 May
2014, passes, one of these will be considered a Method, and the other
will be considered a non-method block (without that motion passing
it remains in its curious limbo of not being an anything, officially).

Can you tell which is which? Does the non-method block look less like
a Method to you? Answers on a postcard, please.

* The changes to the Decisions proposed this year do slightly change
which methods are Methods, but I believe those changes are not relevant
in the A/B distinction.

** I don't know whether Which Method's author would have been willing
to review a method that wasn't a Method, but it seems appropriate to
capitalize it in the title of the series.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"If the only tool you have is a hammer every problem looks like a

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