Short Touches of Pickled Egg Surprise

The title may startle some readers of this page. To explain, there was in the past few years an initiative to update the choice of Surprise Major methods that should be defined as standard. Thus as a result of the whole Project Pickled Egg debate, we end up with the new Standard Seven Surprise Major methods. Lincolnshire, Rutland and Pudsey are removed from the standard eight and replaced with Cornwall and Lessness.

Whether or not you subscribe to the whole Pickled Egg idea, the new set of Surprise Major methods is a recognised Thing, and there is nothing to stop those of us who are more reactionary continuing to ring the standard eight of course.

As a complementary page to the set of short touches of the standard eight Surprise Major touches published elsewhere on this web site, we have below a set of short touches of the new standard seven. There are some interesting benefits to this. Cornwall introduces a new eighth’s place lead end and officially uses sixth’s place bobs with singles in 678. This opens up new possibilities for short touches as can be seen from the list below.

In the lists of touches below, the following letters are abbreviations for methods as follows: C=Cambridge, Y=Yorkshire, S=Superlative, N=Lessness, L=London, B=Bristol and R=Cornwall. Thus a lead marked as CYS in a touch description means you can choose any one of those three methods for that lead of the touch.

Touches of two or three leads

The shortest touches are of two leads, or 64 changes. Unlike the standard eight where there is only a single touch of this length, here we have several new options thanks to the inclusion of Cornwall in the set of methods:

  • Bristol (single), Bristol (single)
  • Cornwall, CYS
  • CYS, Cornwall

As with the standard eight surprise, there is a single touch with 66 changes in it, coming round at the treble snap lead after the second lead end:

  • London(single), Bristol(bob), London

For three lead touches, all of 96 changes in length we have several options:

  • The traditional three-lead sandwich, NL, CYS, NL and its various rotations. Using Yorkshire or Superlative in the middle of the sandwich will give you back-change, or back-change plus Queens respectively.
  • Cornwall, CYS(single), Bristol(single)
  • Bristol(single), Cornwall, CYS(single)
  • Bristol(bob) times three

There are a few touches of 98 changes, where the touch comes round at the treble snap after the lead end. Some of these are based on the Wrong, Single Wrong either side of a lead of Bristol, then changing to a Cambridge-start method for two changes. Otheres are more creative, but tend to split the tenors:

  • CYS, NL(bob), Bristol(single), CYN
  • LNB, CYS(bob) Bristol(single), CYN maximising music if you use B, S, B(single), CYN
  • CYS(bob), Bristol(single), London(bob), CYN (tenors are split for the lead of Bristol)
  • London(bob), Bristol(bob), Bristol(single), London
  • CYS(bob), Bristol(bob), Cornwall(bob), Bristol (also has split tenors)
  • London(single), Cornwall, CYS(bob), London

Touches of four leads

The four lead touches giving 128 changes are as follows. Being made of whole leads, all rotations of these touches are also true. Note that one or two touches using Cornwall have been left out that have both split tenors and virtually no music:

  • Three lead sandwich followed by a single, then Bristol(single)
  • CYS, CYS(bob), Cornwall, Cornwall(bob)
  • CYS, CYS(single), Cornwall, Cornwall(single) (warning-tenors wrong way round! Rotations are better)
  • CYS, Cornwall(single), CYS, Cornwall(single) (also tenors wrong way round – rotate)
  • Cornwall, CYS(single), Cornwall, CYS(single)
  • NLB, Cornwall*3
  • Cornwall, CYS(bob), Bristol(bob), Bristol(bob)
  • Bristol(single), Bristol(bob), Bristol(single), Bristol(bob)

There are a number of touches that come round at the treble snap after the fourth lead giving 130 changes. Mostly these are based on the Wrong Single Wrong calling. Some other touches do exist though, and a representation of them is included in the list below. Touches with the tenors split have mostly been omitted:

  • BNL, CYS(bob), Cornwall, CYS(single), CYN
  • CYS, NL(bob), Cornwall, CYS(single), CYN
  • CYS, NL(single), Bristol(bob), Bristol(bob), CYN
  • Bristol(bob), London(single), Bristol(bob), CYS, CYN
  • London(bob), Bristol(bob), Cornwall, CYS(single), London
  • London(bob), Bristol(bob), CYS(single), NL(bob), Superlative
  • Cornwall(single), Bristol(bob), CYS, NL(single), London
  • Bristol(single), Bristol(bob), CYS, NL, CYN

Five leads

A small number of touches exist that are three changes short of five leads, i.e. 157 changes in length. These are mostly based on the patterns here::

  • London(bob), LB, Cornwall(single), Bristol(single), CY
  • London(single), CYS(bob), CYS(single), CYS, Bristol

The vast majority of five lead courses are naturally enough those of five full leads, i.e. 160 changes. The most musical among these are either call free, or use bristol with bobs or singles at home to increase the roll-up count. All these touches can be rotated. Some representative patterns are listed below:

  • CYS*4, NL
  • Three lead sandwich followed by a bob at home, then Bristol(bob), Bristol(bob)
  • Three lead sandwich followed by a single at home, then Cornwall, CYS(single)
  • CYS, CYS(bob), NLB, NLB, Cornwall(bob)
  • Cornwall, CYS(bob), Cornwall, CYS(bob), Bristol(bob)