20 Comments

  1. Does it really count as a CIDU if the editors have already figured it out? The bat is using echolocation to find the rat’s battleship. It’s an effective strategy, giving the bat a 100% hit rate, while the rat as yet has no hits.

  2. I agree with the others, the strategy and humor seem clear to me. What is not comprehended? (Or, to be more generous, what am I missing?) And there does not seem to a joke per se, just a humorous situation.

  3. Powers: The non-obvious part is that the second panel is showing echolocation, but it would be easy to not understand that. Took me a minute, though I did get it.

    Re Battleship, I comedian Jeremy Hotz’s take on it, which is that it’s easy to win: just say “Miss” and move your ship. “They’re ships, they’re supposed to move!”

  4. Thanks, nebulous, this helped my memory recover the line “They all sank. All except one — the submarine!” Which I sort of knew as a kiddie song for or about bathtime. But I wasn’t remembering to look for it as a Danny Kaye bit until remembering this may have been where I learned some accent would substitute a glottal stop for intervocalic /t/. Listen for how he says ba’ulship.

  5. Well I for one did not see that Bat is cheating until seeing it in you-guys’s comments.

    After that, it seemed to me a nice touch that the placement of the red pegs shows how undisguised his strategy is. Though I am familiar with Battleship, I don’t know any specifics of the physical pegboard version, or that red pegs mark successful hits. But was able to back-infer that.

    Rat’s disgruntled expression is another nice touch.

  6. I’m impressed that the pegs are consistent from drawing to drawing. Not a hard detail to get right, but certainly as easy one to overlook.

  7. @billy, I’m not sure what the numbering system is. Can you tell if the rat’s current guess of E5 is indeed a hit on one of the rat’s other ships?

  8. I for one didn’t get the joke until reading the comments. The problem for me is that the bat looks it’s angry in the 2nd panel. I thought it might be attempting to transform into a vampire like the old movie trope.

  9. @Mark M I see what you’re saying about Bat’s apparently angry or aggressive posture and expression in the middle panel. But after getting it that he’s doing echolocation, that also explains the posture and especially open mouth.

    @Mitch I’m going to try to paste a picture from Wikipedia, but to describe briefly it shows the columns numbered (left to right) and the rows lettered (top to bottom). So in the cartoon, Rat’s incorrect guess of G-4 shows up in panel 2 as a new peg. And looking down at his own ships, probably E-5 is a hit on the vertically-aligned long ship.

  10. @TedD, I would think that surely the answer is no. In other words, a bat would not actually be able to use echolocation to cheat at Battleship. That’s an interesting observation, but I don’t think it detracts from the comic.

    @Dana K, @billytheskink: Yes, this is a really well-executed comic.

  11. @Usual John – My question was not at all intended to detract from the comic or disparage it. It was just a question that occurred to me looking at the cartoon. I agree it is a good cartoon regardless. The comic raised the question for me as the waves are shown coming at the rat’s board from an echo off something else or because of refraction.

  12. And it may not be a matter of penetrating the board, but just going around it. The room’s walls and dimensions aren’t shown, but the middle panel showing the waves includes a set of them approaching the board from the right, presumably after bouncing off a wall in back of Rat.

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