One of the Local QRPers came by last week, with the latest issue of QST in his hand. "Say", he said with his usual opening, "how come QST lists some of the top dogs in the DXCC with over 360 countries, but there are only 329 countries in the ARRL DXCC Countries List that you can work?" This was an easy one. "That total includes the deleted countries.", we explained.
The usual blank look should have sent us a warning signal. "What's a deleted country?" this thirsty-after-knowledge one asked. "It's a country that is no longer accepted", we explained, "but if you worked it you got credit for it. Like Penguin Island or Walvis Bay, for example." The QRPer smiled at this. "You mean that if I work Penguin Island or Walvis Bay or any of these other deleted countries, I'll get credit for a deleted country? That sounds fair enough." We could see we were not getting the point across. "No, you had to work it before it was deleted. Some have been deleted for years, a lot of them for several decades. If you work it now, it won't count."
The QRPer started to bang the side of his head with his hand. "What I hear you saying is that if I worked a deleted country it will not count, but if I worked it before it was deleted that it will count for credit in the DXCC listings. What sort of system is that? Son of a Gun! That's where we got him. "No one said it was a system", we said, "it's the DXCC program." The road to truth and understanding is always a rocky one . . .
73/DX Paul VE1DX
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