Mornington Crescent

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Well, we should probably get a round of this classic game going, right? What's FAWM/50-90 without a little Mornington Crescent! Biggrin

I propose using the Westminster Routing Ruleset from that infamous 1978 Geneva Invitational Tournament where Peter de Brue was disqualified for using the loo after playing a siding maintainance card. Classic! Remember, Westminster Routing gives an extra 25 points for any switchback involving a Bobby or Member of Parliament Biggrin

I'll start us off then:

Shepherd's Bush

See You In The Shadows…

I remember it well! I also remember the fuss the cleaners made when they discovered WHAT he'd been using the loo for. Who would have thought a body held that much snot?

I think my copy of the Westminster Routing Ruleset was eaten by a child's homework after he left the dog on the bus, so I'm working from memory here... but I've thrown a six and read the goat's entrails.

I have no other choice than Arsenal!

It's lucky you chose this ruleset, since Matt Hancock's timely departure from the cabinet, and from his marriage, now leaves me wide open to zip forward to Kilburn, in his absence. A good start, though who can say which direction the winds of fortune will blow next?

I'm not sure the wind I'm currently experiencing could be classed as a wind of fortune, but it does help with social distancing.
That's a sneaky move, Calum. I see you took advantage of the gravitational shift imposed by the recent Strawberry Moon. In the light of such astrophysical awareness from my worthy opponent, I have no option but to play...

Seven Sisters!

Seven Sisters after the Strawberry Moon, that's bold @Dragondreams! That forces me to make my own astronomically inspired move, though I daresay it is only one seventh of the move you made. Yet I have little choice if I want to gain any sort of strategic advantage.

Star Lane

See You In The Shadows…

This is already set to be quite a characteristic game, I can see.

Typically, after such an enthusiastic start, I am actually chapping! It looks like I'm stuck at Kilburn for another turn.
Hopefully I can roll a six next time or I am likely to find myself stuck in Nidd (which of course would be detrimental to all).

Tricksy one this. With @Candle at Star Lane, @Calum Carlyle chapping in Kilburn, my normal exit strategy from Seven Sisters would be to fold the dice in half and aim for Chalk Farm in the hope of instigating a Morton's 12 point variation. However, I see that, upon careful rereading of the ruleset we're using, this option is sadly not available to me with this being the final day of the month. Unless, of course, I spin three times widdershins while reciting from Grenville's "Ode to a small pebble". Spinning of any sort, widdershins or otherwise, plays havoc with my sciatica, so I'll have to go with my fall-back strategy.

Colliers Wood!

I know what you mean about the spinning @Dragondreams, my vertigo makes such maneouvers unpleasant. Well, it being the eve of Soviet Canukastan's birthday & me being a proud Canuk, I'm going to have to drink some Maple Syrup, take a slap shot from the slot (& hope Jacques Plante doesn't stop the puck) & go with:

Canada Water, eh?

See You In The Shadows…

I'm glad to see everybody respectfully refrained from playing their turn on the national birthday of Soviet Canuckistan (even though it was also Montreal moving day!), because that leaves me an opening to zip past you at Canada Water to...


The northern line is in sight!

Aha! Now... is Calum cleverly bluffing? The northern line would seem like the obvious move, forcing me to block, but leaving myself open to a potential Wainright Paradigm Shift in the next couple of throws... But is he just saying that to draw me into a cunning trap?

I'm going to allow myself to be taken for huffings on this round and sit it out to see what develops...

Ah, so glad that Candle has started us off in such strong fashion. As this is my first 50/90, I didn't realize that I'd be able to play again.


@kenmattsson, so good to see you & welcome to 50/90! But I daresay, Cockfosters as a entry into the joust? That's very bold my friend. But given @Calum Carlyle's jaunt to Canery Wharf, I can certainly understand the logic behind it. However, that has opened up the possibility of a track switch for me that I think I really need to take advantage of in order to stay competitive in this game. Therefor, I'll be biding my time with the Ravens, atop the head of Bran the Blessed at:

Tower Hill

See You In The Shadows…

p.s. @Dragondreams, Calum may be bluffing, but I think you made the right move.

Well, bluff or not, I can't wait here all day. I've dangled a fresh magpie from my knorping stick and let it guide me as I cast the runes. Oddly, it reminded me of the time when I was trapped in a lift with Ethel from personnel, with only a tin of travel sweets and a copy of McConnell's Almanac between us. That weekend was an absolute joy, I can tell you. I never realised that Ethel knew ALL the verses to The Ballad of Prickham Dry.
I still have a pang of remorse for the poor soul who had to clean the lift car on Monday morning... but I digress. And NO, I have no idea who ate the lift operator.

Which segues awkwardly into...

Baker Street!

[Onlooker comment: following this game each season always fills me with wonder and delight. I only regret that mental enfeeblement and too many decades since my Goon Show primary education has left me a mere spectator in this most erudite gladiatorial combat]

Gladiators - that's it! Tim you're a genius.

Arena. Hoping to reach Morden before the Europa transit.

Stars, Gladiators, National Birthdays, Celtic Gods & Ravens - this has been an eventfull match so far. And Matt Hancock stepping down… I mean, politics as well. So how to follow all that up? I'm not sure. I seem to be at a crossroads (or a switch track, I guess). Hmmm… reading my version of the Westminster Routing Ruleset (the 1998 Collector's Edition with pictures of the infamous loo used by Peter de Brue shortly after the disqualification incident), it would seem my next preferred move to Bank from Tower Hill is only allowed if I contribute a hundred and fifty quid to the British Labour Party (speaking of politics). I'm a colonial, for the Queen's sake! I have loonies & toonies, not quids! So that option is down the toilet (like Peter de Brue's hopes of a world championship in '78). Which means all I can do is take the underground to:

South Kensington

See You In The Shadows…

p.s. Hi @Tim Fatchen, hope you're enjoying the match thusfar Biggrin

I was once told my vacuum cleaner was a collector's item... but all it's ever done is collect dust.
So, the match is hotting up, especially with the late entry to the game of @ElaineDiMasi and her brilliant opening gambit that is sure to come back and bite us later.
It's also good to see a heckler in the audience. Wink

All this talk of toilets reminds me of the time I was on safari in the foothills of Upper Trendleby Down, hunting for feral brass instruments. Not, I hasten to add, that we wished them any harm. No no no. We operate a strict catch, tag, release policy here a Castle Dragondreams. No, the little blighters were starting to get bold as brass, which is hardly surprising, given their (questionable) DNA. We'd had reports from the regulars down at the Werewolf and Afterbirth, as well as some of the irregulars, that the feral Eb bass trombones in particular, had been seen engaging in immoral activities with our resident flock of toy pianos. Our plan was to catch and tag, then release them at some distance away. The last I heard, they were being used quite successfully to control an outbreak of banjos somewhere across the Atlantic.

So my only possible course of action now is a sideways confobulatory slitch, and move to:

Burnt Oak!

My, Burnt Oak! I haven't seen Burnt Oak played after South Kensington since the 1987 West Yorkshire Qualifiers match where James "Snicker" Humpfries managed to outmaneuver the entire Stoke-on-Trent team with the Bumblesnatch Sideplay. Ah, memories.

Well, I'm going to take a lesson from @candle and come up with a move that with make you wonder if I've had my tea this morning, or if I'm totally without crumpets:

Beckenham Junction

[Onlooker comment: while I accept that it is accepted, indeed applauded behaviour that legions of barrackers sing hymns before and during the match and violently riot afterwards when, say, Arsenal & Chelsea front up in the strange and apparently 'armless game of soccer a.k.a. football, indeed while I accept that, I find it hard to accept that in a game as erudite, diplomatic and protocol-bounded as Mornington Crescent, hecklers should even be mentioned, let alone be assumed present. I trust this assumption is not a reference to polite onlookers.]

And with that, the incredibly cunning @Tim Fatchen wins this round! Who could possibly imagine he would slip "Mornington Crescent" into such an innocent sounding observation?!

Well done Tim! Smile

As the winner of the opening chukkah, are you going to lead us off in round two?

[Onlooker comment: while I appreciate the honours or perhaps ordure that some players are seeking to heap on me, a quiet and unassuming spectator not even owning a cowbell, I feel it may cause unnecessary enmity angst and affray were I to partake in a round, or even strait, of the actual play. Accordingly, I will seek my favourite blackbird-haunted elm grove in which to recover my equanimity, and watch warily for any Martian projectiles on the Heath, and I believe the nearest convenient alighting place to said grove is Hampstead.]

Such is the way at this game that the most skillful of players can be befuddled in complex strategy, while others can accidentally triumph! Good to Tim for catching success even when he was reaching for a pork pie. There is such a need to keep one's eyes open in this game. I will get this second round moving so that Tim may retire to his elm grove:

Charing Cross

Congratulations @Tim Fatchen! Well played…? At any rate, round two starting on the same day as 50/90 - that is fortuitous Biggrin I guess that means I must use a conventional opening that may or may not lead me into a Bay Platform Gambit, but such is a possible strategy.

Hanger Lane

See You In The Shadows…

Damn! That's a bold move for a Sunday. Leaping straight on to the Central Line as a counter move to an opening gambit for round 2 has only ever worked once before in living memory. And even then, it took the fire brigade AND the coastguard to sort out the mess. Mind you, Stinky Geoff, the chap who had the fishmonger's cart in the foyer, did quite well from the carnage of cod and haddock. Made enough in that afternoon to retire to Wetwang with his missus.

All of which has me in a quandary. Do I recreate the move that can so easily cause the chaos and massive loss of underwear and the lives of all those fish? Or do I play it safe and go with the more traditional response?

I'm feeling brave. I mean, it HAS to work again some time. Doesn't it?

Putney Bridge!

We must all take chances and sometimes they work, and sometimes they don't. While Dragondreams has indeed made a bold move, I think it worked just by the skin of its teeth, but didn't really put him in a better spot.

In the post July 4th recovery, I'm going to make a safe move:

North Acton

North Acton, eh? That's rather cunning of you @kenmattsson. That puts me in a predicament. Either I go into Nidd by staying on the Central Line, or I make a quick tranfer to the Piccadilly Line & be forced into a Bay Platform Gambit. I wish I still had that "Get Out Of Nidd Free" Card I sold to Sir Oliver Fitzwarym IV for 50 quid (at the time that was over a hundred loonies Biggrin ). But, alas, the card was used in a wonderful match in Bampton, Devonshire a few years ago when Fitzwarym IV won a berth into the last pre-Covid tournament in Glasgow. Unfortunately, the poor sod was killed in a lorry accident on the A61 just outside of Thirsk a month before the Glasgow tournament. His son, Oliver Fitzwarym V, swore to never play the game and is a well known internationally recognized Bridge player. Too bad…

Anyway, back to my move. Yes, I think the Bay Platform Gambit is the way to go:


See You In The Shadows…

Mmm. I get the distinct impression that there may be an attempted pincer movement here, with me caught in the jaws between @kenmattsson and @Candle...

That Bay Platform Gambit is a serious move and it has certainly forced me to consider my options (while munching on a transparently thin and exquisitely prepared cucumber sandwich). I could fold my brolly and head west for an almost certain rumbusculation. Or I could prime my trunnion pump and go south. Less certain perhaps. But the safer option against two such worthy opponents.

I'm holding out the hope that another player joins the fray in order to bunch up the field a little. Either that, or a magpie steals something shiny and vital from the signal box in Uxbridge.

Right! My sandwich is eaten, I am replete and sated. And the pigeons have gathered round to pick up the crumbs I dropped as tithe.


Oh dear, I think I may have missed my turn. Luckily, it's just a ten minute wait till the next one, at Canary Wharf at this time of night anyway.

So, much as I long to leap into Acton as well, i'll have to hop over to Goodge Street instead.

And i can hear the chorus of complaints already, but NO, under the Westminster Routing rules, i am CERTAIN that this is allowed, regardless of it being on the other branch of the Northern Line. This is the kind of thing you need to know in order to avoid being caught out, but you will find that this exact move was executed quite without challenge by none other than a young Tony Blair, in 1985, prior to his being tarred and feathered and run out of town, to reconsider his career as a professional Morningside Crescent athlete and instead become a politician. I suspect John Smith and Gordon Brown regretted providing the tar and feathers for the occasion.

I think we need a ruling on this: as Tim won the first round, has Calum Carlyle also stumbled upon victory?


Well played @Calum Carlyle?

See You In The Shadows…

[Onlooker comment: I have, I believe, already stated my serious limitations as an observer of this game, damaged as I have been by my London Transport experiences and especially the sight, to which i still have flashbacks at bad moments, of a young couple snogging over my airport-bound suitcases in the Tube, at least I trust it was just snogging although not all appendages were visible through the disarranged clothing so I'm not really sure, hence these terrible flashbacks and a bitter regret that I and mine departed our first London visit not as we arrived, in a chaffeured limousine, but on an unsavoury and very difficult to follow game's playing field. Be that as it may, and given my limitations, I would have thought that all players should immediately have accepted the clearly intentional victory of the Glaswegian Calum, and can only hope their apparent refusal to do so stems from their inability to translate the accent in which he pronounced the winning station rather than a desire to see Scotland leave the UK, or stay within it, or both. I have perforce had to turn to the font of all wisdom, Wikipedia, and slowly leaf through its multitudinous pages to confirm my understanding of what Calum actually said, and in that compendium, there is CLEAR EVIDENCE that his pronunciation of Mornington is acceptable and indeed historically valid and in media use in Glasgow. It is startling, and indeed disappointing, to see so many players already in denial. Buck up, acknowledge defeat, and play the game!]

[Onlooker comment: ah. I see @Candle has shed some light on this shadowed issue. Play on, please.]

Erm... Calum never actually wrote the M word. "Morningside" is not the same thing...

[Onlooker comment: I am bitterly disappointed to see an otherwise wholly estimable player claiming to be unaware of the use of the "M" word as pronounced by Calum in a formal game broadcast in Glasgow a mere half-decade ago. Now if Calum had attempted "Finchley Central" your point could well be legal, and indeed, licit. I am but a mere unskilled humble onlooker, but I'm sure players at this level would all be aware of something so basic, and I hope against hope that this unfortunate counterview is not some sort of smokescreen to hide that fact the the player in question may well have shifted from the Broads and is actually lurking in Nidd...]

But... Morningside Crescent is in Aberdeen?

An erudite onlooker has filled the gap in my knowledge. I have scourged myself by rubbing a Fortune's kipper all over my upper body and taken myself off to the sin bin, whereupon I will be burning sage for the rest of the day.

This has certainly been an odd series of matches… shall we try another? See if it oculd be any odder than the first two?

@Calum Carlyle, as the winner of the last match, I think you should start us off for round 3.

@Dragondreams, just make sure the burnt sage doesn't force you to start in Nidd for round # 3 Wink

See You In The Shadows…

@Candle - the River Nidd is only 30 minutes away from the Castle. Wink
I ran out of sage, so resorted to burning a variety of other herbs. I'm currently sitting in a police holding cell while they work out what law I may have broken. I hadn't realised that summoning a demon is still considered illegal in these parts...

@Dragondreams, it's funny some of the laws that are still on the books. Did you know you can still get a hefty fine if you don't tether your horse properly in Winnipeg? (probably not, but now you do Smile ) Or that the buzzing of bees exceeds the legal sound limits in Ottawa? I'm not quite sure how they enforce that one tho…

Now that you mention it, I do remember seeing the top turrets of your Castle just over the horizon the last time I found myself in Nidd…

See You In The Shadows…

I admit to being as baffled as anybody! Proud to win on a technicality, however, since this seems to be the soundest and most resolute way to win a round of Mornington Crescent. It's my first win at Mornington Crescent (in Morningside or anywhere else!), so for a ceremonial kick-off to the next round, let's buck the recent tradition and use the little known or utilised Edward VIII Abdication ruleset. It has some quite startling simplifications as well as a few astounding additional complications.

And my first move will be to Bayswater.

Oh, I've always wanted to play the Edward VIII Abdication ruleset & never had the chance! Thank you @Calum Carlyle! I'm somewhat fearful of the 326 Rule (named for the amount of days Edward sat on the throne): if the match goes to 326 turns, we then have to solicit the judgement of an American divorcee to decide the winner… but I digress, given the eventful matches we've had thusfar, I doubt we'll need to solicit the services of any American Divorcees…

So I guess that means I should make my opening move, then…


See You In The Shadows…

Ah I return from my first vacation in two years (and it was much like vacationing in Old York instead of New York, as it rained a majority of the days) to find that my innocent question has brought up a big kerfuffle! I hope that cooler heads have prevailed and we may proceed on to a spirited and honest game.

I am not as familiar with the Abdication Ruleset, so I will just stumble along and hope for the best.


Well, there has been a dearth of plays here so I am going to be bold and play another play to get this started again

East India.

I've never played this game before, and don't quite understand the rules... But it seems that gives me an advantage!

I've been following the game for some time, and I think my debutante move will be informed by the rather suspect ruling that American divorcees are more important than divorcees from other regions. And I'll even be so bold as to place a bet on my own move, in the form of public transport, using what appears to be the Napoleon Exemption:

Line 1 of the Adelaide railway station, heading towards Seacliff!

And forgive me if I have misunderstood the rules, but given that a new round has just begun, I think I'll use my Bonus Token early, and throw "The main stage at Hellfest" into the ring, vaguely aimed at my main opponent.

Welcome to the madness @cblack, you're doing just fine. So Ken's gone the East India route, you're waiting for a transfer at Adelaide, Calum's held up at Baywater & our draconian friend seems to be hanging out on the banks of Nidd up in the turrets of his impressive castle. Tim, meanwhile is awaiting some grand move to comment on (Hello @Tim Fatchen! ). This is indeed an interesting board at the moment, especially with your bonus token in play… I'm just wondering who your "main opponent" might be…

Anyway, I'm going to keep this simple for now & stick with a Melrose Feint (an obvious move at this juncture in the game) & make my move to:

Wembley Park

See You In The Shadows…

My apologies. I've been dealing with an uprising in the village. It seems the peasants had taken umbrage at one of my gargoyle's habit of listening to heavy metal late into the night. It seems it wasn't so much the heavy metal as the sight of him banging his penis on the bars of the portcullis, albeit keeping perfect time with the music.

I've confiscated his gramophone, and made a donation to the church roof repair fund (to be fair, it was one of the Castle basilisks that caused the damage in the first instance) and that appears to have appeased the pitchfork-wavers of Upper Trendleby Down.

So, that leaves me only one option.


[Onlooker comment: one would normally accept the mea culpa play from @cblack, were it not that as a northern suburbs/migrant community/bred Adelaidean, my antecedents lie on the opposite side, with the long-dismantled Platform 13, on the (Adelaide) North Line which still,after all these years, resists electrification and nowhere goes underground, at least not intentionally. And when such antecedents are made public, as unfortunately here, one is immediately finger-pointed and associated with such ancestral-home-neighbourhood histories as murdered bodies transported in barrels to country bank vaults. Perhaps raising this unfortunate chain is, as @cblack suggests, merely an error of understanding for a beginner. I trust this is so, and not a ploy to pre-empt further onlooker comment. I refuse to be shamed out of the stands for misdeeds I did not do. Thank you for your attention and sympathy.. Please play on.]

Ah I am so glad that we have brought to life the beautiful game (If I may call it that again). So happy to see the excellent interaction and interplay between players and observers. And @cblack, we are all but novices in this game which takes a lifetime to master.

Given the dangers of going into Nidd from the last play, I’m going to take solace from the playing of the Droitwich Invitational of 1986 and play

Piccadilly Circus

Yes, there is life again & it is indeed wonderful to get the match going from the slump it had fallen into (did the game itself as a whole end up in Nidd? I can't say…). At any rate, the board is much more interesting now, with new dangers at every turn. I'll have to play it safe after my last gambit, therefor I make an elementary move to:

Baker Street

See You In The Shadows…

Ahh, I think I understand now! Your ploy is to place Baker Street within Nidd itself, creating a seismic vortex with which to confound the other players! Just like Lady Bennington did in 1806! Now that takes me back!

I think the time for caution has passed (didn't even stop at Seacliff!) and instead I should make a bold, all-or-nothing move. But which move to play? Hmm...


I must say, it's difficult to know where to go after a play like Oodnadatta! Lady Bennington would have been proud. I'm unsure which line that it on, so I will make the safest move that I can by playing

King's Cross St. Pancras