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Samantha sends you her compact discs
on 24 October 2007
I was initially dismayed listening to this 2-CD set. What is a serious and extremely complex game appears to have been turned into an excuse for jokes and general silliness instead of a, hopefully, straightforward explanation of the Game itself.
But gradually, the light dawned. In effect, this is a good-natured comedy, very much along the lines of 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' (where most of us first experienced MC), but....with significant clues laid out along the way. I don't want to give too much away, but listen carefully and you will hear, early on Disc 1, a 'member of the public' say, when asked what he knew of Mornington Cresent-The Game, -'Oh, I think it's something to do with the Tube Map'. Ha! The first clue indeed. To confuse things, there's a lot of nonsense about the ancient history of MC, whereas of course the game, as we know it now, dates from the late nineteenth century. N.F.Stovold's name appears (sigh)...how many times have we heard this? It really will be very confusing for newcomers to Mornington Crescent. This despite, or maybe because of, the best efforts of Andrew Marr, Adam Hart-Davis, Dame Judi Dench and, .. Barry Cryer. Amongst others.
But stay with it, for on disc 2, under the guise of four short tales all involving MC, yet more clues emerge. I will say no more than this; in the first story, our Humph tangentially alludes to Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Caroll)- a mathematical genius naturally drawn to the Game's complexities, and a man with Tractarian sympathies.
And so it goes on.
I would like to do my own bit to help newcomers play in the common Regional variations of Mornington Crescent. This is an example taken from a recent competition of the West/South Yorks Border Mornington Crescent Society; make sure you have Ordnance Survey Landranger map 110 to your left, and a good fold-out map of the London Underground (preferably pre-Jubilee Line extension) to your right. Note that diagonal movements are allowed, and instead of being in Nip (South-East England), we are most of the time in Dearne:
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Church Lane (that throws it wide open!)
and MORNINGTON CRESCENT!!
(Note the line of longitude of the Emley Moor Transmitter)
Well, I hope I've helped clear things up, without giving too much away. Get this pair of CDs, get out the maps, and away you go!