Mornington Crescent

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I can't believe that the site has been open 24 hours without any games starting. So, on the morning after Canada D'eh, I will ride my moose across the wee loch Atlantic to visit a bear at Paddington Station. I am pretty sure this is an acceptable opening gambit according the the Earl of Peterborough's addendum to the 1997 colonial rules. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mornington_Crescent_(game)

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Ah yes! Excellent idea. And an unusual opening gambit but certainly an acceptable one by my reading of the Peterborough Addendum. I'll start cautiously, I think, and see how the game develops.

Earl's Court

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@beacon

Rats, I was hoping to be fast enough to start this game, but I'll jump in as the initial triumvirate.

Earl's Court @jtsteam? I actually expected something a bit more cunning from you, given your past plays. But it is summer and we are all a bit more wistful in the heat.

My opening play will be:

North Acton

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@beacon I'm just waiting to see how things go. I don't want to overthink at this stage. Also, I'm in Scotland, so heat isn't really an issue here :).

Anyway. If you really want a complication at this stage, I'm sure I can stir things up a bit with an inverted thrattle over the Jubilee extension. So I'll do that.

Canning Town

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Gentlemen, I am shocked! The *colonial* rules?? They have been put on hold because of their racist historical background!

I’d suggest we proceed with a more modern version. The Black Pieces Matter release v2.4.18 should do our multicultural platform a much better service.

In that spirit, the first counter must of course be a display of friendship and unity:

Blackfriars

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Whats wrong with us colonials , we more than support multiculturalism both on this earth and in the spiritual world hence i respond with the “Jondicular commandments preamble rules” and of course play

Angel

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@beacon

Well, we've gotten off to a spirited start already. I wasn't expecting Blackfriars so early in the play. Since the gloves are already off, I'll play:

Cockfosters!

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Damn It! i cant resist a round or three of my favourite past time, and one for which I hold many honours and accolades. So i think its only fitting for my response to Ken's well endowed opening to be one for which i was awarded 'Play of the year 1986' in the All Female Left Handers Mornington Crescent Showcase Regionals in Thrupton- On-Sea. I wiped the floor with Judy Rinehold in the fourth round, which saw her win streak of 689 days broken finally. What Fun! anyway, my move.....

Bushey

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Oh my goodness Cockfosters and Bushey ( Cliff knows all about that on his summer holiday) both played on the same day, this hasn't happened since the Withingham-on-sea invitation of 1972 and we all know what happened there! I hope I am not to late to reverse engineer that fateful outcome by this move

Burnt Oak

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I think everyone's been shocked into silence by the last sequence. I'll probably regret this, but I'm going to try to simplify the game in the hope that it can get the more inexperienced players involved. I believe elevator stations are worth a red token in this variant, and even if I'm misremembering and they're not, this should open things up nicely.

Goodge Street

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@beacon

Ah @jtsteam, good for you to be thinking about the new players, and looking to give them a gentler entry point. Granted when we have such strong players at @celineellis pulling Bushey out after Cockfosters, even the Right Handed Females are reticent to join in.

I plan on doing a simple downtown station to hopefully have no one resorting to looking at their transit maps:

King's Cross

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@candle

Sorry folks, my train got waylaid on a siding fifteen miles east of Manchester. Seems there was some sort of confusion & delay that could not have been avoided. But, I'm here now. So let's not worry about what train derailed on what track or what signal was vandalized & caused… well, anyway. I need to make my play before I miss another turn. So, in that vein (& given the interesting state of everyone else's tokens), I'm going to have to go way out in left field (literally & figuretively, I guess one could say) & call upon the 1989 reading of the Foxtrot Championship Ruleset & open with (ironically the station I did eventually end up at after my train finally got going again):

Uxbridge

See You In The Shadows…

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Ahhhhh @candle a celebrated ruleset, and not one that is in use too often these days after that incident with the goats. I personally was never affected by the fateful altercation, but the stories leave a vivid image in my mind nonetheless!

in retort to this, I invoke a move i learnt from Reginald Bobblington III during a Whitby Invitational in 1996. He said to counter a Left Field Slip (Candles move is a blinding example of this) you must cross the Northern Line twice to regain the upper hand. so i give you....

Aldgate

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Ah good to see @candle here that should bring Nidd into play! Oh Reginald Bobbington the stories I have heard from him over a few too many pints of Old Ale. I am hoping my memory serves me well thatche correct play is just up the track to

Tower Hill.

Hope I don't lose my head!

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@candle

@celineellis & @coolparadiso, those are both cunning moves. And yes, maybe the Nidd variables are more pronounced when my token is trotting across the board, but I made myself a promise: avoid Nidd this summer! I intend to stick to that promise. So, with that in mind, I think I'll head south (double points 'cos it's an interchange!):

Sudbury Hill

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

It does seem that @candle seems to find Nidd even when not looking for it. Just him coming into the game should make for a more challenging game.

Since the play is in the south, I'm going to take my chances and make the play that got Harry "Snapper" Organs disqualified in the 2003 Finchley Championships, but as we are playing the Foxtrot Ruleset, I should be fine:

Clapham High Street

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Well, Ken! Im blown away by that move! a risky one if ever there was! Playing something that the Snapper himself used is one thing, but a disqualifying move is just blazen! bravo, sir. Bravo!

It has left me somewhat flummoxed in how to counter it effectively, but as luck has it, there is always a move or two up my sleeve that can see me out of a tight siding. And what could be more fitting of a 'get out of nidd free' play than one the new elizabeth line stations.....

Woolwich

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Ooh, this is fun. I haven't experimented much with the effects of the Elizabeth Line on the finer points of strategy yet. I think in this case it's increased my line velocity a little too much to deploy it myself, but not so much that I end up south of the river, at least. And the recent Nidd developments have put the escalator links in reverse, so I find myself at...

Bank (for Monument)

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@beacon

Well, given the kudos from @celineellis on my daredevil play, I'm encouraged to take another chance and head south of the river to:

Battersea Power Station

(Yes, I did it, and no one can stop me!)

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@candle

@beacon, just be careful of flying pigs down about Battersea. They've been known to support censors… (obscure reference to a great Pink Floyd album & various songs from said album). Speaking of flying pigs (Roger Waters, where are you now?), I'm sort of hungry & I smell something wonderful coming from a hot dog cart just outside of:

Knightsbridge

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

Well since no one has followed @candle's clever play, I feel it is my duty (before I'm off for a week of vacation) to take my Parthian shot and jump start this game again with a play so clever you can brush your teeth with it. You will certainly be jolted out of your summer stuper when you see that I've played:

West Ruislip

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@candle

Seems the game has reached the usual in-challenge lull… so in the spirit of keeping the trains on the rails (so to speak), I surmise I must make my next move then. Well, let's see where the board is at. West Ruislip, eh? Hmmmm… I think I'll backtrack from my previous move & make a stop at:

Ealing Broadway.

See You In The Shadows…

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Well Candle has foiled my 72 hour hiatus nullification ploy - a crafty and risky attempt even if i do say so myself, and it hasnt paid off this time. the last time i tried this in active competition, myself an Rosemary Sinclair entered a 16 day Marylebone Stand-off. i lost half a stone in weight and had to be treated for dehydration but came out the victor thanks to my plucky stubborness. Alas, not to be this time, so lets go with.....

Tower Hill

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@beacon

Well, I come back from vacation to find that everyone else has also been on vacation! Let's see if I can shake things up a bit with a play that will make @celineellis cry from the one time she was bested in 2013 Left Handers Invitational in West Essex:

Tooting Bec

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Well well finally been released after @candle s master move of Sudbury Hill, i had no idea that enchantment would keep my feet in concrete for so long! At least i caught up with Hugo Razzlington dsc retired who taught me the finer points of the Rimmington Articles, which i hope will stand me in good stead later in the game! He did suggest that i now try and a if nothing else watch a movie at

Aldwych

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I wasn't on vacation, I just found the situation a bit tricky and was hoping someone else would solve the problem, what with me teetering on the edge of Knip. But I think the diagonals are clearer now, which means I should be safe at

Covent Garden

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@candle

@coolparadiso, that's pretty sly invoking the Rimmington Articles. I remember when Sir Susan Bentworth IV did just that during the 2016 Manchester Invitational which allowed them to defeat the great Allan P. Redding Esq. in the semi-final match that was played five minutes to tea time in the front room veranda of the Edwardian to a crowd of six blokes who were more interested in the football match being played on the tele then the awesome switchback & forth of our favourite game (I wasn't one of those blokes, BTW). At any rate, I can see how our game is going, what with @jtsteam sneaky move to Covent Garden & all. You have forced my hand. I have only one option in order to remain competitive in this joust: a transfer to the Central Line with a jump to:

Bond Street

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

Ah, @candle is trying to lull us into a false sense of security. I will not be fooled (my pride is still stinging from that time that I got waylaid off the Central Line), and that will not happen again:

Bank

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“One thing you should know, no matter where I go, we'll always be together”, oh darn i often muddle up my Christopher Robin from Christopher Wren. He said "ladies think nothing well without an edging". Sounds decidedly dodgy! But where else could one go after this but

St Pauls

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@candle

I can see why one could mix up Robin & Wren. Good thing Christopher Raven never became a poet (at least not in the story I created for him). But don't think I don't see the startegy you are trying to distract me with, @coolparadiso - or the obvious Capitalist Switch that @beacon attempted on his last move. Well, I shan't be hoodwinked by such obvious ploys! Indeed, I think to counter both these distractions, I'll offer a distraction of my own (tho, it does send me dangerously close to the River Nidd…): A Ministerial Rebuttal (tho, I daresay such moves have led to quite a bit of political fallout recently).

Westminster

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

Ah, I see that @candle is reading many things into my strategy that may or may not be true. I'll let him believe what he will, as long as it keeps him out of Nidd, which he seems to have done successfully with this move. I shall have to answer with my own bit of cunning with

Elephant & Castle

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Like you @beacon i think others read a lot of strategy into my game but it's more my muddled ageing mind arrrr or is that a strategy . As the great silent champion of the 50s, Rex humpston once famously said..........

For me its

Temple

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@beacon

Well, as no one else has played (out for a very long tea & crumpets session I assume), so I will do a play that will open the board up totally and have all players stunned in amazement that they will immediately forget whether the jam or the cream goes on first.

King George V

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The only strategy you need to be worried about is how to stop me! And this one will leave 3 huge openings for a win…… can you work them all out?

Temple

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I think a Street Level play is in order. Can't make things *too* easy for @celineellis can we?

Quex Road

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@candle

Well, I see @celineellis is on her usual path to victory. And looking at the board as it stands seems to show that she might just do that. So, what can I do to mayhaps turn things around & hopefully slow everyone else down & perhaps put myself in an advantageous position… Well now, let me have a look (& a quick glance at the 1978 edition of the Hamilton Masquarade Ruleset, which I believe may have an intriguing strategy that is perfect for this situation). Ah yes, there we go. Just as I thought.

Leytonstone

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

Leytonstone? Well, @candle I see that you're doing your best to muck up the board for a Barrington Smash (Hamilton Masquerade Ruleset, Chapter 22, Article 17) that will certainly make @celineellis have to change her evil plan, and I am here for it. To cut off all the diagonal options, I'll support your conniving plan and play

Perivale

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Oh! I see what’s happening here!! I’m almost certain that a collaborative counter play was ruled as ‘jolly unsporting’ in the 1992 almanac (2nd edition) but ok! It’s hotting things up and I can see we are now shifting gear. Lucky for me, I wrote all the MC almanacs from ‘89 through to ‘95 so I can tell you that page 148, paragraph 6 line 4 states ‘you can’t do that, because now I can’t win easily’ and I use that in justification of my adjudicators plee for a restart. But while we await that decision, I will endeavour to continue this lost cause of a game and move to the overground to try and get some perspective……

Finchley Road & Frognal

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@candle

"jolly unsporting", indeed. Well, I was simply trying to switch tracks (so to speak) & didn't expect @beacon to "play along" (not that I mind). You're right, @celineellis, we'll have to wait for the adjudicator's decision on that front. I do have to say, I quite enjoyed the almanacs. My favourite was '94 with the article on Scottish Train Spotting techniques that can be used to help one's MC strategy. I learned a lot from that article. But anyway, back to the game at hand. I seem to have shown my cards & made an obvious play along the Central Line. So, like @celineellis, I too will hop onto the overground & head west:

Harringay Green Lanes

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

My dear @celineellis, there was no malice aforethought to my play, but I was just being intuitive and building upon @candle's tremendously tactical play. I'm sure he got it from reading your almanacs. In fact, I believe you yourself wrote about it in the 1990 version as a side note in the article about great MC players who were also herring fishers. Elegantly written, I must add.

Anyway, with the adjudicator's considering the "jolly unsporting" defence, the beautiful game awaits. As we are in the northern reaches, I'm going to just head a little bit down the line to:

Walthamstow Queen's Road.

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Jolly unsporting, eh? Well that's just Not Cricket, which means I have to play...

St John's Wood

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Ahhhh St. Johns Wood. I remember a visit to a little coffee shop in the vacinity, where I had a chance meeting with a certain superstar and England captain Mr Beckham, back in the early 2000's. Douglas Beckham II esquire was the England MC all stars captain for 3 straight seasons back in those days, and he was literally my hero. I bought him a coffee, but when he asked for a skinny latte with 2 decaf espresso shots and vanilla dust sprinkles, I realised we could never be friends. Sigh.

Anyway, I see an opening to jump back to the new Elizabeth Line...

Seven Kings

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@candle

Ahhh… I was hoping you'd jump track to the Elizabeth, @celineellis. That's why I left that opening for you. Your move has opened up my own transfer, but to the Northern Line instead. The path is opening for me & I think I might just get there this time. But I still need to make a few more moves in order for my victory to be complete. Well, here goes nothing then:

Archway

See You In The Shadows…

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Archway good heavens! We could all see that coming, as Douglas Hepplethwaite said in his famous article in the Times in 79! "He who chooses archway is sprinting for the line and must be stopped" Fortunately he suggests an antidote for this situation and I make the forced play which becomes the chasers.....

Waterloo

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@beacon

So we're playing that way, are we? Well, with a return to Central London I find myself having to get back to the Elizabeth Line (I'm sure @celineellis will be happy about this), but high tail it all the way west, as I understand that it's just about tea time and I'm in need of some good cucumber sandwiches, and I know of a lovely little shop that has the best in town at

West Drayton

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After a month long debriefing at Thames House about my time travelling exploits in February (at which I had to explain to them that I was under the protection of a mysterious character codenamed Telstar who had informed me I was immune from prosecution under the Shadows Proclamation) I find myself firmly in August 2022 and my feet seem to have taken me to
PIMLICO

How about that for a late opener!

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Oooh, that late entry from @berni1954 has mixed things up a bit. Now I'll need to recount how many red tokens I've amassed because there's a risk my loop will become inverted and then I'll be stuck in Nidd for the whole round. So, with some care, let's venture to:

Wanstead

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@candle

Wanstead was a fine move, @jtsteam, I remember a similar situation at the '97 Winchester Women's Grand Invitational Tournament. It was the semi-final qualifying round & Dame Marjorie Plymouth Snedley (wife of that infamous MC champion Sir Edgar Smythe Snedley IV) made that very same move avoiding Nidd & sending her rival, Dame Caroline Edith Huntsworth Rice (who would go on to be world women's champion in '99) in a tailspin that saw her stuck in Nidd for six turns, ultimately forcing her to forfeit her place in the tournament's rankings (there was a bit of a scandal afterwards I'm told, something about un-lady-like behaviour in the foyer of the tournament hall shortly after the match was completed, but those rumours I imagine were spread by both women's rivals…). At any rate, it was a fun match, but I do remember Sir Harold Picton Klause, 3rd Earl of Ely was also at the match. He & I were conversing afterwards & he told me a wonderful strategy that Dame Huntsworth Rice should have used to avoid Nidd. He called it the Euston Roundhouse & I think I'm going to take full advantage of that strategy right now in order to keep my promise of not ending up floating upon the dread river Nidd this summer. Therefor, I play:

Warren Street

See You In The Shadows…

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I love candle and his long verbose explanations that are supposed to hide his deep laser sharp strategies. Ha Warren Street indeed. I say let's go to what's trendy but was once dangerous
Brixton

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@candle

Well, it would seem everyone is gobsmacked by @coolparadiso's jaunt over to Brixton. However, I can't abide by this stagnation any longer. I must force my hand & make my next move (continuing the Euston Roundhouse) with a slide over to:

Euston Square

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

Well, I'm sorry that I've been out of play for a bit, but I was able to have a fascinating long discussion with Harold Edward Petersham III, who you know was the MC champion of basically every tournament north of Nottingham from 1981-1987. Over numerous glasses of sherry, we were going into great depths of strategic play and he was telling me the nuances of avoiding diagonal traps on the Central Line. We would get into long, intricate discussions, and then I'd get a call from Mrs. Trellis asking if I knew where Schrodinger's Cat was or if tea was cheaper in Leeds or Liverpool, and we'd have to start all over again. Sigh.

Anyway, it's time for my triumphant return to make the play that has confounded players for the past two decades:

Heathrow Terminals 2 & 3

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Of course Harold is my step uncle but I promised him I would not take advantage of this. A simple play of

Wimbledon

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@candle

I refuse to fall for those moves, @beacon & @coolparadiso. They're an obvious ploy to distract me from the final move of my Euston Roundhouse & I refuse to be swayed when I can see the prize so close at hand. In that regard, I'm ignoring Harold & Mrs. Trellis & making my way to:

Euston

See You In The Shadows…

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@beacon

Ah! I see your cunning plan and this is exactly what Harold told me to look out for. It's time for the play I've been holding onto for years:

Epping