It is unlikely that anyone reading this won't be familiar with the rules, but esoteric rules like nib and being in or out of huff and the Plymouth and Hampton Court variations (C. 16th and 17th Centuries respectively) may need to be elaborated on. A good Mornington Crescent referee will of course be well versed in these potential pitfalls, and can refer to a complete copy of the rules, vis, the one on their bookshelf. Any questions?

Before we play, we need to clarify which of the major variations we'll allow. For instance, are we playing with or without flanges? If with, will they be only on Tuesdays?

There's nothing worse than a game of MC that breaks down just as it's starting to get interesting, because of a debate over the validity of backcrossing on the Waterloo.

Like Mao, the rules to Mornington Crescent are too simple to go into. If you are really interested, listen to the Everyman's Guide to Mornington Crescent, included as a bonus on the BBC cassette 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue 2', and which goes into the history and rules of this cultural phenomenon, going back to Roman times and the origins of the game.

As to popular rules, the major experts of the game, as seen on I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, usually disallow straddling and shunting, but sometimes allow passing of water during play, and often play the famous Ongar move on the diagonal.

Right, I am very sorry to have to do this, and will get downvoted into oblivion guaranteed. But I am here to expose Mornington Crescent. I have never ever seen it explained anywhere because it would ruin the game - but not in the same way as it would ruin Mao. Mornington Crescent is ostensibly the same as Mao but in reality they are totally different. Mao is a real card game with a set of rules. However those rules have to be worked out by the players as part of the game. See the Mao writeup for more details.

Mornington Crescent has NO rules. It is not a game. All it is is a framework for taking the piss out of people who do not know this, by those who do. Typically a game is started at a party (or in the Chatterbox) with a mix of people. Some know the 'rules' and so participate whilst the rest are convinced to play. The players then start naming stations on the London Underground the aim being to reach Mornington Crescent. When someone who knows says a station the others who know nod sagely and say things like "ahh, good move" or "hmm, using the yellow line, is that allowed?". Players who don't know try and fathom what is governing the moves. Of course nothing is governing the moves - it is all an elaborate ruse. When someone not in the know says a station someone might mutter "beginner's luck" or "How did you know about the Kafinikov variation?" throwing the player into further confusion. Equally if the player tries to go straight to Mornington Crescent they will usually be berated with a "going to Mornington Crescent from there, on a Tuesday, with the flange rules in play - I don't think so!". Of course all of this is made up on the fly - the only intention being to confuse.

I think this 'game' is cruel and unfair, especially when used on Americans. It is only fun to 'play' if you like systematically ridiculing people, which I personally don't. People will also probably add writeups here saying I am wrong or don't understand to try and successfully cover up the truth. These people are lying to you!.

Remember: The truth is out there

I will heroically absorb the downvotes that are already mounting in the name of freedom of information. :)

tardibear: I completely agree with you (except there are no rules - not even internally consistent ones within a given game - unless you have been playing it wrong :)). My WU may be a bit harsh, but very few people, if any, play with only people who know about the game. The idea is to befuddle. That is all I wanted to be known. Introducing new players does involve this - no one ever get's told what I have noded above, it wouldn't work if they did. When people look up the rules to Mornington Crescent they deserve to get them, not just an extension of the game being played out on E2.

It has been said that :-

Mornington Crescent has NO rules. It is not a game.

This is not the case. It is true that the rules of Mornington Crescent are not written down, and it is also true that the object of the game is not to reach Mornington Crescent. However, the rules of a game do not wholly determine how it is actually played: could you become a good player of chess or football merely from an inspection of the rules?

Mornington Crescent is a collaborative game. Moves are judged according to the context in which they are made and a good move in one game may be considered lame in another.

Mornington Crescent is not a game that you can win or lose, it is a game that you can have fun playing. Part of the fun is in introducing new players to the game: that does not necessarily involve systematic ridicule.

Mornington Crescent is not unlike Everything2.

Mornington Crescent is a game, and a piece of theatre, and a conversation. If its only purpose was to confuse young American noders, I doubt it would have lasted for thirty-odd years on the radio, with people listening and laughing every week. Creating a simulacrum of a game, with what appears to be a complex history and set of rules is pleasing, even when every single listener knows the "joke" of the game. It's a game where the aim is to be amusing, and creative, and inventive and keep the flow going. It's a game where the aim is to trip up your co-players and get them to giggle madly as you invent another barmy sounding variation that is just on the edge of credibility. It's a game where you are struggling to keep a straight face. It's a game where, if you don't know what's happening, and the light starts to dawn, you can pitch in and be an expert in moments.

You can choose to make up your own rules as you go along, giving a game some sort of internal pattern: hopping diagonally across the map, only ever leaping to stations around 45 degree turns in the line, and so on. Anything that makes you happy. No one else needs to know about them.

WyldWynd, it's not cruel and unusual. It's not a system to ridicule people. It's a form of nonsense poetry. Loosen up, look at a map of the London Underground and jump in. Invent, make links, be silly, create. It's fun.

WyldWynd is obviously an experienced player: the classic double bluff of denouncing the game as immoral, while pretending to expose the actual rules, is a manoeuvre rarely attempted except by the most daring. Forging a supposed link between the game and the London Underground system is a more conventional tactic, but used here with real elan.

We'll have to leave it to the judges to decide whether WyldWynd has successfully Upminstered this round, or if tardibear's and heyoka's moves can be admitted on the grounds of prior Vauxhalling by Zulu One.

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