Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Some good news on the iconic ancient game front though. On my recent trip to visit the Aged Ps in not-so-sunny Devon I did manage to rescue my original 70s copy of the seminal code-breaking game 'Mastermind' from the toy cupboard in the spare room before my Dad took it to the charity shop as he has done (quite rightly) with everything else from this period of my childhood.

You will recall that this classic from Invicta Plastics, Oadby, Leics (Game Of The Year 1973!) involved attemping to deduce via structured logical thought (or guessing) your opponent's combination of coloured pegs in as few tries as possible whilst he 'marked' you with little white and black pegs.

Me and my friend Brian were both quite good at it, having passed many a rainy afternoon playing it.

And there are a lot of rainy afternoons in the winter in Devon, I can tell you.

Completist that I am, I also had the 'pocket' and 'word' variants: no doubt these are going for a fortune on ebay right now. Or not.

Anyway, in what I considered a marvellous generation-spanning moment last week I introduced the game to my eldest daughter, who is 8, and set her a devilishly tricky code to crack. She got it in four moves. Harrumph.

Remember this?

Furniture - 'Brilliant Mind' (1986)

[Read about the 30 years-on reunion of 'Mastermind' 'cover stars' Bill Woodward and Cecilia Fung here. No, really]


  1. Brilliant mind? brilliant song, more like.
    As for Mastermind...a classic of logic puzzles. That, Scrabble, Monopoly, Boggle and Jack Straws kept us entertained in the dim days before the dawn of video games.

  2. I famously beat a friend at word mastermind using the word epee, but he has since claimed it doesn’t count because it should read épée. There were a lot of rainy afternoons in Dorset too.

  3. Bill Woodward! I always thought it was James Last or Stilgoe

    Very neatly manouvered to that track DH

    Did you know Jim Irvine ex Furniture writes for Word now and probably others too

  4. you wouldn't believe how crap i was a that. actually you would.

  5. Oh my, I had a copy of the very same game, but I fear mine was not spared the trip down to Oxfam...

    However, I should lke you to know that you have inspired me to start growing a beard and coiffing a quiff akin to that classic gentlemean on the box. See you in a fortnight...

  6. Distingue is the word that comes to mind FiL. Distingue.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.