Mornington Crescent

Well, if you're playing Helsinki Rules...

Mornington Crescent station (Northern Line, Charing Cross branch) is now reopened. Rejoice, rejoice!

MorningtonCrescent ("a lifetime to learn, a minute to master") is a strategy game played on "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue", a quiz program on BBC Radio 4, in the UnitedKingdom. (The well aspirated ImSorryIhHaventAhClue links to the relevant SisterSites.)

The basic premise is that players take turns to move around the London underground map, moving from one station to another each turn. The winner is the first to reach Mornington Crescent (a station on the Northern Line). Moves are constrained by a large number of arcane rules, and there are many different sets of rules and addenda.

Information about the game and its history is available in the EncyclopaediaMorningtonia? at

I found what looks to be a few useful links for information.
 London Transport:
Having never played I can't say much about the value of these links.

OK, I'll start.

  1. King's Cross. --GarethMcCaughan
  2. Ponders End --SteveFreeman
  3. I fancy going to a west end show so I will go to Leicester Square --KeithHodges
    • You can't do that... we are playing by the Helsinki Rules you know...
    • I thought we were using the Ottawa convention!!!
    • It doesn't matter. Secondary crossovers aren't allowed in either until a wildcard has been played.
  4. Tooting Broadway --KeithBraithwaite
  5. Tooting Bec -- RichardDrake (well, that was definitely my original move)
    • Does Old Kent mind if you toot him? Oh sorry, there's no station on Old Kent Road. I'm thinking of Monopoly(tm).
  6. Balham --JamesNoble (pronounced Bal-Ham; see AmericanCulturalAssumption; GasWorks?)
  7. hmmmm, Balham, Balham...I think that lets me try to invert the trammel, so: Dagenham Heathway --KeithBraithwaite
  8. Afternoon. Given Ponders End before Dagenham, I'd better start at Sudbury Town. Heathrow loop open. --RichardEmerson
  9. Excellent, sounds like just the opportunity for Mile End --PaulWay
  10. Liverpool Street, obviously. (If twisted shuttles were in force this would be crazy, of course.) --GarethMcCaughan
  11. Morden - OleAndersen (sorry, I just HadTo?)
  12. Obviously not Limehouse at this point - Trellis Half Strile to Monument --PaulWay
  13. Hanger Lane Gyratory station. Do I win? --MichaelFeathers
  14. That's a pretty daring move, but not a winning one. Has a lot of potential, though. Since you've opened play below the diagonal I'll go with Pudding Mill Lane. -- KeithBraithwaite
  15. I don't believe you left yourself so open! Dollis Hill --SteveFreeman
  16. O-ho! Fighting talk. Totteridge & Whetstone -- KeithBraithwaite
  17. You're playing a dangerous game, sir. Stepney Green -- EarleMartin
  18. The Pettengale Sweep to a straddle at Canada Water... excellent: that should put you in knip -- JonKale
  19. Heh.. Now I have you... Ealing Common. -- SeanOleary
  20. Careless, careless. That's above the diagonal. Brixton. -- GarethMcCaughan
  21. Upney? Upney... hmmm... No, how could I be so blind. Croxley. -- JonKale
  22. Aha! The Crudpuppy Manoeuver! You've played this game before. You give me no choice: Aldersgate. -- SeanOleary
  23. Mornington Crescent! Sean is distracted leaving MC wide open. I win! -- GregAllen

Is MorningtonCrescent a NomicGame?

No, MC is not a Nomic, although there's an MC-themed Nomic called Mornington Nomic at

'Tegwar vs. MC'

Is MorningtonCrescent anything like Tegwar? -- RobertChurch

Tegwar, an acronym for The Exciting Game Without Any Rules, is a card game played in the book Bang the Drum Slowly by Mark Harris (also a movie). It's played primarily for the purpose of parting fools from their money, operating on the principle that the mark will be too ashamed to admit that he doesn't know the rules of the game or ask questions.

Helps to have a map; try:
Has anyone been known to have ever played the game live. Like start at different underground stations and see who could make it to Mornington Crescent first? I think that might be interesting... or perhaps give a set of checkpoints that teams have to reach and see who can reach them first. Of course this could happen in any major city's subway system and I think it's quite a funny idea. -- ChuckSmith
I can recommend the MorningtonCrescentDrinkingGame?, involving a map of the London Underground, a pin, and the nearest pubs to each station.

Of course, the last time we played that, we ended up in Aberdeen... -- AlistairYoung

You say that like it's a bad thing.
Related game: I once heard that people with a very strong constitution played the following game on in the buffet car on fast trains from London to Portsmouth. The game is to have a round of drinks as the train passed each station with a name starting with a W (Waterloo, Wimbledon, Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge, West Byfleet, Woking and Worplesdon). 5 of those all come close together. -- JohnFletcher

EditText of this page (last edited October 2, 2006) or FindPage with title or text search