The Game

The following text has been reproduced from a booklet distributed with the Cluedo Master Detective Edition, which provides a great deal of background to the game. For other information, please see the FAQ and explore the rest of

A brief history of the world's favourite mystery game

In 1946, a solicitors' clerk from Birmingham, England, paid a visit to the firm of Waddingtons Games Ltd., in Leeds.  Anthony E. Pratt and his wife had come, with a couple of game-inventing friends, to present their idea and prototype of a mystery detection game to the game manufacturers.  They met and played the game with some Waddingtons employees while the firm's managing director looked on.

Fortunately for all of us, the people at Waddingtons liked what they saw and agreed to produce the game.  Only three years later, Parker Brothers brought the game to Australian mystery lovers - and it's been a family favourite ever since!

Why "Cluedo"?

That's elementary, my dear Watson!  Because the object of the game is to collect enough clues to solve the mystery.

But when this classic game was created in England, it was called "Cluedo", taking off what the Britons called LUDO (pronounced "lew-doh"), which simply means "I play" in Latin.  So when Waddingtons Games Ltd., agreed to produce Anthony Pratt's new board game, they made a play on words: "LUDO" became "CLUEDO".  And in more than 40 countries around the world, it's known either as CLUEDO or by the American CLUE name.

Who's Who?

Speaking of names, how do you suppose Mrs. Peacock and Colonel Mustard fare in other nations?  You'd be surprised - because she is a he, and he is a she!

In Norway, Mrs. Peacock is called Baronesse von Blauw, but in Spain she's Capitano Azurro, a man.  And Colonel Mustard is known to the Swiss as Madam Curry.

In Germany, the exotic Miss Scarlet is called Fraulein Ming.  In Switzerland she's got a more ordinary name, Evelyne Rose, but she does have the distinction of being the only Cluedo suspect in the world whose suspect card bears a first name!

Spanish players call Professor Plum, our absent-but-murderously-minded professor, Dr. Mandarino.  Meanwhile, the Swiss have more insight into his character: They call him Docteur Dunkel!

And what of our resident corpse, whom we Australians aptly call Mr. Boddy?  The Britons who invented him call him Dr. Black.  In Spain, he's Dr. Lemon.  In Switzerland, either Herr Kludo or Monsieur Cluedo, depending on which part of the country you're from.  But the U.S.'s special set of Spanish rules have hit the nail on the head: They call him Sr. Caddaver!

What would the rest of the world make of our four new suspects - Sergeant Gray, Madame Rose, Monsieur Brunette and the lovely Miss Peach?

The Manor of Murders

Ever since the Cluedo game was introduced in Australia, the unfortunate Mr. Boddy has been murdered daily at Boddy Mansion.  In the Cluedo Master Detective version, he'll meet his end at his little country place, Boddy Manor.

In this new game, there are three additional possible murder locations and some other new rooms as well, as befits a man of Mr. Boddy's stature.  But, despite concern expressed by fans over the years, there are still some amenities we have not added to his house - but other countries have.

Specifically, for years Parker Brothers has been asked where everyone sleeps, since there are no bedrooms.  Concerned players also wonder why such an elegant house has never had a bathroom.  Well, the compassionate Spanish and the efficient Swiss have taken care of both.  Dr. Lemon - alias Herr Kludo or Monsieur Cluedo - as they call him, has both a bedroom and a bathroom in their versions of the game.  Since for years he's had a garage in Spain, at his Cluedo Master Detective estate we've added a Carriage House, complete with a couple of horses - always handy for a cross-country get-away!

What's behind the Cluedo popularity?

Ask many people their favourite type of book, they might allude to the latest Nobel prize winner's tome on their bedside table.  But interrogate them further, and they'll confess they love a good mystery!  And what movies have been tops at the box office recently?  Suspense thrillers, especially ones with a real twist at the end.

But why do people love a good mystery?  Could it be the foreign locales?  The fascinating perpetrators and suspects?  The sheer ingenuity of the writer who pulls all the personality quirks and clues together to present a neat solution at the end?  Best-selling mystery novelist Mary Higgins Clark has said: "I like to see justice triumph.  My sense of orderliness demands it.  The world is chaotic.  There's a catharsis in having order restored.  That's why so many people read mysteries." (from an interview in the Boston Globe).

But whether you're a fan of Ms. Clark and Agatha Christie or prefer the psychological probings on Patricia Highsmith ... whether you think Dick Francis is on the right track or you like your sleuths hard-boiled, like Raymond Chandler's Same Spade or Robert B. Parker's Spenser ... or whether you'd rather put your feet up and watch Perry Mason or Sherlock Holmes solve the crime on TV, there's no lack of good mysteries to chose from.  They provide escape and enjoyment, as you use your little grey cells to collect clues along the way and try to figure out Whodunit before the author tells all at the end.

For nearly four decades, mystery devotees have had but one motive for playing the Cluedo - and now Cluedo Master Detective - games: You get to pretend you're Sherlock Holmes, Nancy Drew, Charlie Chan and Miss Marple, all rolled into one.  And there are so many possibilities of Who, Where, and with What Weapon, that the mystery changes every time you play.  You can experience the escape and enjoyment of playing a game while collecting the right information and making the correct deductions in order to solve the mystery.  Unlike other games, these two depend on a lot more than blind luck to win.

So, as that Belgian master detective Hercule Poirot would say, "Let's exercise our leetle grey cells."  Then he might just add: "Let's solve a Cluedo Master Detective mystery!"

Text provided by Phillip Thomas of The CLUEDO Page

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