Day 327 – Mastermind

No, I haven’t applied for the long-running BBC game show, Mastermind, a show where you are asked very specific questions on your topic of choice (I think mine would be Mad Men), today’s new thing was playing the board game of the same name. I’ve already trained my brain a bit recently with the Bletchley Park Crossword, and the Cryptex I made last week, so I figured now was prime time to put it to the ultimate test.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Mastermind is a board game that I remember seeing everywhere in the nineties, but never actually played. Its origins came earlier than that though, with the physical game developed in the 1970s, and the paper game it was based on, Bulls and Cows, reportedly is dated from centuries earlier. The game is for two players: one player sets a code using four coloured pegs, and the other player has to try and guess the code within a certain amount of goes.

Our first game

If you look in the picture above, each row has 8 holes: 4 large for the guess, and 4 small where the code setter can indicate how many colours were correct and in the right place. In our version, the small blue peg indicated a correct colour in the right hole, and the pink peg shows the correct colour in the wrong place.

I realised quite soon into this that the game was aptly named, wow I found it difficult. I really had to work my brain to try and crack the code, but once I started to figure out what colours I had in the right place it became really satisfying working the rest out. On my second go, I managed to get the answer in just two attempts – absolute luck more than an above-average IQ I can assure you!

I really enjoyed playing this, and I’ll add it to the ever-growing pile of board games that I’ve discovered this year, ready to be played again.

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