Since 1949 Cluedo has allowed us to investigate the death of Dr Black at the hands of one of six colourfully named characters, who did the deed in one of nine rooms and with one of six weapons.
It’s a process of elimination exercise, and has been filling the time in between dinner and television admirably for millions of families for years.
But just how practical were those murder weapons? The revolver, the spanner, the candlestick, the rope, the dagger or the lead piping?
In the first of a series of posts, we are going to look at…
It lacks the penetration of the dagger or the stopping power of the pistol, but the candlestick would appear to be favoured by murderers in the Cluedo world exactly one sixth of the time.
This heavy and relatively club shaped ornament would traditionally be made from brass, giving it a lot of weight and a reasonable amount of bludgeoning power. Readily available in most homes that have nine or more rooms in the ground floor, often in the Dining Room or Library, the candlestick makes up for in availability what it lacks in portability.
The primary weakness is the size, weight and shininess of the weapon.
In the criminal fraternity studies have shown that guns, knives and explosives are preferred to items of decorative brassware when dispensing ‘street justice’ – and with good reason. A staff member of the restaurant in The Godfather would no doubt have noticed if a massive brass candlestick had been hidden behind the cistern, and rumours that the first draft for Die Hard had Bruce Willis confronting the terrorists at the end with a candlestick attached to his back with Merry Xmas tape have been debunked by industry insiders.
In a lot of ways, the candlestick is the lightsaber of its day; an elegant weapon, for a more civilised age. It harks back to days of pomp and chivalry, tradition and class. If a Jedi would charge down blaster fire and cavalrymen would wave swords at musket balls, then surely it’s perfectly acceptable for a gentleman to bring a candlestick to a gunfight?
Pros: Club-shaped; wipe-clean.
Cons: Fingerprint vacuum; heavy and shiny; hard to conceal in a prison shower or dark alleyway; is a massive candlestick.