During World War II, the British Secret Service found a surprising way to help Allies in Nazi prisoner-of-war camps: They used doctored Monopoly sets to smuggle in maps, files, compasses, and real money. In this week’s episode of the Futility Closet podcast we’ll tell the story behind this clever ploy, which may have helped thousands of prisoners escape from Nazi camps.
We’ll also hear listeners’ thoughts on Jeremy Bentham’s head, Victorian tattoos, and phone-book-destroying German pirates and puzzle over murderous cabbies and moviegoers.
Sources for our feature on MI9’s use of Monopoly sets to help Allied prisoners escape during World War II:
Philip E. Orbanes, Monopoly: The World’s Most Famous Game — And How It Got That Way, 2006.
Ki Mae Heussner, “Get Out of Jail Free: Monopoly’s Hidden Maps,” ABC News, Sept. 18, 2009 (retrieved Sept. 27, 2015).
Myths and legends surrounding Jeremy Bentham’s auto-icon, from University College London.
This week’s lateral thinking puzzles are from Matthew Johnstone’s 1999 book What’s the Story?
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Many thanks to Doug Ross for the music in this episode.
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