Cranium Cranium Inc (£29.95) it t ‘k t

Billed as the ‘game for your whole brain', the thing they call Cranium is as frustrating and addictive as any board game should be. And as they approach the million-sales mark, that's a lot of frustrated and addicted folk.

The game is split into four categories: Creative Cat (drawing, sculpting); Star Performer (impersonations, humming tunes, charades); Word Worm (anagrams, spelling, definitions); and Data Head (multiple choice, true or false and straight general knowledge questions). The pulling from the deck of a card with Club Cranium at the foot opens the question out to all teams; a dubious winning strategy here is as much about listening to your opponents' efforts than drawing on your own skills.

It certainly helps if you have one team member who can draw well, though some of the questions require the sketcher to have their eyes wide shut. The only real downside

is the board-moving itself which adds little to the game's enjoyment, acting as a function without the fun. Of

course, if any player

is lacking in the puzzle, drawing, trivia and spelling departments, they may not have a particularly memorable night.

Rather than digging out your old Trivial Pursuit or Pictionary this Christmas, use your loaf by getting a fair

chunk of both worlds with Cranium. (Brian Donaldson)

Frustrating and addictive brain scran

RETAIL PROFILE Concrete Butterfly

Been to a friend's house recently and noticed that your surroundings seem a little familiar? Ever since Ikea burst onto the scene with its modern designs and budget prices, the British public have been lapping it up. Yes, we love it and welcome our Swedish friends into our homes. But after seeing one Agen £16 rattan armchair too many you might decide

Original furnishings

the time has come to assert your independence.

Tucked away on Edinburgh's Cowgate, Concrete Butterfly specialises in furnishings and fashion items you’d be hard pushed to find anywhere else. The brainchild of furniture designer Alasdair Gall, you'd be forgiven for mistaking the space for a gallery. With its large windows, crema luna limestone and black walnut timber, the shop itself is something of a work of art.

But this is a retail space, and you’ll find tables by Hans Wegner of Denmark, Upholstery from Label in Holland and chromed steel items from Germany, all for sale with a wide variety of price tags.

Part of the Concrete Butterfly ethos is to present work by new as well as established designers, and its winter collection features products by five Scottish designers. Proprietor Gall's furniture will be there, textile designer Emily Quinn’s linen cushions, Fiona McIntosh's scarves, wooden items by 56 North and woven throws from Pick One. The names might not mean much to you, but the experience of seeing the work and imagination that goes into designing and manufacturing these objects, might just inspire you to step away from the mainstream. (Louisa Pearson)

I Concrete Butterfly, 317—379 Cowgate, Edinburgh, 0137 558 7130. Opening hours Tue—Fri noon—6pm, Sat 70am—5pm. Winter exhibition opens Sat 2 Dec.


Spend, spend, spend. . . FUNNIEST NEWS OF the Christmas season comes from the LakeSide Shopping Centre in London which has introduced a 'Male

Creche’. In a measure to reduce

shopping conflict, boyfriends can be left for up to an hour at the creche which features 40 games from f on-line game provider Flipside, including board, card and brain games, all free of

charge. It's surely only a matter of time before Scottish shopping centres adopt the measure.

THE IDEA OF wearing a watch with golden ‘charms' ranging from a snake to a Christmas tree might fill you with horror, but a girl‘s gotta do what a girl's gotta do to achieve that 'gold/trashy 805‘ look that's so popular at the moment. World Party limited edition available from Swatch outlets.


MORE MALE-BASHING COMES with the news that Ann Summers has introduced several new 'adult' games for Christmas. The effectiveness of the 'Boyfriend Remote Control' (£7.99) has not . yet been tested, and we can only dare to imagine the impact of the Music To Strip To CD

(£10.99). Whatever will they think of next? To organise a party call 0208 645 8320 or save your blushes and order online at


TO the selection box? Just when you think you know your Christmas confectionery options, it

I all changes. Cadbury’s

has introduced 'The Tin’ (£2.99) to appeal to us hip youngsters, while new webSite wwwgroovychocolateco m will print a photo of your choice onto a bar of their high-quality chocolate full profile to follow next issue.

IF YOU'RE STILL stuck for Christmas gift ideas you might want to visit your local art gallery, many of which have an array of unique items for sale. For full details see Festive Art listings, page 120.

30 Nov—14 Dec 119