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The question - Cheating

Following claims that game show contestants are using subterfuge to win prizes, what underhand methods have worked for you?

After 50 years, it can now be revealed. At school I was no good at football.

Every year there would be an inter-house league and every year I would be overlooked.

However, one particular winter there was a lot of sickness in the school and other houses had a real problem filling their teams, so it was arranged that they could make up their numbers from a pool of fellow drop-outs like me. We all stood around on the day awaiting our call. When asked where I played, my plan was to answer 'goal keeper', which had worked well on previous occasions. On this particular never-to-be-forgotten day, however, it was a goalkeeper they needed. Imagine my surprise then to discover that the opposing team was my own house! Suffice it to say that I wasn't cut out to be a goalkeeper either and I let in five goals. My house won comfortably and I was a hero back home. The school never trusted me to play football again.

Philip Richards, 64, principal engineer, London

Anyone who gives a really good example should of course be drummed out of the ICE for bringing the profession into disrepute. I am too honest, naturally.

John Park, 52, senior engineer, Glasgow

Believe it or not, but my two daughters have always shown a distinct lack of interest in any of my writing, no matter how illustrious the publishers may have been.

However, when it came to marriages, it was of course my duty to write a little speech to wish them well in the future. I can't possibly think why, but they both seemed to show slight signs of anxiety on this point. One of them actually went as far as searching around to find the script, so to speak. The solution was simple - write a false speech, in case it was found in advance, because on the day, I said only what any other father does.

Dennis Gedge, 59 1/4, consulting engineer, Exeter

Fortunately I have never needed a cunning plan, I have always found the best way to get what I want or need is by being honest and courteous.

Michael Woods, 36, consultant, Edinburgh

Being the shy and reserved type, acts of outrageous cunning are not normally in my nature. There are, however, two instances that spring to mind when I did try to buck the trend. First, I attempted to convince guests at a Burns Night supper that Rabbie used to spend his summer holidays in Devon and that his 'Address to the Haggis' actually started life as 'Ode to the Pasty'. Surprisingly enough, they did not believe me. But perhaps my most fiendish piece of cunning is to hoodwink the editor of this mighty tome into believing that my scribblings of inanity are worthy of publication.

Robert Pike, 39, engineer, Exeter

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