Cluedo Christmas

Here I will post a series of (mostly) simple challenges to amuse you in the run-up to Christmas. I'll try to post one each weekday.
DDRM
Posts: 398
Joined: Mon 02 Apr 2018, 18:04

Cluedo Christmas

Post by DDRM »

Shortly after the famous terrible event, the Reverend Green is sitting in the library, planning his “Nine Lessons and Carols” service for the Cluedo Manor estate. He notices that it is rather cold. The valve on the lead piping leading to the radiator is rather stiff, so he uses the wrench that sits nearby for the purpose to open it up a little.
He knows that the squire, Colonel Mustard, is very particular about the length of the service, and his contribution to the collection will depend heavily upon it: the service should be as close as possible to 75 minutes – less and he feels short-changed, longer and he gets restive because of his war-wounds (and bladder).
There are (amazingly!) nine lessons, each of which should last the length of their number in minutes (i.e. the 1st lesson should take one min, the 2nd two mins ...the 9th nine mins). The first eight lessons will be read alternately by Miss Scarlett (the Colonel’s Niece, and host for the evening), and Professor Plum (who is also the choir master). Either may start. Miss Scarlett tends to gabble, and will take 25% less time than expected (i.e. for every 4 mins reading she will take 3), while Professor Plum is rather ponderous, and takes 25% longer (i.e. for every 4 mins he will take 5). The final lesson will be read by the Rev. Green, who reads at a perfect pace.
The choir have rehearsed 12 carols, but will only sing 10 (one at the start, and then one after each reading). The carols have the following durations (in minutes):
1.5, 1.8, 2.3, 2.5, 2.7, 3.0, 3.5, 3.6, 3.9, 4.0, 4.7, 5.3
The evening will proceed thus:
7.15: Guests will arrive in the Hall, be greeted by Miss Scarlett, and leave their coats in the Billiard Room, before sitting down in the Ballroom, where the service will occur. Choir members go to the Conservatory to warm up and get ready, before moving to the Ballroom at 7.29.
7.30: Colonel Mustard will enter the Ballroom, and the candle-lit service will begin.
8.45: The service will end, and guests will be shown to the dining room, where Colonel Mustard will join them a few minutes later, and pull the rope to summon the food.
8.50: Mrs. White, the cook, will emerge from the kitchen, bringing the flaming Christmas pudding, which she will then slice with the dagger, before serving all the guests.
9.30: All guests will depart, and Colonel Mustard will retire to his study, for a small snifter before bed.

In order to maximise the Colonel’s contribution, (a) who should read first, and (b) which two carols should be omitted from the service? While you are at it, who did the murder, where, and with what weapon?