The inventor of a puzzle which was a sell-out last Christmas saw his stately home go on the market yesterday because the 1million riddle was solved.

Christopher Monckton has to sell the Crimonmogate Estate, near Fraserburgh, so he can pay the promised jackpot to the person who cracked the Eternity puzzle.

The stately home, which has 67 rooms and accompanying sporting estate, is being sold on the Internet with a starting price of 1.2million.

It was built in 1825 and the 200-acre estate includes an ice house, dairy and trout loch.

A spokeswoman for eBay UK, the site where the estate is being advertised, said they were expecting quite a lot of interest.

She said: "We are predicting a person from the US will possibly be interested in owning such a piece of land and also the title of laird which comes with it."

Mr Monckton, a one-time policy adviser to former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher, had hoped the sales of the Eternity board game, which outsold Trivial Pursuit last Christmas, would pay for renewing his home.

But he has had to pay out 500,000 to Alex Selby, from Cambridge, and Oliver Riordan, who solved the puzzle earlier this year.

The remainder of the prize money came from an insurance policy.