2016 Treasure Hunt Forum/ Open on Quiz Page

Hello 2016 Treasure Hunters!

This post is now open for clarifications/questions/discussion concerning the 4th Annual JHWS Treasure Hunt.  I am opening the forum today, as our Treasure Hunt will post tomorrow evening (PDT) when it will be July 31 yet in some parts of the world but August 1 in other areas.  As we are now such a global group, we have many time zones to consider.

This forum will remain open through September 1. Please feel free to discuss anything related to the hunt with the exception of posting specific answers to any of the questions.  Any questions posted here for the Treasure Hunt Master will be answered as quickly as possible.

Happy Hunting!


A Quiz from the Archives

This week, we’re dipping into the archives for one of our dear Buttons’s quizzes. It originally ran in October, 2013. It’s a little bit different from the traditional Sherlockian trivia challenge.

Submit your answers by 11:59 PDT Sunday, June 5 to selena@johnhwatsonsociety.com. Include your answers to the all of the questions as well as the final result. (Please do not post answers in the comments to this post.)

This week’s quiz is on Canonical Numbers. Determine the number or numbers that are indicated by the textual clues. Each question is answered with a number. When you have answered all of the questions with their respective numeric answers, total all of the numbers and proceed to the final division and Solution.


The enumeration in his mind for Anatomy.
Number of years of the unit.
The final three numerals.
St Luke’s scout’s tenure in rooms.
Number of inclusive years Holmes was a very busy man.
White sea’s distance away.
Number of lads who had supper in the kitchen.
Number of free citizens.
Numeric address of machinery assessors.
English governess’s age thereabouts.
Convert to numbers the time Holmes will be pleased to dine.
The object of the idiot’s love had been at boarding school ‘x’ years.
Amount of the maiden aunt’s capital.
At what hour on Monday was the office closed?
Page number of account in the big ledger.
Number of figures in only child’s marriage inter-vivos.
Shade of the elm.
Whistle ‘x’ minutes before the descent.
Number of the day of the month of the intrusive vicar.

Total of all Numbers: _____

Divide the Total by 28.66: _____

Final Number Answer: _____

Note: The Final Answer Number is your “Check” answer. If it is Canonically logical, you have correctly provided accurate numbers for all 20 questions. If it is not logical, you have one or more answers incorrect.

(Those of you who completed this back in 2013, shhhhh! Don’t spoil the ending! 🙂 )

3rd Annual Treasure Hunt Answers

Hello!  As noted yesterday on the news page, the treasure hunt answers are attached here today on the Quiz page.  As you read through the document, you will realize that some alternative answers you submitted were accepted for the point count or your total points would not have been as high.   I had hoped to add the alternative answers to this document but due to the number of entries received, time just does not permit.  As always, questions/comments are welcome at treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com.



2015 JHWS TH with Answers

3rd Annual JHWS Treasure Hunt Forum Is Open

Hi Treasure Hunters!  This post is now open for clarifications/questions/discussion concerning the 3rd Annual JHWS Treasure Hunt.  It will remain open through September 1.  Please feel free to discuss anything related to the hunt with the exception of posting specific answers to any of the questions.  Any questions to /clarifications needed from the Treasure Hunt Master will be answered as quickly as possible.   Good luck!

Weekly Quiz: 2015 #10 A True Mystery

RESULTS:  No one successfully plumbed the depths of the quiz question this week.

ANSWER: Peregrine Phillips was from Bristol.  He invented the process to distill H2SO4 (sulfuric acid) commercially at low cost.  He was, therefore, considered the 19th century “Father of H2SO4” which was called commonly “vitriol.”  From there, you can quickly get to Kitty Winter, the pain of Baron Gruner, and ILLUS.  Vitriol is also mentioned in BLUE.  The real Baron Gruner died in 1860, well before the story, but he apparently was borrowed by Watson for authenticity.

Okay. You don’t care for genealogy.  Here is a deductive mystery for this week:

This Bristol Peregrine was indirectly the cause of pain to a European nobleman who died in 1860.  Identify the nobleman, the Peregrine, the link, and the story or book in which the reference occurs.

Please submit solutions to this very difficult quiz question to Buttons by noon Wednesday, March 4.

Good luck!

Wow! You ARE Good!


Margie Deck “Gwen” and Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy” also solved the question with this complete, fascinating and accurate submission:

Question: This dilettante was known by two names: Blackwood and Dufferin. How does this person figure in the Canon? Please name the person, how the connection comes and the story or book in which it appears.

Definition of dilettante:

a person who cultivates an area of interest, such as the arts, without real commitment

  • archaic: a person with an amateur interest in the arts

Answer #1:

Helen Selina Blackwood, Baroness Dufferin and Claneboye, later Helen Selina Hay, Countess of Gifford, born Helen Selina Sheridan, (1807 – 13 June 1867), was a British songwriter, composer, poet, and author. Admired for her wit and literary talents, she was a well-known figure in London society of the mid-19th century. From childhood Helen had written poems, songs and prologues for private theatrical productions. After she and [sister] Caroline jointly brought out a Set of ten Songs and two Duets, she started to publish her verse, sometimes set to her own music. Her name was not usually printed at first, but she did not stay entirely anonymous. In 1863 a play of hers was staged, and in the same year she published an account of her travels up the Nile with her son. This poked fun at writing by lady travellers; the title Lispings from Low Latitudes, or, Extracts from the Journal of the Hon. Impulsia Gushington echoed [son] Frederick’s book Letters From High Latitudes. The purpose of the play was to satire travel literature, specifically that of women, during the time period. Her play, Finesse, or, A Busy Day in Messina, produced at the Haymarket Theatre with John Baldwin Buckstone as one of the actors, was a success, but the writer did not go to any of the performances, nor acknowledge her authorship.

RETI, W., p. 1115 : “On that particular evening old Amberley, wishing to give his wife a treat, had taken two upper circle seats at the Haymarket Theatre.”

And———speaking of Frederick, her son:

Answer #2:

Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Duffein and Ava, could be considered a person with an amateur interest in the arts as he became president of the Oxford Union Society for debate, but left Oxford after only two years without obtaining a degree; he commissioned schooners and a steamer to journey around the north Atlantic, eventually publishing a book about this travels.  Although the book was a success, he did not pursue a career as an author, instead became a public servant, with diplomatic postings in Syria, Canada (Governor General), Imperial Russia, India (Viceroyalty), Egypt (British Commissioner), Italy and French, and facilitated British diplomatic work in Afghanistan and Burma. He initiated sporting prizes; he initiated heritage preservation of historic sites; he initiated the building of the Dufferin Terrace.  He later served, rather badly, as chairman of the London and Globe Finance Corporation.  Hi biographer Davenport-Hines says he was imaginative, sympathetic, warm-hearted, and gloriously versatile; he was an effective leader in Lebanon, Canada and India, averted war with Russia, and annexed Burma; he was careless of money but charming in high society in three continents.

–The careless of money and charming in three continents sounds very familiar concerning our good Dr. Watson, but, perhaps, this diplomat would be more closely associated with Mycroft:

BRUC, W., p. 914: “We will suppose that a minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question.”


Michele Lopez “Reggie” sends along his correct solution below:

“The person is Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava. His connection with the Canon derives from the fact that he was Governor General of Canada from 1872 to 1878. While there, he visited Manitoba and inaugurated a part of the Canadian Pacific Railway. BLAC.”

Now, for a bit of coincidence: Enrico “Devon” sends along his correct solution below:

“Helen Selina Blackwood, Lady Dufferin, who wrote the words of a popular ballade. The first line “I’m sitting on the tile, Mary” is quoted in VALL, as sang by Mc Murdo.”

This solution is also correct and, interestingly, Helen Selina Sheridan Blackwood, the lyric writer, was Lady Dufferin and the mother of Frederick Hamilton Temple Blackwood, Marquis of Dufferin.

Two excellent scholars from Italy have solved an obscure question set in Pennsylvania, USA in VALL, involving an Irish marquis, born in Florence, Italy, who became the Governor of Canada and whose mother wrote the lyrics to a popular song also known as “The Lament of the Irish Immigrant.” both “Reggie” and “Devon” have different answers and are both correct. Amazing!

So, the answer can be:  Helen Selina Blackwood, Lady Dufferin, or her son, Frederick Hamilton Temple Blackwood, and both have Canonical connections.

Within an hour, we had four correct submissions on this week’s quiz involving “ermine”!  You are all so good that Buttons has to defend his honour and offer one more really obscure quiz question for your week-end:

This dilettante was known by two names: Blackwood and Dufferin. How does this person figure in the Canon? Please name the person, how the connection comes and the story or book in which it appears.

That ought to occupy all of you Quiz Masters for more than an hour!

Weekly Quiz: 2015 # 8

RESULTS: Michele Lopez “Reggie,” Margie Deck “Gwen,” Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy,” and Denny Dobry “Kirby” all solved the quiz question:  ermine = stoat = Sherman kept a stoat or ermine in SIGN (Pg. 117) and although Teddy the mongoose is not an ermine, he had the legs of a stoat.  (CROO Pg. 421).

You seem to like these single-quest quizzes, so here is another one for this week:

Ermine is found twice in the Canon.  Quote each instance and provide the book or story.

Weekly Quiz 2015: #7

RESULTS:  We have several interesting results.  The “first-in” was Margie Deck “Gwen” and Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy” with completely alternative and correct answers to those Buttons has proposed; we print them in full:

  1. This Canonical character purchased a stationers & office supply business.

Answer:  Johann Faber– the German pencil maker moved to the United States in 1848, and in 1849, operated a stationary store at #133 William Street, New York City. (Wikipedia, www.nyc.gov)

3STU, W., p. 599:  “You are aware than Johann Faber is the most common maker’s name.”

  1. Associate a promontory of eastern Greece, a maid, two royals, and explain how they come together in what book or story.

Answer: Mt. Athos, Rachel Howells, Charles I and Charles II, MUSG

The Mount Athos promontory is the easternmost part of the larger Chalkidiki peninsula. (www.greecethisway.com/regions)

In some Greek mythology, the name Athos belongs to a Thracian giant; Poseidon threw a huge rock against Athos and buried him underneath–the rock was then called Mount Athos.(www.inathos.gr)

Rachel Howells allowed Brunton to die (be buried) under the heavy, large stone, while carrying away the coins of Charles the First, and the crown saved for Charles the Second.

MUSG, W., Text, pp. 396-397

THEN . . .Michele Lopez “Reggie” sent along an alternative to question #1 that is also correct, as well as a correction to question #2; printed here:

1. This Canonical character purchased a stationers & office supply business.

Jabez Wilson. “I bought a penny bottle of ink, and with a quill-pen, and seven sheets of foolscap paper, I started off for Pope’s Court.” [REDH, 181]

2. Associate a promontory of eastern Greece, a maid, two royals, and explain how they come together in what book or story.

The promontory is Cape Colonna (the reference is made, I believe, by Tracy, Dakin and others, but it’s wrong. The Colonnas are a very ancient and important noble family from Rome and they take their name from the small town of Colonna, on the Roman Hills).

A maid: Lucretia Venucci; two royals; Napoleon and the Borgias; the story is, of course, SIXN.

AND, Enrico Solito “Devon” sent along his comments on question #2 and–we discover–he has written on the subject!  His answer, here:

“I suspect there is a mistake in the question on the site. If the solution is SIXN and the Greek promontory is Colonna, I am afraid this is the only mistake in the excellent Tracy’s book. It is true that Cape do exists (we in Italy have another, and a couple of Mountain Colonna too) but any Italian knows that the Princes of Colonna (or simply Princes Colonna) are one of the most famous noble family in Roma, that expressed a lot of Popes and connected to the Church, including the (in)famous Alexander VI Borgia. I attach here a little article I wrote about the Princes and the Prince at the time of SIXN, what probably was the Pearl and how it arrived in Borgia’s hands.”

NOW . . . the answers Buttons had are a bit tongue in cheek and question #1 would be nearly impossible for International Members as it involves a large, “Big-Box” chain sale last week. Question #2 was taken from the erroneous Tracy entry (Encyclodaedia Sherlockiana); however, it is–in fact–also correct in that there truly is a Cape Colonna in Greece, as well as in Italy.  Here are the intended answers:

  1. Staples, the butler of Culverton Smith (DYIN).  Staples just bought Office Depot last week.
  1. The promontory is Colonna in Greece; the two royals, the Prince and Princess (Lucretia Venucci) of Colonna in Italy; the maid of the Princess stole the Black Pearl of the Borgias in SIXN.

Here are two questions for our Quiz Masters and Mavens:

1. This Canonical character purchased a stationers & office supply business.

2. Associate a promontory of eastern Greece, a maid, two royals, and explain how they come together in what book or story.

Please submit answers to Buttons by 12 Noon, Wednesday, February 11, 2014.

Weekly Quiz: 2015-6

RESULTS:  Good Quiz!  The mother is Bathsheba; her wise child is Solomon; and the reference is from “The Adventure of the Crooked Man”:  Holmes: “You remember the small affair of Uriah and Bathsheba? My Biblical knowledge is a trifle rusty, I fear, but you will find the story in the first or second of Samuel.”

Those who successfully solved the quiz (in order) are: Patricia Villicrusis “Helena,” Milissa Anderson “Faith,” Margie Deck “Gwen” and Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy,” and Denny Dobry “Kirby.” Well Done All!

You seem to like the slightly esoteric one question quizzes . . . So here is an obscure one for you to solve:

A mom, referred to by Holmes, had a wise child. Provide her name, the name of her child and the story or book where the reference is made. Extra credit for the textual quote.

Please submit answers by noon, Wednesday, February 4th.  Send solution to: buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com

Weekly Quiz 2015: 5 Quiz by Michele Lopez “Reggie”

RESULTS:  Michele Lopez “Reggie” has created a winner!  Lots of positive comments on this week’s quiz. Taking honours were: Denny Dobry “Kirby,” Elinor Gray “Misty” and our Team, Margie Deck “Gwen” and Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy.”  Well done, all!  And “Thank You” Michele for a Canonical Taste of Italy.  Answers here:  2015-5 Weekly Quiz Italy Answers

Sorry, Buttons is a day late . . . Download here:  2015-5 Weekly Quiz Italy

This week’s quiz was created by our Member from Italy and President of Uno Studio in Holmes, Michele Lopez “Reggie.”  Please submit your solutions by noon Wednesday, January 28 to: buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com

Weekly Quiz: 2015 #4

RESULTS:  Michele Lopez, Denny Dobry, Margie Deck and Sheila Holtgrieve all got the usual answer of Paganini, who played on a single E string.  However, Michele Lopez “Reggie” also added the oft-overlooked Canonical reference to Charlie Peace in ILLU. Charlie was a real criminal who appeared on stage with a one-string violin act. He can be found in Tracy’s Encyclodpedia Sherlockiana and in Wikipedia. Congratulations all!

Here is a single question quiz for this week. Please submit answer by Noon Wednesday, January 21, 2015 to buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

Who was a skilled player of the single-stringed violin?

Weekly Quiz 2015:2 Denny Dobry’s “Kirby” Quiz

RESULTS: Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy” and Margie Deck “Gwen” took honors this week, as they usually do. THanks to Denny Dobry “Kirby” for creating the quiz. Anyone else feel up to writing a quiz? Send them to Buttons.

This week’s quiz is written by Quiz Master Denny Dobry “Kirby” of Reading PA. Denny is the two-time Honors holder in the Individual category of The John H Watson International Invitational Canonical Treasure Hunt.

Please submit answers to Buttons by Wednesday noon, January 14, 2015. buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com



Download File: weekl_quiz_15-2_by_kirby_with_answers

Weekly Quiz:  51  The Pawky Puzzler’s Christmas Quiz

This week’s quiz is the Pawky Puzzler’s Christmas Quiz for your Yuletide enjoyment and delectation.  We thank Margie Deck “Gwen,” our intrepid Quiz Maven from the SOBs in Seattle for her fine work in creating this unique and fun quiz. Submit your answers by Christmas Eve, 24 December.

Good Luck to All!  And to All, “The Compliments of the Season!”


Download File

Weekly Quiz 47

RESULTS:  Paul Hartnett “Scout” was first in with all correct solutions.  Ariana Maher “Carla” was also “all correct” and second in.  Congratulations on a tough quiz.  Answers below.

Here is a little quiz that asks you to get inside Doctor Watson’s head and hear his inner thoughts.  The clues are paraphrased, but the actual thoughts of Watson can be deduced from the paraphrasing. Please identify the written text, the book or story and the page number in Doubleday, 1930, The Complete Sherlock Holmes.

Solutions to buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com by noon Wednesday, November 26.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our American colleagues in the Colonies.


Download File

Weekly Quiz 46: A Stumper

Weekly Quiz 46

RESULTS:  First in with the correct answer is Patricia Villicrusis “Helena” with a correct answer for the Honours.  Second in was Team SOB, Margie Deck “Gwen” and Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy” also with a correct solution.  Denny Dobry “Kirby” was third in with another corrrect solution.

The solution was found in VALL, Jean Babtiste Greuze, the French painter, one of whose paintings was owned by Moriarty according to Holmes.  He was buried with immortelles (daisies) on his coffin.  The alternative answer, also correct, was Napoleon who also was buried with immortelles on his coffin and who was referenced when Holmes called Moriarty “The Napoleon of Crime.”

Congratulations on a particularly obscure quiz question.

This week, we give you a stumper:

On this person’s coffin were laid immortelles. Culturally, references to this individual appear in the works of numerous mystery writers and, specifically, in the Canon, where Holmes makes this person’s connection to Moriarty.

Please submit solutions by noon, Wednesday, November 19, 2014 to