The Open International Competition of the Treasure Hunt Won by the Team from France!

The Society is pleased to announce the winners of the Open International Competition of the First Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt:

Team France of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France.

Their team consisted of M. Thierry Saint-Joanis and M. Alexis Barquin, who are both leaders of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France and maintain the very valuable website Sherlockian Who’s Who found at the following web address:

This skilled and knowledgeable team answered an amazing number of the 100 difficult questions, and did so without the use of the edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes specified in the Treasure Hunt and to which all page number references were keyed.  Essentially, they were working from memory. Formidable!

Congratulations to the first International Team winners!

The Answer Key to the First Canonical Treasure Hunt has now been posted on the Treasure Hunt Page.

Treasure Hunt Winners!

The 2013 First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt was a success!

Many of our members (and many non-members) have reported that it was “fiendishly difficult,” “maddeningly hard,” and “just plain tough.” There were 100 questions, linked, requiring the solver to work from question 1 through to question 100 in order to arrive at the identification of the Ultimate Treasure. The devisers of the Treasure Hunt believe that it may be the most difficult quiz ever set in Watsonian and Sherlockian history.

Participants were given one month to complete the Treasure Hunt and the winners were determined by the number of correct answers, the date and time of submission of the answers, and the correct solution to the final Ultimate Treasure.

Were are delighted to announce that we have winners! There are members and non-members who persevered and found their way to the solution.

The 2013 winners of the First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt  are:

Open Team Competition:

The team consisting of Society Members from Seattle’s Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s) who scored a perfect 100 on the very difficult questions. Their team consists of:

Stephen Adkins, JHWS “Alfie”
Margie Deck, JHWS “Gwen”
David Haugen
Sheila Holtgrieve, JHWS “Daisy”
Allen Nelson, JHWS “tbn”
Margaret Nelson,  JHWS “tbn”

Congratulations to Team SOB’s on their scholarship, teamwork and their perseverance. They report having logged hundreds of hours during the month-long Treasure Hunt. They also competed entirely for the fun and joy and specifically requested that they be awarded no prize. Instead, the Society has awarded two-year Charter Memberships to the team non-members as a token of its respect and admiration and to joyfully obtain four new members who are dynamite quizzers. The team will defend in the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt scheduled for June 2014.

Open Individual Competition:

Working entirely alone and finally completing the Treasure Hunt just as his wife was preparing to pack his bags for him after twenty-three days of Treasure Hunt obsession, and as his grandchildren were constantly questioning “What in the world is wrong with Pop?” our intrepid Society member Denny Dobry, JHWS “Kirby,” who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania and is the  Current Gasogene of the White Rose Irregulars of York, took Open Individual honours with a score of  98 correct answers. Denny even managed to find numerous alternative, accurate answers to questions that Buttons overlooked. Congratulations to “Kirby” on a job well done. He wins the Treasure Hunt Prize, a British First Edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes donated by an anonymous member.

The Open Student Competition attracted no entries. We would encourage all Society members to “adopt a student for the Canon” and encourage participation in next year’s Treasure Hunt.

The Open Team International Competition has been extended to 9 September 2013 and a winner will be announced if the correct entry is received.

The answers to the 2013 Treasure Hunt will be added to the Treasure Hunt page on 9 September 2013 when the competition is officially closed.

Congratulations to all who participated, those who tried, those who persevered, and those who achieved success. Next year, the Treasure Hunt will be revised and a focus on teams as well as inter-Canonical organization competition will be strengthened. And . . . It will be even more difficult!

Please watch for announcements of the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt over the months ahead. Also, please watch in the next month for an announcement of a major new event being sponsored by our Society that will involve the entire Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world!  This is going to be VERY exciting!

And now . . . after a long labour . . . perhaps Buttons shall have a steak and kidney pie and a pint of best bitter . . . or two . . . .

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is Closed. The 2014 Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is closed. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, 4 September 2013 on this Blog page. The International category will remain open until 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific) and the winner of the International category will be announced here shortly thereafter.

The 2014 John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2014 Treasure Hunt will have slight changes and will shift focus towards open individual and team participation and competition from scion clubs and organisations worldwide. Society members, individuals and teams will find a detailed explanation of the 2014 Treasure Hunt on the Treasure Hunt Page of the website.

We encourage preparation and assembling of resources for the next John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt which we promise will be as difficult as the 2013 edition. We also are announcing new collectible awards in lieu of tangible prizes.


A very positive development has come to our attention. Our esteemed colleagues in France, The Sherlock Holmes Society of France, have been working on the Treasure Hunt. They had to order reference materials from the United States and these have taken significant time to receive. They are nearing completion, but have requested an extension of the deadline.Buttons has not extended the deadline, as one cannot change the rules after the fact. However, Buttons has created a new category, the International category, and has given a one week extension for that category  to 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific).

This benefits The John H Watson Society in a number of ways:

1. It gives us international exposure and the opportunity to shift our annual Treasure Hunt into a worldwide experience beginning in 2014.

2. It gives us the privilege of building a bond with one of the largest, oldest and most respected Sherlockian societies in the world:  La Société Sherlock Holmes de France .

3. It allows us to expand the awareness of the John H Watson Annual Treasure Hunt to many more people and clubs in order to make it an even more meaningful measure of global scholarship and Canonical knowledge.

4. It supports the evidence from this year’s inaugural John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt that the Society will benefit from shifting its Treasure Hunt focus slightly to include inter-scion and inter-club competition, as well as individuals. Everyone benefits when the base is broadened to include more people and more organisations; it’s a win-win-win.

Therefore, having made a unilateral decision for the benefit of the Society, Buttons will not post the answers to the Treasure Hunt until 9 September 2013. The winners of the Members and other categories will be announced as scheduled on Thursday, 4 September 2013. The new International category will be announced on 9 September 2013.

Buttons sincerely hopes this has the approval and support of the Members. The guiding thoughts are, as always, fairness and inclusion, all in support of the integrity, reputation, and expansion of the Society and its aims.

Treasure Hunt ends Monday, September 2

At 12 Noon (Pacific) on Monday, September 2, 2013 the Treasure Hunt will end. All entries will then be scored and evaluated for the number of correct answers and the time and date submitted. Winners will be announced on the Blog Page and on the Treasure Hunt Page on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

Five Days to the End of the Treasure Hunt

All answers to the Canonical Treasure Hunt must be received by email to by 12 Noon (Pacific Time) on Monday 2 September 2013 to be eligible for the prizes.  The winners in each category will be determined by the total number of correct answers and the time received.

Late Treasure Hunt Correction!!!

Question #45 reads  ” What is the fourth word in the last line but one?”  This should read the FIFTH word.  Here is the correct revised question:

Using the year in #44, reverse the last three digits, and go there in “W”.’
Add together the number of letters in every appearance of a surname on
the page; average that sum to the third digit; Go to that page number. What
is the fifth word in the last line but one? Define.

Buttons tenders his profound regrets, especially after ten proof readings.