Hi All: I’m hesitant to jump in here with all the excitement going on about the BBC trailer, but JHWS received some very kind words today, and I wanted to share them with you. Our amazing Andrea “Asta” Stewart has been busy getting the keepsake treasure hunt awards out to our participants; she is now a customs expert! I have received thanks to Asta and the JHWS team for the keepsakes from Sheila with the SOBs, and from Cliff and Peter with The Bootmakers of Toronto. In his email, Peter provided a copy of an article about the 3rd Annual Treasure Hunt appearing in the fall issue of Canadian Holmes. He gave me permission to print it here as well. Please see below.
By Peter Calamai
Peter Calamai is a frequent contributor to Canadian Holmes and a riddle wrapped in an enigma. He is also a recipient of the Order of Canada.
Diabolical. An overused word but nonetheless an accurate description for many of the 100 questions in the third annual Treasure Hunt, an online Sherlockian quiz conceived by the late Donald R. Libey for the John H. Watson Society. Consider this example:
Of the six, one was missing something the other five had—perhaps for the same reason the owner no longer had a picture. Name the one, what the one did not have, and the owner. (Answer on page 12.)
Contestants had a month to answer such questions using any printed and electronic Sherlockian resources. They could work alone or in teams of up to five. The Bootmakers team consisted of Cliff Goldfarb, Peggy Perdue, Chris Redmond and me. Conferring by email starting August 1, we quickly knocked off about a quarter of the questions in the first week (and those answers proved largely correct). Another quarter fell in the second week. Then we laboriously ground our way along until only seven remained without a definite answer. An hour-and-a-half brainstorming teleconference produced much speculation and slowly more questions got answers . . . of a sort. The last question was answered on deadline day, September 1. Hunt quizmaster Margie Deck – she of a definitely diabolical bent – quickly totted up the entries and posted results on September 3. An excited Goldfarb emailed fellow team members that “we managed a podium finish for Canada against world-class competition.”
With 143 points out of a possible 156, we had tied for Honours with a two-person team from the Sound of the Baskervilles. However, in what Cliff called a Norbury moment, the High Honours, with 153 points, went to a five-person team from Uno Studio in Holmes of Italy competing in their second (or maybe third) language. Three other teams sent in answers, although more began the quiz. Full results, including the Order of Valiant Effort award, are at https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/ Now, if only we’d managed the correct answer to that question above, we’d have garnered three more points. Oh well, there’s always next year, and there’s room for another Bootmakers team member.