The 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt Finals

Announcing the winners of the 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt concocted by Paul Thomas Miller and myself. They are:

Rich Krisciunas, who earned an Honorable Mention for managing to turn in some answers in between attending every Sherlockian society’s Zoom meeting in existence.

Joanna Freeman and Alessandro Mellilo who both reached the “Honours” level with their skilled attempt at solving the unsolvable, and enough “close enough” answers for a virtual tie.

And the big winner, receiving “High Honours” for going beyond all others in his answers of this year’s John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt, is returning champion Michele Lopez!

All four of these hardy souls deserve medals for such an achievement, especially this year, with all the undue strain placed upon us all in normal life. Eventually, they will be receiving some little token of their achievement, depending upon the many factors involved in producing and mailing such tokens during the current state of things. But it will happen!

Here is a link to the answers: https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonican-Answer-Key.pdf

And for your weekly dose of Watsonian Weekly tidbits, along with the reader’s theater production of “Watson’s Lion’s Mane,” here’s a link to our club podcast: https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/

JHWS Meeting September 12th, Stress-free Winners, and MORE

Next Saturday, September 12th at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. the John H. Watson Society meets again! We’ve got a full program, including:

  • Toasts! (Actually assigned ahead so they’ll be better this time!)
  • Show and tell! (Not required, but if you have something cool, show us!)
  • Dr. Watson’s birthday (Come with any month and day you think the good doctor was born and make your case! No established dates need apply!)
  • “The Watsonian Lion’s Mane” (A cast of Watsonian talent will enact a reader’s theater dramedy before your very ears. Sherlock Holmes definitely didn’t give us the full story of what was up in Sussex!)

If you haven’t received a Zoom invitation already for attending in the past, just send a request to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com before Saturday to get in on the fun. (Saturday morning requests for an invitation, sadly, not guaranteed. Meeting mornings are busy ones!)

IN OTHER WATSONIAN HEADLINES

The 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt Stress-Free Winners!

This years winners of the special, take-it-easy, pandemic-stress-reduction part of the Treasure Hunt were Anuj Dutt, Michael Ellis, Roger Johnson, Michele Lopez, Alessandro Mellilo, Naching T. Kassa, Rich Krisciunas, Stefan Guerra, Nancy Holder, and Robert Perret. Their well-deserved winners reward will be headed their way, USPS willing and the creeks don’t rise, around month-end.

As for the winner(s) of the full Watsonicon, those entries are currently being scored and the results will be announced at Saturday’s meeting, and then on this page. (The contenders have initials JF, ML, AM, and RK.)

No team entries this year, and we were using a different e-mail address than normal, so if you think your entry to either the stress-free or the full Watsonicon quiz might not have reached us, we hope you will re-send it to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com . Apologies for any confusion this might have caused.

The Watsonian Weekly remains the greatest weekly John H. Watson podcast on the planet!

Sure, there are Sherlockian podcasts, but a true Watsonian podcast? Get into a new podcast habit, if you’re not there already, for a weekly dose of Watson. You can find it, as always, at Libsyn — https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/ , Apple Podcasts — https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-watsonian-weekly/id1465553726 , or Spotify — https://open.spotify.com/show/23X2gDGeWfsvapGDrZfVQs . If you hear of it anywhere else let us know.

The autumn issue of The Watsonian, currently in the editing stage

Our first issue for 2020 was a beefy boy, looking more like a book than a journal. Did someone say “twice as thick as The Baker Street Journal?” Yes, it was, but to be fair, they come out twice as often, and as most Watsonians know, [Joke deleted for mature content]. Will our fall 2020 issue measure up? Hard to say, but your editorial team is on the job!

Those Watson poems! Halp!

Back when we were fumbling through our first Zoom meeting in early summer, a call went out for Watsonian poetry to fill in as a “221B” to close out our meetings. Due to the chaos of covid summer, we hope we didn’t lose any. Due to come out in the fall issue of The Watsonian before a final poll of what we might use as our new Watsonian meeting closer, we have poems from Sandy Kozinn, Margie Deck, Sheldon Goldfarb, and Robert Perret. If you think we missed yours, or want to be a last-minute addition to that roster of Watson-centered Vincent-Starrett-esque poetry, send it in before Saturday’s meeting!

As always, for all editorial matters featuring The Watsonian, just drop us a line at publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

Time for the JHWS Treasure Hunt Police Boat Chase!

“The cursed greed which has been my besetting sin through life has withheld from her the treasure, half at least of which should have been hers.”

Thaddeus Sholto

Did Thaddeus Sholto create this year’s John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt with the express purpose of keeping Watsonians too confused to find their treasured answers? Does half of that treasure still elude the deserving Morstans of our number, with no Sherlock Holmes on the scene to make matters right . . . though it we may be watching it fall into the river even now?

Well, climb aboard the police boat that Athelney Jones has provided and let’s give chase, even if the stokers have to put pieces of the boat itself into the furnaces. Let’s throw that page 279 of Strand Magazine into the furnace first.

The eight points to come away with are those questions Mary Morstan badgers her poor husband with.

1. “Why, vampires should fill up the very Earth, they’re so prolific! Tell me his name, won’t you?” (It wasn’t Bram Stoker, but another writer, perhaps?)

2. “This fellow has the makings of a proper pirate! Tell me why!” (I think she means Hatherly.)

3. “Because he eventually got fitted with a wooden peg-thumb?”

4. “Speaking of ships, this one plainly had a fleet. Name please!” (Someone with a fleet, I guess.)

4. “If the man with the fleet lived up to his name, which marvelous sequel would his fleet appear in?” (Modern folk do have two names, unlike the fleet guy. And you might need to capitalize a word in that question to fully get the reference.)

5.“How many times do I spread Napoleon III’s cheap alternative to butter?” (Napoleon the third might have invented the generic, but the name brand is what Watson uses.)

6.“Tell me about the seven hour bear, at the very least!” (Someone engaging in a bear-like behavior for seven hours, perhaps?)

7.“Highest paid strumpet in England! Tell me!” (Oh, don’t tell Watson that she walked the pavement!)

8. “Who gave you sixpence and who gave you a farthing? The opium addict on his off day or the drunkard between nips?” (The opium addict gave sixpence, the drunkard the farthing. Somebody with a filthy mind concocted a puzzle based on the location of one of these.)

All of the answers can be found on that page 279 in the image in the hunt, and even with those clues, you may not find it easy, as this part of the hunt was plainly the work of a madman on a deadline, grasping at allusions to history, pop culture, and body parts.

Do we need to stoke the fire with more of the dread Watsonicon?

For “The Adventure of Two Men,” you have to think like Sherlock Holmes. Exactly like  Sherlock Holmes.

“Mystery Missive,” “Bunch of Places,” perhaps those were straightforward?

That “Breakfast Interrogation.” Hmm. Let’s count those out.

“First question. If we applied the canon process thrice, the result from my notes would be six. Can you name the six?” (Six answers, and maybe not the canon you’re thinking of with your canon eyes.)

 “Home alone and the two lovers made a trio. Can you name the three?” (Three answers, a movie reference and two synonyms, maybe?)

 “These other three weren’t snowmen and one was not a man at all. To whom do I refer?” (How many kinds of snowmen are there? These folk weren’t that one kind.)

 “Three who didn’t have to pay a bill?” (There are a couple ways to get out of paying a hotel bill. One always works, but few use it.)

 “Two with the same attorney?” (You can get this one.)

 “I’ve got the 3 R’s, 3M, 3G, and Triple H, yet all are the same subject.

Give me the dozen and the subject!” (Well, it’s not a bakers dozen. The apostrophe in bakers is missing on purpose. When you get the twelve points, the thirteenth point might be something in the same category as “baker.”)

“A lady with a snake unknown to science!” (It’s not an adder.)

 “Both women gave off light, yet their sources were entirely different!” (Two answers, pretty much as described.)

 “Sergius! Gruner! One is an anagram.” (Get in the pool, you’ll figure it out.)

 “Only a superman fears no disease.” (You know a superman, don’t you? Google him if you don’t.)

Is that enough stoking of the furnaces to keep your police boat in the chase? Do we have to break this boat of a JHWS Treasure Hunt up even more? A third of the month left!

The Trouble with Treasure Hunting

As we approach the mid-point of the John H. Watson Society’s annual Treasure Hunt, the question ever rises . . . is it even possible to complete this monstrosity? Can I keep looking at this same set of words and see sense where none has appeared before? Or maybe even, “Hey, I just noticed this! Am I such a Sherlockian prodigy that I can start it now and still show the world what a Watson scholar looks like?”

Perhaps those questions are the hardest ones in the whole Treasure Hunt. But the masters of this year’s hunt have their own question: Did we finally break the spirits of our Treasure Hunters? Are clues needed for some sections? Or has this hunt been mastered by a quiet few who might consider clues unfair to them?

So here’s the solution to our quandry: Clues will be released on August 20 to anything requested (except maybe “The Adventure of the Two Men” . . . oooooh, you’re gonna not enjoy missing the secret answer to that one). If you want to demonstrate a strength of purpose that rises above the need for clues, you can turn what answers you have in before that date and get extra special no-clue credit. (The turn-in address is for this year is still podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com )

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonicon.docx

And in case you just want to take it easy, the the Stress Free version of the Hunt is still available, where you are not only most probably a winner, but also have the potential to gain style points on top of that.

ttps://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-Treasure-Hunt-Stress-Free-Zone.docx

Good luck! And throw us a comment below if there’s a part you especially think clues should be offered on, or if you just want to offer general encouragement to our competitors!

The Watsonian Weekly has all the latest buzz!

The long-awaited report on Holmes-ish hives, which seem better thanks to the care of a Watsonian. A little Canonical commentary on the John H. Watson Society’s annual Treasure hunt, that most prized of wines, and that other “mendi.” Will all this make more sense if you listen to the Watsonian Weekly? Life always does!

Ready for a listen in all the usual spots!

https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/august-10-2020-watsons-b-reel

New date for the next John H. Watson Society Zoom: Saturday, August 15

We’ve had to move the next JHWS online meeting to Saturday, August 15 at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. We’ll be doing the usual toasting, a little show-and-tell, and then discuss what we’d like to see at future meetings: Speakers? Watsonian games? A little reader’s theater? Watsonians can be very creative, so don’t spare the suggestions. Who knows what is possible with this bunch?

If you attended the last meeting, you should already have the Zoom invitation, but if you missed last time and want to get on the list, just write to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com and we’ll make sure you’re invited.

Additional news . . .

If you haven’t at least given the “Stress-Free” portion of the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt a shot, you might want to take a look. For the simplest of quizzes, the answers coming in are getting very creative, and charter bull pup Count has already raised the bar in the part of the competition where it’s not that hard to win, but style points can make you smile. Listen to the Watsonian Weekly for our ongoing list on that side of things.

And for those of you who demand the harder challenge, don’t forget to keep scroller for the full hundred-plus point full JHWS Treasure Hunt, “the Watsonicon” as we’re calling it this year. Glory awaits those who survive, as always. For the Word doc and PDF versions of both sides to the JHWS Treasure Hunt, check out the lines below. Both come to a close on August 31.

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-Treasure-Hunt-Stress-Free-Zone.docx

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-Treasure-Hunt-Stress-Free-Zone.pdf

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonicon.docx

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonicon.pdf

Watsonian Weekly: Watson’s dirty laundry? (Aug. 3, 2020)

The search for Watson’s treasure begin, a cat Watson, a known Parker, an unknown Anderson, a rappin’ Watson, the mystery of how Watson’s clothes were clean, and the clients we really wonder about. Hope his red pants are clean enough for Monday, because it’s here! You can find the Watsonian Weekly thru a few links or podcast services, such as . . .

https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/august-3-2020-watsons-dirty-laundry

On Apple Podcasts at

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-watsonian-weekly/id1465553726

Or now on Spotify!

Alert! Alert! The 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt is here!

Here’s your chance to get in on some Watsonian action, regardless of your time and tolerance level. With everything else in our lives at present, your hunt masters are painfully aware that not all of us need the added stress of hardcore trivia hunting. With that in mind, for 2020, we are offering the most stress-free JHWS Treasure Hunt in the history of the Hunt itself! How stress-free? Just open up this link and the document attached to find “The JHWS Stress Free Zone.”

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-Treasure-Hunt-Stress-Free-Zone.docx

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-Treasure-Hunt-Stress-Free-Zone.pdf

All you need do is complete it, and if e-mailing those answers and your mailing address is a non-stresser, you can know you’re a winner with a special prize coming at the end of the month. Here’s the address to send it to: podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com (the usual address is in limbo at the time of this writing, but that one will work). What sort of prize? The kind that can be mailed as cheaply as possible, but a prize nonetheless! And that makes you a winner.

There are those, of course, who want more than just winning. They want the sort of hardship and strain that pushes one to the limits, and possibly beyond, the sort of effort that might drive a man mad. For the pleasure of those folks, and the word “honours” spelled with a “u,” we are posting a second link, which leads to the Watsonicon of JHW, the collection of tales that his own Literary Agent could not accept from that unknowable place he now dwells. If you find yourself drawn to read those tales, and further still, attempt to record the answers to the questions they pose, you can also submit them by e-mail ( to the aforementioned podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com ) before the Watsonicon of JHW is lost to all those who dared not gaze upon its cryptic text at that prophesied date of August 31, 2020. What happens after that, no one dare say. Answers may be given. Honours may come to many, and others . . . well, we shall see.

Herewith, the links:

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonicon.docx

https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/JHWS-2020-Treasure-Hunt-Watsonicon.pdf

Almost time for the JHWS Treasure Hunt 2020!

With August first comes that time of year we await with assorted levels of Watsonian breath — the annual treasure hunt! As that fateful date nears, here is a little appetizer from a 1986 press release for a certain unfrozen Sherlock TV movie. See if you can do as well as someone thawed out from 1986!

Come on down to Watsontown!

Watsontown, both a state of mind and an actual city in Pennsylvania, and the first of those two is a place you have two chance to go this week: First, in the latest episode of The Watsonian Weekly, which can be found at this link:

https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/july-6-2020-the-lead-bull-pup-pulling-watsons-sled

And second, at our Saturday gathering of the Watsonians on Zoom! (Saturday, July 11 at at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc.) There will be toasts, a song, a little show-and-tell of Watsonian artifacts, and general merriment and delights of a John H. Watson nature. If you haven’t sent for a Zoom invitation yet, just speed off an email to podcast@johnwatsonsociety.com

Last meeting, you may remember that we asked for closing poems to rival Starrett’s classic “221B” but with a John Watson focus. That search for the perfect Watson poem goes on, and we’ll be presenting all of them in the next issue of The Watsonian. If you didn’t get a chance to read yours at the last meeting, or hadn’t written it yet, there’ll be yet another chance this time. Also, be sure to send your poem to publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com .

And, speaking of The Watsonian, the deadline for the fall issue is coming up. Since the pandemic delayed printing of the last issue, we’re going to push back the deadline on this one a couple of weeks to Monday, August 17. Need a writing prompt to get you started? We’re looking for articles and stories related to Watson’s life before he became an army surgeon. Who influenced him? Who broke his heart? Who made him the man we came to know? We know so little of Watson’s past that we’re all dying to hear more, so if you have it, let us read it! (Again, that email address is publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com .)

You might want to start writing now, because the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt is coming up fast as well, and is due to start August 1. It’s a busy Watson summer, as it should be for a doctor in a time of pandemic. Good luck to us all, and keep that brandy at the ready in case John Watson stops by!

A week full of Watsonian reading and listening?

Rumor has it that the spring issue of The Watsonian is finally hitting mailboxes. The editor-in-chief has yet to receive his own copy, so he’s still calling it a “rumor,” but wants to thank all Watsonians for patiently waiting for the latest issue. While the editorial and layout staff got the issue to press as usual, our printers were backed up and slowed down due to coronavirus issues, so this one took a little longer in the works than normal.

If you need a distraction while waiting for the mailman, there’s always the latest episode of The Watsonian Weekly, which you can find at https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/june-29-2020-my-god-its-watson-or-don-hobbs or on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

The Watsonian Weekly is always trying out new things, so you never know what you’ll find there, especially this week. Want to hear kids shouting a quote from “The Man with the Twisted Lip?” Want to hear a Texas collector do an E.T. impression? Want to hear a cheery little ditty about Watson’s marriage? This week’s show has all that and more.

Both The Watsonian and The Watsonian Weekly are always looking for contributors, so send an e-mail to publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com or podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com if you have ideas and want to join in the fun!

Let’s get that pack of bull pups together again!

After our successful first attempt at an actual meeting of Watsonians, you know we have to do it again. Sure, you can attend Zoom meetings for every Sherlock Holmes society on Earth lately, but where else will you find a John H. Watson society gathering?

Saturday, July 11 at at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. — we try to catch as much of the world as we can in our Watsonian net, and like last time, just send an RSVP e-mail to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com for your Zoom invitation.

And you say you can’t wait until July? Well, if you want to hear some Watsonian voices before then, be sure to listen to the latest Watsonian Weekly podcast, which you can find at https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/june-23-2020-watson-or-not-take-a-bull-pup-to-work or on Apple Podcasts where it can drop into you iPhone automatically every week.

The Watsonian Weekly is always looking for fresh voices, by the way, and if you don’t think you can be on a podcast, well, it’s a lot easier than you think. Drop us a line at podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

Before you know it, you, too will be saying . . .

Watsonians have great voices

After last week’s successful Zoom encounter of Watsonians across the world, it seems like a good time to remind everyone of our audio-magazine-style podcast, The Watsonian Weekly. We’ve got some great regulars in Paul Thomas Miller, Robert Perret, and Margie Deck, and some irregulars like Rob Nunn and Elinor Gray’s bees, but we have yet to hit our limits. In other words, now that we’ve heard what great voices Watsonians have, it seemed like a good time to see if any other Watsonians wanted to try their hand at a podcast feature.

We’re taking audio submissions all the time at podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com . The Watsonian Weekly is on the lookout for both one-shots, as well as regular and irregular features. Since we’re to the point where the voice memo feature on a phone can produce a sound file of decent quality, getting a minute or two of yourself on a podcast is easier than you might think.

If you have thoughts, a poem, a bit of prose, news, or anything else related to John H. Watson, give it a try. Sherlockiana isn’t just about print media any more, and as John was always close behind Sherlock, Watsoniana keeps up with its partner as well.

You can hear the podcast by going to our Libsyn link, https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/ , or subscribe on Apple podcasts at https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-watsonian-weekly/id1465553726?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

So, don’t be shy, give a podcast segment a try! Drop a line to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com — we’d be happy to hear from you.

The JHWS Test Lab 2020 closes its experiment

The grand experiment known as the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt May Test Lab came to a close this past Friday with a handful of test subjects completing the full regimen. And here are the results:

Bullpup Mia, Joanna Freeman made an excellent individual effort, finding ten of the fourteen hidden club names without the tale “The Adventure of the Club of Shadows.” The team from the Sound of the Baskervilles, “Annie’s Little Orphans” pushed hard through that part of the test, and got eleven of the fourteen hidden clubs, but made some valiant failed efforts on the three they missed.

Both Joanna and Annie’s Little Orphans answered perfectly on the second quiz type we tested, titled “The Streets that Lead to a Treasure,” a quiz on London streets that led to a secret destination. And in the third part of the experimental quiz, a quiz on just page 520 of The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Joann came up with four answers out of the first seven, the Orphans came up with seven, and in the final tie breaker, everyone tied with the pair of kings that the judges allowed. The attempt by the Orphans to suggest that the phrase “the third bullet” implied a full set of three aces was a nice try, but even if one accepts that a bullet is slang for an ace, a third does not necessarily mean your hand had the other two.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the experiment, or even looked at it and gave up.

If you’d like to see the answers, take a look here:
https://www.johnhwatsonsociety.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/JHWS-2020-Test-Lab-Answers.pdf

The Watsonians meet!

A big thank you to the twenty or so Watsonians who gathered via Zoom today, ranging from western North America all the way to Europe. The format was fairly loose, introductions, followed by toasts, spontaneous show-and-tell, then some nice poetry from four able pens to wind things down. Having seen a full range of Zoom meeting successes and maybe-not-such-successes, the courtesy and attentiveness of our Watsonians was especially notable. We are a very good group.

Now comes the big follow-up question: Do we do this on a regular basis? What do Watsonians do at an ongoing series of meetings? Talks? Games? Just socialize? Also, this one wasn’t recorded at all, just to be forgiving of our first time, but it does open up our podcasting possibilities.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and we’ll see what comes next in our grand Watsonian adventure!

Thanks again, Watsonians!
Bullpup Calder
a.k.a. Brad Keefauver

What’s that? A meeting you say?

Dare we attempt it?

With so many local Sherlockian societies forced into Zoom gatherings by the hated pandemic, the thought occurs that a non-local group could do that very same thing. What has been forced upon others might just be a blessing in disguise for the John H. Watson Society. Can we pull off a remote meeting? What would that even look like?

It’s time to find out.

This Saturday morning, May 16, at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc., the John H. Watson Society will attempt the previously impossible and gather.

For this first trial balloon, we’re only inviting members of the John H. Watson Society, and you can RSVP to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com for a Zoom invitation. Let us know your name, bull pup moniker, and whether or not you’ve done Zoom calls before, so we can make sure you get any extra info you might need to join without problems.  Get your RSVP in by Friday night before you go to bed so we can be sure to get you that invitation by return email.

It will be a fairly simple meeting, being our first attempt. Once we’ve all settled in, had a round of introductions, we’ll have a few traditional toasts (new traditions!) followed by open toasting. (A few lines, if you want to come prepared – nothing of a size that would be published in a journal, please, as we want to get as many in as we can.) After that, well, you might want to be next to your Sherlock stuff. It’s a visual medium, and we might take advantage of that.

And here’s the hardest part, that we’re going to need your help with. So many Sherlockian societies do moments like closing the meeting with Vincent Starrett’s 221B. But we’re a Watsonian society, and, really, don’t you get enough 221B?

So we’re going to start a poem search for the John H. Watson Society’s own poem to use as a closer. If you want to try writing one to enter in the first round of our search, send it along by Friday night to the same email address as your RSVP above. There will be a secret ballot after the meeting to choose a winner for round one, and that winner will move on to take on challengers in future rounds, until one Watsonian poem becomes the alpha poem. (So if at first you don’t succeed, you could still just get your poems published in The Watsonian. This is a win-win-win situation.)

We know this is all last minute, but join us, won’t you? And if you can’t, think kindly thoughts at us, so it goes well enough to become our new Watsonian tradition.

The JHWS Treasure Hunt May Test Lab Results Deadline — May 22

If you’d like to show your Watsonian puzzling skills to the world, this year’s Treasure Hunt Masters will be accepting answers for verification and celebration, with the most complete entries to be announced both here and on the Watsonian Weekly over Memorial Day weekend. To enter for your chance at this acclaim, just send your answers or comments to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com by Friday, May 22, 2020, then look for the results, the answers, and any conclusions we reach about our testing of these new puzzle forms. (You can also comment right here, as well.)

Good luck!

The JHWS 2020 Treasure Hunt May Test Lab

Here they are, three experiments in the science (or art) of Watsonian quizzery from your 2020 Treasure Hunt Masters, bull pups Buck and Calder. Good luck!

Like hidden treasure, the names of fourteen clubs or societies have been buried in the following tale. Find them collect all the booty in this part of the hunt!

The Adventure of the Club of Shadows

By John H. Watson, M.D.

“I’ve solved it!” I exclaimed over breakfast, one fine autumn morning as Sherlock Holmes gave a bald wince.

“The mystery of the fourth race at Sandown Park?” my friend asked with a wry smile. “I have a pair of clients coming up shortly, and I had hoped your were saving your mental faculties to hear their case.”

“No, no,” I corrected. “I was trying to choose a caviar to treat Mary to when I take her to supper tomorrow evening.”

“The beluga or the salmon? No, wait . . . you’re going to go osetra, aren’t you?” He dropped the morning paper on the rug by the hearth. “You saw your club friends yesterday, Bell, Crick, etc., and I recall that the Romanian . . . what is his name?”

“Cavend. I should ask what region that originated in,” I replied.

“Ah, yes. The liar. No matter, I remembered . . . .”  my friend was interrupted by a frantic knock at the door to our sitting room.

“The clients!” Holmes announced. “And from Mrs. Hudson’s knock, I would guess she is anxious to be rid of them. Come in! Come in!”

The door opened and in rushed two of the strangest characters we had ever seen invade our rooms. The first looked like a chorus member from a cheap-ticket production of The Pirates of Penzance where the costumer mixed up pirates with Welsh vagabonds. The second was an obvious academic, with a notebook and two mouldering tomes under one arm.

“Shoo must halp us!” the former cried out immediately. “Da rules! Da foe boss bans soooo much! Da nite ban, da hoos ban, da keyu ban – we are allowed no thang!”

“Perhaps my friend does not speak as precisely as one might wish,” the other said. “But he expresses our problem quite well. Our membership has been infiltrated by some hidden element that has taken control. Some thing hunted him within the walls of our own club. Someone kidnapped his children, and now he is charged like a spun ion, an angry volt, a radiant ethericle.”

“YAIS! YAIS! Shoo halp! Shoo end haunting! Shoo free ma sons!” The more colorful member of the pair gesticulated wildly.

“He was hunted, you say?” Holmes’s eyes had lit up with interest.

“He was not the only one. An occulist barely escaped a stalker, and the predator did manage to bag a teller from Capital and Counties! I myself have considered emigrating to America, where my French friend DuLeche has settle in the new city of Phoenix with Vicomte Morcar! Bon Arizona! These shadow-men filling our club are making life tres impossible!”

“Da foe boss ban whist! He ban rummy! He ban skat!”

“Ingenues have been admitted! The chef has been instructed to serve recipes no one has heard of! Coq au prune! Curried cabbage! Mustang loin Diana! Baked Virginia! It is an unsustainable environment for gentlemen!” The two men seemed to be raising each other’s level of agitation with each back-and-forth.

Sherlock Holmes raised a hand, holding his palm visible until they calmed enough for him to speak.

“I fully understand, gentlemen. You may trust that I will have this matter solved by the time you awake tomorrow morn.”

“Thenk yoo! Thenk yoo!”

“Yes, thank you, Mr. Holmes! We’ll look forward to tomorrow’s resolution!”

“Good-bye then,” said Holmes as he showed them the door. “And trying dining somewhere else this evening. Simpson’s is excellent.”

When we had heard them descend the seventeen steps and exit the house’s front door, Holmes smiled and picked up the paper from the rug where he had dropped it.

“Have you not found a way to keep those madmen from showing up every few weeks?” I asked him.

“A good night’s sleep always clears up whatever delusions they have built up,” my friend replied. “Let us get back to more urgent matters.  I believe Mycroft has a very discreet connection to more local sturgeons, and, given a good reason, such as your recent engagement, I believe I can persuade him to use it.”

“If you are invited . . .”

“If I am invited.”

And so ended the matter of the club of shadows, which would one day be recorded as a sort of “fan fiction” featuring the thespian Robert Downey the second’s portrayal of my friend. The fourth Mrs. Watson has always questioned the quality of the tale, to which I always reply, “It’s a Watson on par, Eilleen, it’s a Watson on par.”

————————————————————–

Every good treasure hunt needs a map, and you might need one too! In the following exercise, you need to be able to identify the streets, and then follow them to your final answer.

The Streets That Lead To A Treasure

PART 1

Find the roads.

A – Where an angel worked.

B – Where the Dutch have fake bottoms.

C – Where a gusty financial establishment works.

D – Where the tea merchant is.

E – Where Holmes swiftly turned into an alley.

F – Not Harley Street.

G – Where a van dashed.

H – Where Watson dispatched a telegram.

I – The origin of a doctor’s cigarette.

J – A crossing, two horses and a flash.

K – His own rooms.

L – After the doctors’ 25 cents.

M – Aroma ogre (anag.) comes from here.

N – The quarters where one must set up in one of twelve streets.

PART 2

Use Part 1 and the directions below to find a place.

1:

·   Start where A meets the first appearance of The Ring of Thoth

·   Travel along A to B

·   Follow B to C

·   Walk to D and stop.

2:

·   Start at the intersection of E and F

·   Follow E all the way down to G

·   Follow G to H

·   Follow H to be back in line with F

·   From here got to I

·   Go along to G and stop.

3:

·   Start at the junction of J and K

·   Go along K to L.

·   Go along L to H.

·   Go along H to J

·   Go along H to M and stop.

4:

·   Start at the corner of K and M

·   Go along M to N

·   Go along N until you cross your own path and then stop.

Combining all four routes, where are you?

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A single page of the Sherlockian Canon can lead you to gold and gems. Don’t worry if you don’t have the particular volume, the words are nearly always the same and there’s a look of this particular page after the questions so you can make sure you’re on the right trail.

A brief segment based entirely on page 520 of the Doubleday Complete based entirely on data found outside the Canon and not at all fair for anyone but the writers.

1. If this was set in 1987 and a predecessor to Elementary, what second member of “the Agency” would we surely expect to see on the next page.

2. We all remember Sherlock Holmes bending an iron poker in “Speckled Band.” But what evidence of his incredible strength do we see presented on page 520?

3. Who on this page was plainly done watching the films of Tommy Wiseau, even though Watson plainly hadn’t heard of one?

4. If Irene Adler were more like Elsie Cubitt, Watson might have done some damage. Why?

5. The help had to be drinking for everyone there to know their disdain for this Mary Steenburgen film they had been watching in their room so quickly. What was the film?

6. Of course the Norfolk official wanted to go into the garden. His greatest non-Canonical case involved a gang that hung out in such places in Croatia. Name the case.

7. The evidence of Sasquatch in this case?

8. Make the best poker hand you can from this page.

The John H. Watson Society 2020 Treasure Hunt’s May Trials!

Here at the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt Testing Laboratories, our top sciontists are currently working hard on this summer’s August release of the 2020 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt.

Due to the wildly innovative nature of the experimentation being performed at JHWSTH Testing Labs, researchers Paul Thomas Miller and Brad Keefauver have decided upon some spring human trials to see just how far they can go in what might be the strangest JHWS Treasure Hunt ever.

May 1st will mark the beginning of this testing, which is expected to run two weeks before any conclusions are reached as to whether our new methods and experimental quiz forms will be viable for the full 2020 JHWS Treasure Hunt. You will want to be mentally prepared, so we are giving you this advance notice.

FRIDAY! FRIDAY! FRIDAY!

JHWS Treasure Hunt test run!

Are you Sherlockianly strong enough to handle what might very well be the Radix Pedis Diaboli of quizzing? Watch this spot and find out!

Got a Little Watson to Get Out of Your System?

Make 2020 your Year of the Watson! Here are a few upcoming opportunities to take advantage of.

Watsonian Opportunity One:

The spring 2020 issue of The Watsonian is coming up, with a submission deadline that ends pretty much when January does. We’re looking for all of those things that look good in print, whether it’s fiction, scholarship, art, poetry, especially featuring John H. Watson and that friend of his. And for spring 2020, we’re also looking to feature any of those non-Sherlock friends of Watson, from the well-known to the obscure. Send your Watsonian work to publisher@johnhwatsonsociety.com .

Watsonian Opportunity Two:

The second season of the world’s only John H. Watson centered podcast, The Watsonian Weekly has begun, and with the first annual Watsonian Weekly Watson Awards just finished, 2020 could head some new and fun directions with Mondays to come. What directions might those be? Like Dr. Watson himself, you’ll just have to come along and find out.

New features will be popping up all the time, and you could be a part! The Watsonian Weekly welcomes new voices of all vocal ranges and accents, especially if you don’t think you have a voice for podcasting. (Have you ever heard the McElroy brothers? Those were not voices anyone would have picked for broadcast, and they’re very beloved podcasters.) Give it a try.

Words on Watson, your favorite Watson, how you’re like Watson, a good reading of a Watson quote – if you have a phone or other device you can send an e-mail-able voice memo or other sound file from, give it a try and send the result to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com . The more the merrier when it comes to the good doctor, audio toasting, brief interviews, or whatever else might fit on a Watsonian podcast magazine. Your voice does not sound nearly so bad as you think it does!

Watsonian Opportunity Three:

Yes, August and the Eighth Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt is a long ways off, but it’s never too early to recruit some choice team-mates. This year’s Treasure Hunt Masters will be Paul Thomas Miller and Brad Keefauver, so you can bet this is going to be one of the most off-the-wall challenges ever. (And there might even be a couple of pop-up trivia events along the way, when and were you least expect them.)

2020 is a larger number for a year than any Watsonian has ever experienced, and while it’s not the 22nd Century just yet, the future of John H. Watson is here! Whip out that well-hidden Watsonian wonder within, and let’s wander Watson’s world!