Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Lucy’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

We were lucky to have Elise Elliot join our ranks this past year.  Her excellent book reviews are a welcome addition to our site.  I am delighted to share Elise’s interview; I think you will enjoy reading it.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

————-

1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Elise Elliot, ‘Lucy’

2. Current (city,state, country) location—

Columbus, OH

3. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

I found the stories when I was twelve, during a bout of insomnia that lasted for almost a week.  I picked the biggest book I could find from the library to keep me company during the night, and that happened to be the complete collection of canon.  I’ve been a fan ever since.

As for Watson, I will admit that it took me a little longer to come around to the Good Doctor’s virtues.  That happened in the past seven years or so, when I was twenty-one.  We thank Bert Coules’ radio adaptations for that revelation.

4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Is it cheating to have a few?  Probably… REGI, ILLU, and DEVI.  There are great friendship moments in all of them, and in the latter two, wonderful depictions of compassion from Holmes and Watson, as well as a focus on what justice means to them.

5. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”

6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Kitty Winter.  I confess an immense sympathy for her, a woman who found no justice in the justice system and so took her own revenge.  I’m endlessly fascinated by what made her finally break, and how Holmes and Watson treated and viewed her.  I think she would be an extremely interesting person to meet, and I’d like to hear her life story, from her.  The story also indicates that she received a relatively light sentence, and I want to know what she does afterwards.

7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

So many!  I love adaptations, and what they choose to keep, what they choose to discard, what they highlight, etc.  I love Elementary and would be thrilled if more Holmesians and Watsonians would watch it- they highlight different aspects of the characters that sometimes aren’t as obvious in other adaptations.  The radio dramas by Bert Coules, both the complete canon and the original stories; Merrison and Williams, and then Sachs, are as close to canon as it comes for me.  I also have thoroughly enjoyed both of Sheldon Reynolds’ takes on the characters, the 1954 series starring Ronald Howard as Holmes and H. Marion Crawford as Watson, and then the 1979 series starring Geoffrey Whitehead as Holmes and Donald Pickering as Watson.  Those series are a comfort watch for me; I like to watch them on stormy, gloomy days.

8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Unfortunately, no.  I work in theatre, and much of my spare time is eaten up by that.  I want to join one someday, but that won’t happen until I slow down a little!

9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I have been having a blast writing book reviews for the John H Watson Society website!  I love reading pastiches, and it’s been so great to take that passion and transform it into something potentially useful for others.

I am a freelance copy editor as well, and recently began working with some Holmesian authors, looking over their work before it goes to print.  It has been an honor to be trusted with their work, as well as a fun challenge.

10. If you had a magic wand, and could add, subtract, or change anything in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

You know all those adaptations that have been lost to time?  And all those adaptations that only available in certain countries because of Region differences in DVDs and the like?  I want ALL of those adaptations in my eyeballs.  I want them on my shelves.  I want to be able to see them all the time, and none to have ever been lost or made unavailable.

‘I’m glad you liked my potato.’ Contest results & silliness for a good cause

Hi Watsonians–

As it is now March 1, February has come and gone, and it is time for the final tally of the ‘I’m glad you liked my potato.’ contest between Beth (JHWS ‘SelenaButtons’) and myself.  As expected, Beth has won handily, 8-3.  She was able to process renewals for eight society members during February, and I collected three interviews for the Friend & Biographer series.  I will not be eating any potatoes in March, as I intend to honor the bet. [I see cauliflower and leeks in my future.]

Thanks for your patience with all this silliness; we had some fun with it while bringing attention to the need for Watsonians to renew their memberships.  The Friend & Biographer series is an enjoyable extra but only memberships make the society, this website, and our journal possible.

If your membership is expired, or will lapse during 2017, please consider renewing now in the shop. If you are unsure about your expiration date, it can be easily found on the membership tab. If you have questions about renewing, please email “Selena Buttons”.

I hope to continue the Friend & Biographer series.  I am reaching out to society members by email to participate. If you are interested, please feel free to answer these questions, and email them to me.

Thanks!

Margie/ JHWS Mopsy

 

 

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Jasper’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

I hope you enjoy our interview with Canadian author and editor Charles Prepolec.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name, with bull pup moniker—

Charles Prepolec / ‘Jasper’

2. Current location—

Calgary, AB, Canada

3.How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Roughly 30 years.

4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

The Sign of Four

5.What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”

6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Easy. JHW himself. I’d very much like to know why he felt the need to report the less than kind comments Holmes made about his observational failings. Surely some judicious self-editing would have been in order.

7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

The Granada television adaption of ‘The Sign of Four’ is to me the single best television/film adaptation of any of Watson’s stories. Period. Full stop. The only elements that could have improved it were if David Burke had played Watson and if Watson had ‘got the girl’ as he did in the Canon.

8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Since 1987 I’ve enjoyed attending meetings of our local Calgary scion society The Singular Society of the Baker Street Dozen, however the group has fallen into limbo within the last year and is now on indefinite hiatus.

9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

In 2016 I was a guest speaker at The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes Triennial Conference in Minneapolis, contributed an essay on ‘The Sign of Four’ to Chris Redmond’s wonderful non-fiction ‘About Sixty’ anthology, as well as a foreword to the first US release of the ‘Sherlock Holmes: Dark Detective’ graphic novel for Caliber Comics.  As of November 2016, I’ve begun work on editing my 4th professional anthology of new Sherlock Holmes/horror stories – Gaslight Gothic: Eerie Tales of Sherlock Holmes – for Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing for release in 2018.  Last, but certainly not least, on January 6, 2017 I received the Investiture of “The Man with the Twisted Lip” in The Baker Street Irregulars.

10. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

Hmm, tough call, but I think I’d like to see less criticism or discussion of media adaptations, or new material, whether of screen, stage, radio or in pastiches, that leads anyone to use ‘…but that’s not the canonical Holmes…’ or ‘…that wasn’t the author’s original intent…’ as the basis of their argument. One is an invalid argument, as there is no objectively right or wrong interpretation of the characters or stories, since we each bring our own very subjective experiences to our reading of a text; and the second is simply irrelevant as it isn’t the writer or creator who determines the success or failure of a work, but the audience who interprets it on their own respective terms.  I suppose what I’m naively asking for, and it applies not just to the Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, is that we all strive for greater patience, respect and understanding when encountering viewpoints different from our own.

‘I’m Glad You Like My Potato’ Membership Contest Update – The Final Stretch

Hello Watsonians,

Those of you who have been following along here know that Beth (‘Selena Buttons’) and I are competing in a membership contest for the month of February. With a few days remaining in the month, Beth has a commanding lead, 6-2, and I’m going down like a …um…sack of potatoes. [Sorry for the bad pun.] Unless something amazing happens, I will lose this contest.

In case you missed it, Beth is tasked with processing no fewer than eight renewed memberships during February, and I am tasked with obtaining interview information for the Friend & Biographer Series for no fewer than eight society members. The loser must give up eating potatoes for the month of March.

To give me a fighting chance, please consider completing a Friend & Biographer Series interview; answer these questions, and email them to me. If you prefer, I am happy to put the questions into an email to you so you can simply reply, or I can send the questions to you as a Word doc or a .pdf.

If your membership is expired, or will lapse during 2017, you can help Beth make it a rout by renewing now in the shop. If you are unsure about your expiration date, it can be easily found on the membership tab. If you have questions about renewing, please email “Selena Buttons”.

I am asking for a reprieve. Perhaps our society members are like the good Dr. Watson: “Watson you are a British jury, and I never met a man more eminently fitted to represent one.”

Hoping for the best,
Margie / JHWS ‘Mopsy’

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Chips’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

The interview today is with one of the best friends of the JHWS:  Ron Lies of Colorado.  Our society is certainly enriched by his On This Day feature, and by the warmth of his friendship.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Ron Lies, ‘Chips’

  1. Current (city,state, country) location—

Denver, Colorado, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

About 56 years. I read my first story at 12 years old and was transported into the world of 1895. The cases, the characters, in particular Dr. Watson attracted me. Holmes was not comfortable to me: I saw but I did not observe. Dr. Watson was the example of who I thought I was.

  1.   Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Of the long stories, The Sign of Four. Of the short stories, The Veiled Lodger.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

The Game is Afoot. It became the signal to me to be able to leave where I was and go to where I could lose myself and be involved where I felt I belonged.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Dr. Watson. I want to try to find out how daily life was in the flat. The information that Watson left out the published cases and of course the unpublished cases.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

No, The printed Cannon has never disappointed me.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

The Out Patients group of Doctor Watson’s Neglected Patients in Denver Colorado. We meet the first Sunday of the month to study for a quiz on one of the cases from the Canon. And to catch up with other members of our group  on matters both Sherlockian from books to movies to TV shows and everything in between and beyond in our “outside lives.”

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

A paper on how many times Holmes complimented Watson to prove that Holmes really cared for Watson as his closest, intelligent friend and companion, not just a biographer or in Arthur Conan Doyle’s terrible description of Watson “As Holmes’s rather Stupid Friend”

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

The attitude that everyone’s particular group or interest is the only one worth having. Allow every one’s view and interest the same respect you would like your opinion to be treated.

 

‘I’m glad you like my potato’ Contest Weekly Update

Hello Watsonians,

As you know from our contest post last week, Beth/ ‘Selena Buttons’ and I are in the throes of a membership contest this month.  Beth is tasked with processing no fewer than eight renewed memberships during February, and I am tasked with obtaining interview information for the Friend & Biographer Series  for no fewer than eight society members.  The first week of the contest is over, and Beth is ahead of me, 3-2.  The loser must give up eating potatoes for the month of March; I’m getting anxious thinking about it.

To help me catch up, please consider completing a Friend & Biographer Series  interview; answer these questions, and email them to me. If you prefer, I am happy to put the questions into an email to you so you can simply reply, or I can send the questions to you as a Word doc or a .pdf.

If your membership is expired, or will lapse during 2017, you can help Beth increase her lead by renewing now in the shop. If you are unsure about your expiration date, it can be easily found on the membership tab. If you have questions about renewing, please email “Selena Buttons”.

Although my doctor might think it is a good idea, I really do not want to give up potatoes for the month of March.  Help?
Margie / JHWS ‘Mopsy’

‘I Am Glad You Liked My Potato’ Membership Contest

A bit of silliness for a good purpose—

Hello Watsonians!

For those of you regularly following these pages, you know our Beth, JHWS “Selena Buttons”, has been busy tidying up the society membership roster, contacting everyone whose membership has expired or is about to lapse, and processing new memberships. In the same time period, I have been collecting the interview material for the Friend & Biographer Series—a new feature I hope you are enjoying. As we have worked together, we have discussed the difficulties of focusing on these small labors of love at a time of chaotic global events and uncertainty. A few days ago, however, Beth came across something that helped us in our thinking.

Trudy Holtz, JHWS “Cookie”, shared a tweet from Emily Yahr, who had transcribed something NPR Pop Culture Happy Hour host Linda Holmes said about how pop culture fits into the world, using the potato farming sequences in The Martian as a metaphor.

We realized the work of The John H Watson Society is good potatoes. And, as it turns out, we are both very competitive people (see the Treasure Hunt results page!) and avid potato eaters. As you have probably already guessed: a competition is at hand, with the loser landing in the sad position of giving up eating potatoes for the month of March.

Beth is tasked with processing no fewer than eight renewed memberships during February, and I am tasked with obtaining interview information for no fewer than eight society members. Obviously, the first to reach eight wins. Simple enough, but we need your help.  Please help me more!

[Just kidding about that last bit. Mostly.]

If your membership is expired, or will lapse during 2017, please consider renewing now in the shop. If you are unsure about your expiration date, it can be easily found on the membership tab. If you have questions about renewing, please email “Selena Buttons”. She can also be reached through the Society Twitter, @jhwatsonsoc, or her personal Twitter, @plexippa.

To participate in the Friends & Biographer series, please answer these questions, and email them to me. If you prefer, I am happy to put the questions into an email to you so you can simply reply, or I can send the questions to you as a Word doc or a .pdf. I can also be reached on Twitter, @pawkypuzzler.

Many thanks in advance for your help!

This odd little game is now afoot,
Margie / JHWS ‘Mopsy’

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Lily’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Please enjoy our chat with Wildside Press publishing director Carla Coupe of Maryland.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mospy’

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Carla Coupe/Lily

  1. Current (city,state, country) location—

New Market, Maryland

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Since I was around ten and reading the Canon for the first time. The good doctor always impressed me with his kindness, readiness to provide a gun or other weapon (as necessary), and good-humored (on the whole) acceptance of Holmes’s peculiarities as well as his abilities.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

HOUN. It appeals to the wild, Gothic elements in my soul!

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

There are so many, but first place always goes to “Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” It still sends chills up my spine.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Mrs. Hudson. She would know all of Holmes and Watson’s little secrets!

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

Generally I can find something to admire about most adaptations, but my favorites are the Rathbone films, Jeremy Brett’s TV series, the Big Finish audio adaptations, and [Lyndsay] Faye’s pastiche “Dust and Shadow.”

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Yes, I’m a member of Watson’s Tin Box, The Red Circle of DC, the Diogenes Club of the District of Columbia, and the Sherlockians of Baltimore. I hope to add more soon.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I’m on the ConCom for Scintillation of Scions, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this spring. We’re planning a riotous good time for all, and would love to have new attendees as well as our regulars. Personally, I have a pastiche, “The Case of the Missing Archaeologist,” in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #21, and will have another, “The Case of the Plummeting Painter” in a future volume edited by David Marcum.

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

We need the invention of transporters so we can attend distant meetings and see our friends from all over the world without breaking our budgets!

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Sampson’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today marks the second post in our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Please say hello to Robert Perret in the great state of Idaho.  As he notes, he is currently the only JHWS member residing in Idaho.

Enjoy,

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

 

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Robert Perret / ‘Sampson’

  1. Current (city,state,country) location—

Troy, Idaho, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

The first memory I have of reading the good Doctor’s reminiscences was in high school back in the early 1990’s.  The school library had some sort of complete collection (Doubleday?) in that classic (to me, anyway) mid-century chocolate brown library binding.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

I have about 60, but if forced to pick I would say The Sign of the Four is the ultimate Holmes adventure for me.  It has mystery, detection, deduction, exoticism, elements of the grotesque and even a boat chase.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

I would like to speak with the majordomo of the Diogenes Club.  I’m sure he knows a few things even Mycroft is unaware of!

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

I love the Granada series, of course, and my mental Holmes is Basil Rathbone, but my personal favorites might just be the Robert Downey Jr. films.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

I wish I did.  My claim to fame is being the only known (to me) Sherlockian in Idaho.  I hope to be able to pop into someone else’s meeting someday when I am travelling.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I have a few pastiches published that you can find out more about at robertperret.com.  I also recently read every issue of the Baker Street Journal that is on the CD-ROM as part of a citation analysis that will hopefully be published soon.

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I still see a divide between the old guard and new Sherlockians.  As someone who sits between them both age-wise and interest-wise I would like to see more harmony betwixt all Sherlockians everywhere.

 

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Leo’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today marks the first post in a new series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.  The series will run on a varying schedule as time and participation permit.

Please see below for the interview with our Texas friend, Stu Nelan.

Enjoy!

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Stuart Nelan, ‘Leo’

  1. Current (city, state, country) location—

Melissa, Texas, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Over 50 years.  I discovered the Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson stories before high school and read some of them, and then was delighted to find the Doubleday book of the complete adventures after graduating college and moving to Dallas.

Shortly thereafter, there was an article in the local newspaper about the BSI, giving contact information for John Bennet Shaw.  I mailed him a letter asking about joining, and he kindly replied suggesting that I join the local group and gave me the name.

I took me 15 years to follow up on that, but I eventually did and the rest is history.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Without a doubt, The Blue Carbuncle is my favorite!  It is such a nice Christmas story, and as Christopher Morley put it “a Christmas story without slush”.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession”, from The Valley of Fear.   My career is in software development and support, and this quote reminds me of one of the big pitfalls in my work.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Dr. Watson, of course!  Holmes might be the more knowledgeable of the two, but as a dinner companion, for instance, Watson would be the obvious choice with his repertoire of stories and ability to tell them to entertain his audience.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

Each one has its plusses and minuses, I guess, but overall I would have to go with the Basil Rathbone movies – they are the ones that I go to when I’m looking for a Sherlockian movie.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

The Crew of the Barque Lone Star meets on the first Sunday of each month in Addison (a suburb of Dallas).  All are welcome to join us!

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

BSI Weekend is coming up, and I am looking forward to going and seeing old (and young) Sherlockian friends again!

Greetings from SHSI

Hello Watsonians!

We were fortunate to hear from our friends at the Sherlock Holmes Society of India this past week concerning the publication of the latest edition of the SHSI electronic magazine.  The magazine is available free of charge, and is a treasure trove of information.

Jay, leader of the SHSI team in the most recent JHWS Treasure Hunt, passed along this note:

Thought you might want to see the new issue of our e-magazine! http://www.sherlockholmessociety.in/2016/12/proceedings-of-pondicherry-lodge-winter.html

Cheers
Jay

SHSI Editors

Proceedings of the Pondicherry Lodge
If you have not seen the magazine before, you are in for a treat.  If you have, then you know what a fantastic publication it is.  I hope you have opportunity to check it out.
Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’
PS: I have written to you many times before as JHWS ‘Gwen’ but, as you know, the names of pups sometimes evolve into something else entirely after awhile. I have evolved into ‘Mopsy’.  I once knew a sweet heart of a Great Dane who evolved from ‘Julius Caesar’ to ‘Big Boy’ in just a matter of months.  After a year or two, no one ever remembered his original name. It happens.  🙂

Treasure Hunt Keepsakes and Thank Yous

Hello Watsonians!

I have received many nice notes concerning the keepsakes sent to the  4th Annual Treasure Hunt participants.  Thank you all for your kind words. I’m glad to hear you like them.  I think our ‘Asta’ might have needed a shot of the doctor’s brandy after posting the keepsakes over four continents!

SelenaButtons posted a great quiz recently to keep our quizzing skills sharp, and I will be dropping in from time to time with a single question that might help us stay in practice for the next Treasure Hunt.  I’m sure ‘Reggie’ is going to have quite the challenge for us in August 2017.

Thanks!

Margie ‘Gwen’

 

4th Annual Treasure Hunt Answers

Hi All:

You will find attached the answer file for the Treasure Hunt just ended. I had hoped to add the accepted alternative answers  to this file but time does not permit.  I did add just one alternative answer to the document; see question #12.  As no competitors submitted the answer sought for #12, and 99% submitted the same alternative answer, that alternative was accepted.

I hope you had fun with the 2016 version of the hunt and, like me, you are looking forward to the 2017 edition when the amazing Michele Lopez serves as Treasure Hunt Master.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Margie

2016 Treasure Hunt Answers

4th Annual Treasure Hunt Results

“…I can congratulate ourselves upon several most happy results…”

The month of August is, as always, Treasure Hunt month for the John H Watson Society. Knowing the many hours required to finish the Treasure Hunt, we are always gratified to see the number of entries submitted. After many hours of scoring yesterday with the help of Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS ‘Daisy’), I am happy to announce the results of the 4th Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt.

Team Competition

With 144 available points this year, our returning 2015 High Honors team from Italy, Uno Studio In Holmes, has earned High Honors again this year with an incredible 142 points. Team members include Michele Lopez, Enrico Solito, Stefano Guerra, Vera Mazzotta, and Gabriele Mazzoni. Congratulations again to this amazing team.

Team Honors this year is shared between returning competitors The Retired Beekeepers of Sussex with 135 points and the newly formed team An Experience of Canon Which Extends Over Four Players and Three Separate States with 134 points. The UK-based Beekeepers are represented by Elinor Gray, Rowan MacBean, Tweedisgood, Spacefall, and Cheryl LeBlanc-Weldon of the Halifax Spence Munros in Nova Scotia. An Experience of Canon Which Extends Over Four Players and Three Separate States team members are Rob Nunn and Brad Keefauver (Two Guys Down In Illinois team from last year), Beth Gallego (California), and Ron Lies (Colorado). Giving this team an extra award for the-longest-possible-team-name was briefly considered.

Two teams earn the O.V.E (Order of Valiant Effort) award this year: First time competitor, The White Rose Irregulars of York, Pennsylvania, with 126 points, and the returning team from Canada, The Bootmakers Of Toronto, with 122 points. Beth Austin, Debbie Clark, Denny Dobry, Tom Drucker, and Flo Specter represent the Irregulars, while Peter Calamai, Chris Redmond, Cliff Goldfarb, Doug Wrigglesworth and John Gehan represent the Bootmakers.

Honorable Mention this year to two teams that began the hunt but due to unfortunate circumstances could not complete it: The Sherlock Holmes Society of India and The Sound of the Baskervilles of Seattle. We hope the fates are kinder next year and these teams can return to hunt again. 2016 marks the first time La Fayette of La Societe Sherlock Holmes de France could not participate due to schedule conflicts; we sincerely hope kind fates extend to that excellent team next year too.

Individual Competition

High Honors in the very difficult Individual category goes to first time US competitor Michael Ellis with 128 points. Mark Doyle of Australia, another first time competitor, has earned Honors in the Individual category with 105 points. Honorable Mention to Anne Nelson of Washington, DC, who also began the hunt but could not complete it due to unforeseen complications; we warmly invite her back next year to give it another try.

Thank you all for competing this year.  A post will be made on the Quiz page soon with the answers to the hunt. We will be contacting all the participants concerning addresses for the delivery of the small mementos. I have enjoyed serving as Treasure Hunt Master for 2015 and 2016. I appreciate your participation, patience and good humor. You have taught me many good things.

Margie

JHWS Gwen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“And what is left in our hands at the end?”

Hello Treasure Hunters!

We are now at the final ten days of this edition of the Treasure Hunt.  I hope you are having some fun and are not too discouraged if you lack an answer or two.  The final week is always the time for (re)attempting the questions that seem a bit impossible.

If you are not finished on September 1, please submit what you have accomplished.  As always, the John H Watson Society will want to acknowledge your work here on the site and with a small keepsake via mail.  Even if you do not have an answer to every part of every question, you could still come away with High Honors. The scoring is on a point system for each part of each question so results may vary greatly among the various submissions.  You could earn bragging rights yet!

Thank you for participation, patience, and good humor.

Margie

JHWS Gwen

2016 Treasure Hunt Master

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Treasure Hunt Is Posted

Hello Treasure Hunters!

It is now 5 AM, August 1, 2016, in India; in honor of our new competitors from The Sherlock Holmes Society of India I am posting the 2016 Treasure Hunt now although it is not quite August 1 for many of us yet.  This posting time seems an appropriate time considering the information about five in the morning contained in RESI.

As always, a forum has been opened on the Quiz page for questions, clarifications, complaints, etc.  I will respond to any postings as quickly as possible.  I’m thinking you will probably find some error or the other in the document, despite many hours of proofing/checking.  If you do not, thank Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS Daisy) for her fine proof-reading and consulting work on this year’s hunt; if you do find errors, it is my fault as I continued to tinker with the thing after Sheila’s good work was complete.  Any needed corrections will be posted to the forum.  Please check it from time to time.

Please don’t forget the hunt is scored on a point system.  Therefore, if you know part of a question (Who?), but not the other part (What?), please add the part you do know to your document.  You will receive credit for each individual part of the question that is answered correctly.

I have uploaded the Treasure Hunt in Microsoft Word (.docx) and in .pdf. Please see the rules page for instructions for submitting your finished hunt.

Ok, on you go…Happy Hunting!

Margie

JHWS/Gwen

2016 Treasure Hunt Master

2016 TH Questions

2016 TH Questions

 

 

 

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!

Margie

Eleven days and counting, with an answer to #3 chaser

Hi Watsonians:

We are a mere 11 days from the 4th Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt.  Participation in the warm-up questions has been slight but it appears the competition for the actual hunt will be brisk.  I’ve heard from seven teams that plan to participate, and two individuals.   [Hats off to those brave individuals!]   As pre-registration is not necessary, we will not know how many participants compete until the whole thing is over September 1.  If you want to compete in the team competition but do not have a team, please contact me [treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com] and I will get you in touch with some of the teams that I know are participating.

Speaking of the warm-up questions, I have posted the question, multi-part answer, and possible alternative answer below.  Although no one posted a possible answer here, I do have a friend playing along off-line, and he did arrive at the answer; it is not a totally impossible question.  This question would have been worth four points on the actual Treasure Hunt–possibly enough to put you in the High Honors position.

Happy hunting to all,

Margie

JHWS/Gwen

2016 Treasure Hunt Master

———————————————————————————

  1. If one were to imagine all the ages aligning, these two might have benefited from the unexpected charity of this professional criminal. Which two? Which criminal? What charity?

Answer: Victor Hatherley, Godfrey Staunton, John Clay, Orphanage

–W., p. 276, ENGR: “You must know,” said he, “that I am an orphan and a bachelor, residing alone in lodgings in London. By profession I am a hydraulic engineer, and have had considerable experience of my work during the seven years that I was apprenticed to Venner and Matheson, the well-known firm of Greenwich.”

–W., p. 624, MISS: “Godfrey is an orphan, and Lord Mount-James is his nearest relative – his uncle, I believe.”

–W., p. 186, REDH: “John Clay, the murderer, thief, smasher, and forger. He’s a young man, Mr. Merryweather, but he is at the head of his profession, and I would rather have my bracelets on him than on any criminal in London. He’s a remarkable man, is young John Clay. His grandfather was a Royal Duke, and he himself has been to Eton and Oxford. His brain is as cunning as his fingers, and though we meet signs of him at every turn, we never know where to find the man himself. He’ll crack a crib in Scotland one week, and be raising money to build an orphanage in Cornwall the next. I’ve been on his track for years, and have never set eyes on him yet.”

Alternative Answer:  Had this question actually been on the Treasure Hunt, an alternative acceptable answer would have been Mary Morstan, as she is clearly referred to as ‘Morstan’s orphan’.  However, she did say she lived in a comfortable boarding establishment until she was 17, so I did not include her in the primary answer.    [A trifle, yes. But what is more important?]

 

 

And now a break from our regular programming

Ok, Watsonians:

The silent response to my third Treasure Hunt warm-up question is deafening.  Therefore, let me ask you a silly question:

What is the silliest/funniest thing you have done because of your Holmes/Watson obsession?

I ask you this question because this week I found myself hanging a lovely artist’s rendering of The Musgrave Ritual on the wall in my bathroom because I didn’t have any other wall space and I simply couldn’t give it up.  Musgrave Ritual.  In the bathroom. A bit silly.

So: ‘fess up! What have you done?

I look forward to your answers to this question.

Margie

JHWS/Gwen

2016 Treasure Hunt Master

 

“One possible loose end lies in the question…”

Hello Watsonians!

Our loose end at the moment is the final warm-up question for the 4th JHWS Treasure Hunt that will begin in just a few weeks on August 1.  As I’ve mentioned before, we are looking at the mixture of imagination and reality for this year’s hunt.  Warm up question one concerned a real date, warm up question two concerned a mixture of Canonical facts, and now we are at warm up question three.  It is time to use your imagination to solve a question.  And here we go:

If one were to imagine all the ages aligning, these two might have benefited from the unexpected charity of the professional criminal. Which two? Which criminal? What charity?

It this question appeared on the actual hunt, it would be worth four points–maybe just enough for you to pass the other competitors in the totals.  This one is good practice and hopefully fun.   I look forward to your answers.

Margie

JHWS/Gwen

2016 Treasure Hunt Master