Gregsonian Quiz Results

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

The third Gregsonian Quiz received four responses, and it proved really difficult to stump this crowd.

Congratulations to Michael M. Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Shiela Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”), Margie Deck, (JHWS “Mopsy”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena Buttons”)!

  1. In the popular 2013 series Шерлок Холмс many of the classic Canonical stories are remixed.  For instance, whom does Watson marry in this show?  Mrs. Hudson.
  2. A Study in Scarlet first appeared in November of 1887 in what periodical?  Beeton’s Christmas Annual.
  3. What is the alternate title of William Gillette’s famous 1899 play Sherlock Holmes?  The Strange Case of Miss Faulkner
  4. What was Shinwell Johnson’s nickname?  Porky Shinwell.
  5. What was the occupation of Watson’s friend Lomax?  Lomax, was the sublibrarian.
  6. If we were never to leave the Canon, we would know very little about Mrs. Hudson, not even her first name.  In fact, the Mrs. Hudson we now know was largely created not by Conan Doyle but by this popular Sherlockian author in the 1933 essay “The Singular Adventures of Martha Hudson.”  Vincent Starrett.
  7. Sesame Street has its own “great” detective in the style of Sherlock Holmes.  What is his name?  Sherlock Hemlock.
  8. Robert Downey, Jr, disguised as a chair In the final scene of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows we see Holmes in a very unusual disguise (One that is echoed in BBC Sherlock).  What is the disguise? A chair (near where Watson types)– Holmes’s “urban camouflage” blends with the fabric, design, and color of the chair.
  9. What is the most remarkable component in Professor Presbury’s rejuvenation serum?  Serum of Black-faced langur.
  10. What real life criminal organization are the Scowrers of The Valley of Fear based upon?  The Molly Maguires.

May all of your carbuncles be blue this holiday season!  If you would like to see more Gregsonian quizzes in the future, please let us know at quizmaster@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

The Gregsonian Quiz #3

Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) returns with another…

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

Gregsonian Quiz

For those who, while brave, are usually out of their depths

Please note that this is a different sort of challenge from the Annual Treasure Hunt – you won’t be searching wide range of reference materials to add up to a mysterious treasure. For this challenge, try to be like Holmes: sitting in your chair working out the answers from the information in your lumber-room. Give Google a rest and see what you can answer from your own specialized knowledge!

Send your answers by email to the JHWS Quizmaster by 2nd December. Answers will be posted in three weeks, on the 3rd of December.

  1. In the popular 2013 series Шерлок Холмс many of the classic Canonical stories are remixed.  For instance, whom does Watson marry in this show?
  2. A Study in Scarlet first appeared in November of 1887 in what periodical?
  3. What is the alternate title of William Gillette’s famous 1899 play Sherlock Holmes?
  4. What was Shinwell Johnson’s nickname?
  5. What was the occupation of Watson’s friend Lomax?
  6. If we were never to leave the Canon, we would know very little about Mrs Hudson, not even her first name.  In fact, the Mrs Hudson we now know was largely created not by Conan Doyle but by this popular Sherlockian author in the 1933 essay “The Singular Adventures of Martha Hudson.”
  7. Sesame Street has its own “great” detective in the style of Sherlock Holmes.  What is his name?
  8. In the final scene of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows we see Holmes in a very unusual disguise (One that is echoed in BBC Sherlock).  What is the disguise?
  9. What is the most remarkable component in Professor Presbury’s rejuvenation serum?
  10. What real life criminal organization are the Scowrers of The Valley of Fear based upon?

2019 Memberships Now Available

Society memberships for the 2019 calendar year are now available in the Shop: 2019 Society Membership.

New and renewing members may choose the Paperless Membership, which includes the Spring and Fall 2019 issues of the Watsonian, or the Print+PDF option with domestic or international postage.

Please note, if you are a renewing member, your membership may already include 2019! See our Members Page to check on your membership dates.

Gregsonian Quiz Results

Congratulations to those who grappled with the sophomore Gregsonian Quiz!

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

In all three responses were received, from Michael Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”).

There were two perfect scores and one 9 out of 10.

The players somehow knew that the name of the third Holmes brother in the Asylum film was Thorpe. I was just looking for the much pithier “Spring-Heeled Jack.”  Everyone also went above and beyond in naming all three types of Canonical pipes.

  1. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly aren’t the only comedians to take on the roles of Holmes and Watson. What is the name of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, played by Gene Wilder?  Sigerson Holmes
  2. 221B Baker Street was NOT Sherlock Holmes’ actual address. How can we be sure of this?  “At the time the Holmes stories were published, addresses in Baker Street did not go as high as 221.”
  3. Holmes is a master of baritsu, likely the real-world bartitsu, an eccentric martial art form invented by Londoner E.W. Barton-Wright. In what story do we first hear of baritsu? The Adventure of the Empty House
  4. The shortest Sherlock Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle is a mere 503 words long. What is the title? How Watson Learned the Trick
  5. One of the inspectors Holmes worked with had a rather eccentric appearance, with a peaked cap, “frogged” (braided) coat and a large bushy beard. Who was that inspector?  Bradstreet
  6. Black Peter’s cabin had one of these devices named after a figure from Greek mythology. Contrary to popular belief, this is never specifically mentioned as existing at Baker Street. Tantalus
  7. Marshall Stoddart, editor of Lippencott’s magazine, commissioned two famous novels at the same dinner. Sign of Four was one. What was the other? The Picture of Dorian Gray
  8. Watson’s eyes sparkle when he thinks of this American war, and Holmes waxes poetic about the gallantry shown on both sides. Which American war holds a romantic fascination for them? The (American) Civil War
  9. The 2010 Asylum film Sherlock Holmes is notorious for its dinosaurs. However, the true villain is just as improbable. What is his moniker and relationship to Sherlock Holmes? Spring-Heeled Jack aka Sherlock Holmes’ brother, Thorpe
  10. Sherlock Holmes is associated with the Meerschaum pipe (or perhaps vice versa) but that style of pipe is never mentioned in the original stories. Three other pipes are. Name at least one of them. Black clay pipe, a long cherrywood pipe, and an old brier pipe.

-Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”)

The Gregsonian Quiz

Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) returns with another…

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

Gregsonian Quiz

For those who, while brave, are usually out of their depths

Please note that this is a different sort of challenge from the Annual Treasure Hunt – you won’t be searching wide range of reference materials to add up to a mysterious treasure. For this challenge, try to be like Holmes: sitting in your chair working out the answers from the information in your lumber-room. Give Google a rest and see what you can answer from your own specialized knowledge!

Send your answers by email to the JHWS Quizmaster by 31st October. Answers will be posted in two weeks, on the 1st of November.

  1. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly aren’t the only comedians to take on the roles of Holmes and Watson. What is the name of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother, played by Gene Wilder?
  2. 221B Baker Street was NOT Sherlock Holmes’ actual address. How can we be sure of this?
  3. Holmes is a master of baritsu, likely the real-world bartitsu, an eccentric martial art form invented by Londoner E.W. Barton-Wright. In what story do we first hear of baritsu?
  4. The shortest Sherlock Holmes story written by Arthur Conan Doyle is a mere 503 words long. What is the title?
  5. One of the inspectors Holmes worked with had a rather eccentric appearance, with a peaked cap, “frogged” (braided) coat and a large bushy beard. Who was that inspector?
  6. Black Peter’s cabin had one of these devices named after a figure from Greek mythology. Contrary to popular belief, this is never specifically mentioned as existing at Baker Street.
  7. Marshall Stoddart, editor of Lippencott’s magazine, commissioned two famous novels at the same dinner. Sign of Four was one. What was the other?
  8. Watson’s eyes sparkle when he thinks of this American war, and Holmes waxes poetic about the gallantry shown on both sides. Which American war holds a romantic fascination for them?
  9. The 2010 Asylum film Sherlock Holmes is notorious for its dinosaurs. However, the true villain is just as improbable. What is his moniker and relationship to Sherlock Holmes?
  10. Sherlock Holmes is associated with the Meerschaum pipe (or perhaps vice versa) but that style of pipe is never mentioned in the original stories. Three other pipes are. Name at least one of them.

Gregsonian Quiz Results

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

Congratulations to those who endured the inaugural Gregsonian Quiz!  In all six responses were received, from Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”), Bill Mason (JHWS “Billy”), Michael Ellis (JHWS “Lobo”), Ron Lies (JHWS “Chips”), Paul Hartnett (JHWS “Scout”), and Sheila Holtgrieve (JHWS “Daisy”).   There were three perfect scores, two 9 out of 10s, and one valiant effort.  There was only one minor item of controversy (a couple of people correctly noted that Lord Saltire ultimately rode away on a horse, not a bicycle.  The quiz apprentice had intended the answer to be Dunlop.  Either Dunlop or horse were marked as correct.).  Expect another quiz in honor of our man Gregson soon.

  1. Sherlock Holmes is not the only great detective to reside at 221 Baker Street at the end of the 19th Century. Another simultaneously called 221 ½ Baker Street home. What was his name?  Basil, the Great Mouse Detective
  2. In “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”, Mr. Merryweather complains that he misses his rubber. What is it that he misses?  Whist, a card game, an early version of bridge
  3. Irene Adler had been prima donna of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw, where she became involved with the King of Bohemia, but from where did this adventuress originate?  New Jersey
  4. What are two good reasons to believe that there was never a blue carbuncle in the crop of Mr. Henry Baker’s goose?  “A goose does not have a crop” and carbuncles aka garnets are not blue, at least no blue garnet has yet been found.
  5. In “The Adventure of the Priory School”, Holmes claims to be familiar with the impressions of forty-two types of bicycle tyres, and even to be able to tell the direction in which the bicycle was travelling. What brand of tyre did Lord Saltire ride away upon?  Heidegger’s tyres were Palmers, James Wilder had a Dunlop tyre with a patch, but Lord Saltire did not ride away upon a tyre, he rode a led pony with special shoes to look like a cow’s hoof.
  6. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Elementary, my dear Data” a rogue hologram of Moriarty is accidentally created after Data frustrates his crewmates by instantly solving a Canonical story. Which story did Data recognize?  A Scandal in Bohemia
  7. What is the improbable first name of Professor Moriarty’s brother?  James
  8. In the original Canon, who is the only character to refer to Holmes as “Sherlock”?  Mycroft Holmes
  9. The UCLA Film Archive restored many of the Rathbone/Bruce films, but much of this work was funded by a private individual. In particular, the majority of the funding for The Scarlet Claw came from this one person. What was their name? Hugh Hefner
  10. Only three detectives have chapters named after them in the Canon: Sherlock Holmes, Birdy Edwards, and this Scotland Yard Inspector. Who? Tobias Gregson

-Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”)

Introducing: The Gregsonian Quiz

Ready for a new Canonical Challenge? Robert Perret (JHWS “Sampson”) gives us:

Inspector Gregson
(Olivier Maguire) in “The Greek Interpreter” (Granada, 1985)

The Gregsonian Quiz

For those who, while brave, are usually out of their depths

Please note that this is a different sort of challenge from the Annual Treasure Hunt – you won’t be searching wide range of reference materials to add up to a mysterious treasure. For this challenge, try to be like Holmes: sitting in your chair working out the answers from the information in your lumber-room. Give Google a rest and see what you can answer from your own specialized knowledge!

Send your answers by email to the JHWS Quizmaster by 30th September. Answers will be posted in two weeks, on the 1st of October.

  1. Sherlock Holmes is not the only great detective to reside at 221 Baker Street at the end of the 19th Century. Another simultaneously called 221 ½ Baker Street home. What was his name?
  2. In “The Adventure of the Red-Headed League”, Mr. Merryweather complains that he misses his rubber. What is it that he misses?
  3. Irene Adler had been prima donna of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw, where she became involved with the King of Bohemia, but from where did this adventuress originate?
  4. What are two good reasons to believe that there was never a blue carbuncle in the crop of Mr. Henry Baker’s goose?
  5. In “The Adventure of the Priory School”, Holmes claims to be familiar with the impressions of forty-two types of bicycle tires, and even to be able to tell the direction in which the bicycle was travelling. What brand of tire did Lord Saltire ride away upon?
  6. In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Elementary, my dear Data” a rogue hologram of Moriarty is accidentally created after Data frustrates his crewmates by instantly solving a Canonical story. Which story did Data recognize?
  7. What is the improbable first name of Professor Moriarty’s brother?
  8. In the original Canon, who is the only character to refer to Holmes as “Sherlock”?
  9. The UCLA Film Archive restored many of the Rathbone/Bruce films, but much of this work was funded by a private individual. In particular, the majority of the funding for The Scarlet Claw came from this one person. What was their name?
  10. Only three detectives have chapters named after them in the Canon: Sherlock Holmes, Birdy Edwards, and this Scotland Yard Inspector. Who?

“If the cycle of nine days holds good” [CREE]

Prepare your thinking cap and get out your favorite Sherlockian reference books. Nine days from today, we will begin the Sixth Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt.

Our “Mopsy” has designed this year’s Hunt as a special edition of 50 questions, the answers to all of which form a chain from one to the next.

Several teams have already let our Treasure Hunt Master know they’ll be competing, but individuals and teams around the world are welcome to jump in any time during the month of August!

‘It is so long a chain, and yet every link rings true.’

On July 3rd…

(Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled by William S Dorn.)

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

July 3, 1895: At 2 a.m., Patrick Cairns killed Peter Carey with a harpoon. [BLAC]

And there in the middle of it was the man himself, his face twisted like a lost soul in torment, and his great brindled beard stuck upwards in his agony. Right through his broad breast a steel harpoon had been driven, and it had sunk deep into the wood of the wall behind him. He was pinned like a beetle on a card. Of course, he was quite dead, and had been so from the instant that he uttered that last yell of agony.

Holmes in the Heartland

Later this summer, the very first Holmes in the Heartland conference will take place in St. Louis, IL. It promises to be a welcoming gathering for all sorts of Holmes fans and lots of fun. A number of Watsonians are planning to attend; I wish I could be there, too!

Rob Nunn (JHWS “Beacon”) shares the details:

Holmes in the Heartland will be happening on August 10-12, as we celebrate the installation of the new St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection at the St. Louis Public Library and highlight the city of St. Louis. We will celebrate with a weekend full of BBQ, blues, tea, history and plenty of Sherlockian discussion! The weekend’s schedule includes:

Friday, August 10:

Welcome to St. Louis 221BBQ and Blues Carbuncle Night

Tour of the National Blues Museum and dinner at Sugarfire Smokehouse

Saturday, August 11:

A Curious Collection: The St. Louis Sherlockian Collection

We will be displaying the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection and have a full day of Sherlockian presentations at the central branch of the St. Louis Public Library. Speakers include:

  • Tim Johnson, Keynote Speaker, curator of the Sherlock Holmes Collections at the University of Minnesota
  • Mary Schroeder, ASH, founder of the St. Louis Sherlockian Research Collection and longtime St. Louis Sherlockian
  • Bill Cochran, BSI, donor of a complete run of the Baker Street Journal to the Sherlockian Research Collection
  • Bill Mason, BSI, author of “Pursuing Sherlock Holmes” and former Head Light of The Beacon Society
  • Tassy Hayden, fan fiction writer and former co-host of the wildly popular The Three Patch Podcast
  • Brad Keefauver, BSI, ASH, blogger at Sherlock Peoria and author of “The Elementary Methods of Sherlock Holmes”
  • Don Hobbs, BSI, ASH, owner of the largest foreign language Sherlockian book collection
  • Black Knights Fighting Group, displaying Baritsu and recreating the fighting techniques of Victorian London
  • Plus a surprise guest speaker linking Sherlock Holmes to Missouri!

​Dinner Saturday night will be at historic Favazza’s on The Hill.

Sunday, August 12:

Medical History and Afternoon Tea

Tours of The Bernard Becker Medical Library with a focus on Victorian era medical treatments starting and 9:00 and an afternoon tea at The London Tea Room following.

You can register for one, two or all three days of Sherlockian fun! More information can be found at https://parallelcasestl.wixsite.com/home/holmes-in-the-heartland. We would love to have you! Come at once if convenient!

JHWS and GDPR

If you’re anything like me, you’ve recently been flooded with notifications of privacy policy updates. Here at the Watson Society, we have also updated our Privacy Policy to be in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. Our Society is physically based in the United States, but we have members around the world, including a number in EU countries.

In order to comply with the GDPR, we must receive your permission (“opt-in”) to hold your postal and e-mail addresses, where made available, on our mailing lists so that the Society can send you copies of The Watsonian (physical or digital), as well as send membership/subscription renewal notices by e-mail.

Please “opt-in” under the new Regulation by confirming your name, address, e-mail address and telephone number electronically via our GDPR Confirmation Page.

Calling All Members

The Spring 2018 Watsonian is about to go to press. Print issues will be mailed directly from the printer, so now is the time to make sure your information is up to date! If you have changed mailing address since November, please let Selena Buttons know ASAP. (If you’ve already contacted us with your new address, thank you!)

If your membership expired at the end of 2017, you will not be on the mailing list for this new issue. We know you don’t want to miss out, so please take a moment to double-check your membership dates on the Members Page. If your membership ended in December 2017, pop over to the Shop to purchase a 2018 Membership. (If your membership is current through 6/18, there is a separate renewal available that lasts through the end of 2019. Please contact Selena Buttons for details.)

On May 4th…

Today is a day of great significance in the Canon. We give you these three events:

First…

May 4, 1847: John Ferrier and Lucy were rescued by the Mormons. [STUD]

Illustration by D H Friston

 

The rescuing party were speedily able to convince the two castaways that their appearance was no delusion. One of them seized the little girl and hoisted her upon his shoulder, while two others supported her gaunt companion, and assisted him towards the wagons.
“My name is John Ferrier,” the wanderer explained; “me and that little un are all that’s left o’ twenty-one people. The rest is all dead o’ thirst and hunger away down in the south.”
“Is she your child?” asked someone.
“I guess she is now,” the other cried, defiantly; “she’s mine ’cause I saved her. No man will take her from me. She’s Lucy Ferrier from this day on. Who are you, though?”

 

Second…

May 4, 1882: An advertisement seeking Mary Morstan’s address appeared in The Times. [SIGN]

Ann Bell as Mary Morstan (1968)

“I have not yet described to you the most singular part. About six years ago – to be exact, upon the 4th of May, 1882 – an advertisement appeared in The Times asking for the address of Miss Mary Morstan, and stating that it would be to her advantage to come forward. There was no name and address appended. I had at the time just entered the family of Mrs. Cecil Forrester in the capacity of governess. By her advice I published my address in the advertisement column. The same day there arrived through the post a small cardboard box addressed to me, which I found to contain a very large and lustrous pearl. No word of writing was enclosed. Since then every year upon the same date there has always appeared a similar box, containing a similar pearl, without any clue as to the sender. They have been pronounced by an expert to be of a rare variety and of considerable value. You can see for yourselves that they are very handsome.”

And FINAlly…
(Sorry, I couldn’t resist. -Selena Buttons)

May 4, 1891: Moriarty died in a plunge over the Reichenbach Falls. [FINA]

An examination by experts leaves little doubt that a personal contest between the two men ended, as it could hardly fail to end in such a situation, in their reeling over, locked in each other’s arms. Any attempt at recovering the bodies was absolutely hopeless, and there, deep down in that dreadful cauldron of swirling water and seething foam, will lie for all time the most dangerous criminal and the foremost champion of the law of their generation.

 

 

Date provided by the volume A Day-by-Day Chronology of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, according to Zeisler and Christ, compiled and edited by William S Dorn.

Membership Renewals for 2018

Renewal notices have been going out in email for memberships that expired at the end of December. If your membership has expired, though, you don’t have to wait for the email; you can head over to the shop to purchase a Membership for 2018.

Not sure when your membership expires? Take a peek at our Members Page! If it says you are a member through 12/17, it’s time to renew. (If it’s any other date, it’s not time yet. Memberships ending 6/18 will be notified about how to renew through the end of 2019 later in the year.) While you’re there, if you notice our information for you is incorrect or incomplete, please let me know!

Poison in Princeton (via Pop Goes the Page)

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1903)

Escape rooms are all the rage, and I’ve heard more than one person speculate on the possible fun to be had with a Holmes-themed room. Some very clever folks at Princeton did more than speculate: they created a Sherlock Holmes Escape Room challenge. Over the course of 5 hours, 180 kids worked in teams of 6 to solve the puzzles.

This sounds amazing. I appreciate the tips at the end of the post, since I just might have to try to put one of these together for a library program sometime!