Annual Treasure Hunt: a Sequel

“A lie, Watson – a great, big, thumping, obtrusive, uncompromising lie”
(VALL, 800)

Dear fellow Watsonians, I must confess to a heinous crime.

In giving the answers to the Annual Treasure Hunt, I lied. Shamelessly. But I did it for a good cause.

Let me explain. Among the questions for the Hunt, I devised one that, in my mind, had to be the most difficult of the lot. Unfortunately, I had totally overlooked the fact that there was a simple, straightforward and perfectly Canonical answer to that question. When the answers arrived, I found out that all participants had given that correct alternative answer. So much for the so-called ingenuity and deviousness of the Quiz Master.
And so I lied. I changed the list of the answers that I had already prepared and put the alternative answer in the place of that which I had originally conceived. The purpose was to avoid spoiling the original answer and to provide the contestants with a new challenge.

Here it is. Question # 4 in the Hunt, you will recall, was the following: The subject of this question won a blue award twice. Who or what?

You all answered “Gilchrist”, who had won the Blue for the hurdles and the long jump. But there is another answer to that question, a most difficult and complex one.

So the sequel to the Annual Treasure Hunt is: find another answer to question #4, the answer that I had originally in mind.
Hints: this question requires a little digging in external sources, such as an encyclopaedia and/or Internet search engines. The subject of the question can be a person, an animal, a company, a government or any other entity. The subject is mentioned in the Canon, but the award is not (so it is useless to search for, say, all occurrences of the word “blue”).

Since this is a hard question, you have one month to submit the answer (by e-mail to treasurehunt (AT) The answer will be posted on October 21.

I hope you will enjoy this quiz. Happy Hunting!

Treasure Hunt 2017: Results

My dear Watsonians,

it’s been very difficult to calculate the results of the Hunt. Not being “endowed by Nature with a phenomenal mathematical faculty” I had to check and re-check my calculations before I could be sure of the verdict. The results are:

Individual competition

The High Honors go to Michael M. Ellis, with an excellent 79.5 points out of 100. Honors go to Mark Doyle, who was able, for lack of time, to complete only part of the quiz (scoring an excellent % of correct answers on those which he actually submitted), with 46 points.

Team competition

This is what compelled me to exert all my attention and to rack my brain. We had three teams incredibly close, all three with a very high score.

The High Honors go to The Sound of the Baskervilles (Margie Deck, Sheila Holtgrieve, Lauren Messenger, Francis Bond) who scored 89 points out of 100 and won by a very close shave: the Honors go to An Experience of Canon (Beth Gallego, Paul Hartnett, Ron Lies, Rob Nunn) with 88.5 points out of 100. Third place and Honors for Uno Studio in Holmes (Vera Mazzotta, Marco Grassi, Stefano Guerra, Enrico Solito and Gianluca Salvatori) who scored 84.5 points out of 100.

There were many ingenious alternate answers and I had to consider them all carefully: most of them, I am happy to say, have been accepted as perfectly legitimate answers. The participants in many cases know more about the Canon than the Quiz Master!

Let me thank you again for participating and give you my apologies for the delay in announcing the results. Let me also thank those fellow Watsonians who, due to various reasons, were unable to compete in the Hunt but wrote giving me their support and their appreciation.

It’s been a great experience and an honor to act as Quiz Master. I hope you had fun and spent some pleasant hours of Watsonian/Holmesian fun. If I’ve been able to accomplish this, that’s the best reward one could hope for.

With my best Canonical regards,

Michele, JHWS “Reggie”

Treasure Hunt 2017: Answers

Dear All,

the 2017 Hunt ends today. Here are the answers.
I have received very few submissions. I’m afraid that maybe I’ve made the questions too hard and this has perhaps dampened the participants’ enthusiasm? I don’t know. I’ll be glad of everyone’s feedback on this.
I must also say that I have received many creative alternative answers and some of them have been accepted. I will post soon a list, so you all can take a look at the imaginative approach that your fellow participants have used.
The Honors list will be posted within the next week, I hope.
I want to thank all of you and to apologize for every mistake, misunderstanding, or simply not entertaining enough question, that I’ve made. It was a first experience and a challenging one. I must say that I’ll be glad to revert to the role of contestant for the next edition!

JHWS Treasure Hunt 2017 questions and answers
JHWS Treasure Hunt 2017 questions and answers

I hereby declare the 2017 Treasure Hunt… open!

Gooooood morning, Hunters!

It is now 9 a.m., August 1st, (CET) here in Italy, corresponding to midnight, July 31st, PST. I have chosen the hour as an homage to our previous Hunt Master, Margie Deck a.k.a. “Mopsy”, who lives on the Pacific coast. You can submit your answers until midnight, August 31st, PST. For further details, please check the Rules page.

A forum has been opened on the Quiz page for questions, clarifications, complaints, etc.  I will try to respond to any postings as quickly as possible, but please remember that I’m living in a Central Europe time zone.
You will certainly find some error in the document, especially considering my sometimes poor English. Any needed clarifications will be posted to the forum.  Please check it for updates every now and then.

The hunt is scored on a very simple point system. I’ve tried to avoid complications since I’m not as good as our previous Hunt Master. Therefore, 1 correct answer = 1 point, for a maximum of 100 points available. However, many questions are composed of multiple parts, so if you know part of a question (e.g. Who?), but not the other part (e.g. When?), 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, so 0.5 points will be awarded for partly answered questions.

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

The game, ladies and gentlemen, is now officially afoot.


JHWS Treasure Hunt 2017 questions

JHWS Treasure Hunt 2017 questions

Treasure Hunt 2017 discussion forum

“We are hunting together, Mr. Holmes.” (WIST)

This post is now open for clarifications/questions/discussions concerning the 5th Annual JHWS Treasure Hunt.
The Treasure Hunt will start on July 31st at midnight (PST) and will close on August 31st at midnight (PST).

This forum will remain open for the duration of the Hunt to discuss anything related to the questions.
Please do not post specific answers to any of the questions, not even as working hypotheses.
Any questions posted here for the Treasure Hunt Master will be answered as quickly as possible.
You can also get in touch directly with the THM by e-mail:

Happy Hunting!