7th Annual Treasure Hunt – Results

Dear all, thanks for your patience in waiting more than expected to get the results of the Hunt. Between some personal problems (I might hint that perhaps the machinations of a certain “M” are behind an unfortunate recent string of events) and the fact that many of you sumbmitted alternative answers that required a lot of time for checking and evaluation, I’m some days late: it took me twenty days when I though ten would be enough. I can only offer my humble apologies. Here are the results:

Individual Competition 

Michael Ellis (“Lobo”) has once again achieved the highest score, winning the High Honors with 56,5 points of the 60 available. Second place goes to Enrico Solito (“Devon”), who earns Honors in this category with 53 points.

Following the leaders, we have Carmen Savino with 51,5 points, Joanna Freeman (“Mia”) with 49 points, and Mark Doyle with 48 points. A mention for Alessandro Melillo, who only 24 hours before the end of the hunt realized that time was almost over and put in a valiant effort, scoring 9,5 points out of the only 10 answers he submitted.

Team Competition

Only two teams competed this year and it was a very close call. I had to examine carefully every single alternate answer and decide. The High Honors go to “The Quartered Flag” with 58,5 points; team members are Paul Thomas Miller (“Buck”) and Brad Keefauver (“Calder”).  Honors go to “The Sound of the Baskervilles” team with 57,5 points; team members are Sheila Holtgrieve (“Daisy”), Cameron Brandon, Sunny Even, Ron Lies (”Chips”) and Nancy Holder (“Diana”).

I have prepared a list of the alternative answers that have been accepted and some of those that, in spite of their sometimes wonderful and most entertaining mental effort, I had to reject. See below for the link to the file.

Let me thank all the participants for their contribution. If I were prone to exaggeration, I could say that it took me almost the same amount of time to check the many ingenious alternative answers than it took me to prepare the Hunt! But that forced me dive deep into the Canon again, and that’s always a good thing.
I must also say that I have gained some important hints from this year’s experience. Some questions were too broad and generic, others were good but could have been better worded. I hope that next time that I’ll act as Quiz Master I will remember to make use of what I’ve learned.

I hope you enjoyed the Hunt anyway and to see even more participants next time!

With my warm congratulations and regards,
Michele Lopez (“Reggie”)

7th Annual Treasure Hunt – Answers

Hunters, dear fellow Watsonians, quiz fans,

The 7th Annual Treasure Hunt is now officially closed. I hope you had fun and you liked the questions that I have tried to put together.

We had a good number of participants; perhaps not many groups (only two answers received in that category) but we had six participants for the individual competition.

Hereunder you will find the answers enclosed. I will check the answers in the next days and the results will be posted here by the 12th of September.

The John H Watson Society 2019 Treasure Hunt – questions and answers
The John H Watson Society 2019 Treasure Hunt – questions and answers

With my best regards,
Michele a.k.a. “Reggie”
2019 Treasure Hunt Master

Happy Watson’s Turkish Bath Day!

“Both Holmes and I had a weakness for the Turkish bath. It was over a smoke in the pleasant lassitude of the drying-room that I have found him less reticent and more human than anywhere else. On the upper floor of the Northumberland Avenue establishment there is an isolated corner where . two couches lie side by side, and it was on these that we lay upon September 3, 1902, the day when my narrative begins.”

The Watsonian Weekly is declaring a Tuesday holiday this week, a fresh starting point, based on the good doctor’s opinions of what he called “an alterative.” And what better time than a holiday to take a few moments to indulge in a bit of a podcast listen. On iTunes or on Libsyn, you can find the Watsonian Weekly from the following links:



And we’re always looking for new voices, too, as variety is the spice of podcast life, whether in an audio message or e-mail, which you can send along to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com if the Watsonian muse strikes — but if your muse is more of a listener, that’s the foundation of any podcast effort.

So Happy Watson’s Turkish Bath Day! Make it a good one!

The 7th Annual Treasure Hunt is open!

Hunters, dear fellow Watsonians, quiz fans,

The 7th Annual Treasure Hunt has officially opened at midnight, July 31st, PDT. I have chosen the hour as an homage to our other Treasure Hunt Master, Margie Deck a.k.a. “Mopsy” and to our Beth Gallego, a.k.a. “Selena Buttons”, who both live on the Pacific coast. You can submit your answers until midnight, August 31st, PDT. 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. I will also answer to the email address treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com.
Clarifications and answers to requests will be posted to the forum.  Please check it for updates every now and then.

As I have already said, the hunt is scored on a very simple point system; 1 correct answer = 1 point, for a maximum of 60 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? Where?), 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 answers.

The game, ladies and gentlemen, is afoot. Happy Hunting!

Michele a.k.a. “Reggie”
2019 Treasure Hunt Master

The John H Watson Society 2019 Treasure Hunt – questions

The John H Watson Society 2019 Treasure Hunt – questions

TH7 Discussion Forum

“I should guess that to be the Something Hunt, the local hunt (…) which has made him a small presentation in return.”  (HOUN)

This post is now open for clarifications/questions/discussions concerning the 7th 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: treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master

TH7: Third Warm Up Quiz – Answer

Dear friends,

the last warm up quiz was well received and, as usual, the sharp brains of the Watsonians came up easily with the correct answer.
The quickest was Beth, our “Selena Buttons”. Correct answers were also sent by Paul Miller “Buck” and by the SOB team (who, in their typical fashion, sent a more elaborate and ingenious explanation than necessary). Ron Lies “Chips” explored another possibility, and he went close but not quite on the mark.

Here is the answer to the quiz:
“It could be rampant or couchant, and it was also the victim of a fish. What are we talking about?”

The answer is: a lion. There is a rampant lion in VALL, a crouching lion in SECO and Count Negretto Sylvius, that Holmes described as a fish, used to shoot lions in Africa.
«Just beyond were two ancient stone pillars, weatherstained and lichen-blotched bearing upon their summits a shapeless something which had once been the rampant lion of Capus of Birlstone.» (VALL)
«“There is a seal of red wax stamped with a crouching lion.”» (SECO)
«“And is this Count Sylvius one of your fish?”
“Yes, and he’s a shark. He bites.”» (MAZA)
«“Come now, Count. You used to shoot lions in Algeria.”» (MAZA)

Congratulations to all and see you in ten days for the start of the Hunt!

Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master

TH7: Tips and Tricks

Dear friends,

The seventh Annual Treasure Hunt is due to begin in less than two weeks, so I think this is a good moment to give all participants some pointers about what to expect and how to get ready to face the challenge.

The rules of the hunt can be found, as usual, on the Rules page, and there is a page with the main resources that will be necessary.

This year’s hunt will be composed of 60 questions divided in ten sections. One of these sections is composed of chain questions, like those of last year’s hunt. For some questions in this section, you will be occasionally required to skip back and/or forth a certain number of pages; therefore, a 1930 Doubleday edition facsimile (or the equivalent Penguin edition with the same page numbering) is a necessary resource. You can alternatively use one of the free online versions of the Canon where the Doubleday page number is indicated in brackets (such as http://ignisart.com/camdenhouse/canon/).

Some questions (not many) will require the use of sources of extra-Canonical informations, such as a good annotated edition, a Canonical index, or a “mainstream” encyclopedia. Your favorite Internet search engine and Wikipedia will also be very useful.

The hunt is scored on a very simple point system: 1 correct answer = 1 point, for a maximum of 60 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? Where?), 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.

Coming to a point that caused some discussions and misunderstandings in the past, there is usually a specific word or a group of words in each question that can be electronically searched, and that will lead you to the answer. This is what our other great Treasure Hunt Master, “Mopsy”, called a “hook”. However, if the “hook” was always explicit, it would take away from the fun of the game; the solution could always be found by simply putting words in a search engine and scanning the results. Therefore, the use of a synonym or a different turn of phrase will be often (not always!) used to mask the “hook”.

Let me give you a couple of example taken from last years’ Hunts:

(TH6, #40) «Many of the neighbors to [one of the houses in number 39] may have lived icily distant from it, but once Watson protested to Holmes that, as a matter of fact, it was there, and should not be tampered with. What it? [1pt] Where did Watson insist it was? [1pt]»

The answer is “Romance”, and the reference is to the passage in WIST, 882: «The other mansions belonged to prosaic and respectable people who live far aloof from romance.» In this case, “icily distant” is used as a hint to “far aloof”. Had the question included the words “far aloof”, a 10-second electronic search would have given the answer. No fun in that!

(TH5, #40) «The minister and the squire were equally able to control their rage. Name the men and the stories.»

The answer is “Lord Bellinger and Von Bork”, with reference to the passages in  SECO, 652  «“I am not accustomed, sir,” he began, but mastered his anger and resumed his seat» and LAST, 976 «Von Bork had mastered his anger» where “to control one’s rage” is used as a synonym of “to master one’s anger”.

Finally, I have tried to make a mix of easy and hard questions. On the whole, this should be an easier hunt than the one I did in 2017. So, if you find a question to which an answer seems too easy to be the correct one, the odds are that it probably is! At least five or six questions should be very transparent and straighforward to the experienced student of the Canon.

As usual, a forum shall be opened for the duration of the Hunt where you can submit requests for clarification of any doubtful point. I will also be available at the e-mail address treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master

Leadership Changes

This month, some changes in Society leadership took effect. I am pleased to introduce our first official Carter (the Treasurer), Tonya Spratt-Williams (JHWS “Mallory”) and Boswell (Membership Secretary), Courtney Powers (JHWS “Destiny”).

In addition, Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”) is handing the reins of Watsonian Editor-in-Chief to Brad Keefauver (JHWS “Calder”). We look forward to the Fall 2019 issue, which will be the first under his charge.

TH7: Third and Last Warm Up Quiz

Dear fellow members,

The game is (almost) afoot. The seventh Annual Treasure Hunt, composed of 60 Canonical questions, is almost ready. I hope that you will have fun.

The Hunt will open on midnight, July 31st, PST, corresponding to 9 a.m., August 1st, (CET) here in Italy. You can submit your answers until midnight, August 31st, PST.

As I already said two years ago, I must stress the fact that I am not a native English speaker, and so there may be obscurities and imperfactions regarding the form of the questions. I will of course be ready to help and clarify anything that might result in a misunderstanding on the meaning of certain expressions in the quiz.

In the meantime, please enjoy the third and last “appetizer” question for the Hunt:
“It could be rampant or couchant, and it was also the victim of a fish. What are we talking about?”

Since we are very near to the beginning of the Hunt, you have time to submit your answers to treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com until July 21st, 2019.

Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”

Shop Update

Mrs Hudson (or perhaps Mrs Turner) has completed her housekeeping in the Shop, and print copies of most publications are now available.

Membership for 2019 with print copies of both the Spring and Fall issues of The Watsonian are available until we exhaust our limited supply of the Spring 2019 issue or until December 31, 2019, whichever comes first. (The Spring issue will be mailed upon purchase of Membership, and the Fall issue will be mailed upon publication.) Paperless Memberships will remain available.

Shop Note

While we do some behind-the-scenes work in the Shop, print publications and the Print+ membership will be temporarily unavailable. Digital editions of publications and the Worldwide Paperless membership will remain available.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!

Running for the Beacon Society

Andie Stabler writes:

Calling all of my Sherlockian and non-Sherlockian friends out there! Listen up!

As many of you know, the lovely Susan Diamond passed away recently. I adored Susan. She was always good to me and she and her hubby Allen were always willing to help guide this newbie Sherlock Holmes nerd through the ups and downs of Sherlockian society. So I would like to do something to honor this wonderful lady.

For this, I will need some help.

I’m going to be running the Wonder Woman Half-Marathon in the Chicago area on June 9th. What I would like to do as well is raise money for The Beacon Society in Susan Diamond’s name. I think the Wonder Woman Half-Marathon is perfect for this, as we all know that Susan was a superhero in her own right. ?

When I cross the finish line of this race, (which will take a while, I’m sure), I would like to be able to say that through the running of this race, there is at least $500 to be donated to The Beacon Society.

You can help Andie in this effort by donating at her Just Giving page. As of this writing, she has reached the original $500 goal, but wouldn’t it be lovely to make that donation even bigger?

Hearing voices? It’s okay!

The Watsonian Weekly hit the podcast airwaves last week, as the John H. Watson Society added one more medium to its societal output. Its first week was a bit of a “soft” opening, just to make sure it was working, but this week, with episode two, the secret’s out!

So just what is the Watsonian Weekly? Well, as the name says, it’s Watsonian and it’s weekly. Beyond that? We’re starting with an audio magazine format of news and features, put together every Sunday night for your Monday morning listening pleasure. The format gives us a great flexibility of content so we can make sure and get something out every single week, and try to fill a half hour of content to start your week.

As time passes, however, you can expect special episodes when a number of Watsonians gather at some weekend function like the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium, interviews that the other podcasts may not have gotten to, or . . . who knows? It’s a very flexible medium, and Watsonians have a wide range of ideas.

In fact, we’re already welcoming Watsonians to try their hand at becoming featured voices on the podcast. Have some basic device like an iPhone with a voice memo feature that will e-mail a minute or two of talk? Have an idea that might fill as little as a minute? Or just want to send in a written note or question to add to our weekly content? The e-mail address “podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com” should reach us.

Good podcasts grow and evolve with the community they serve, and the John H. Watson Society has done quite a bit already in its six years of existence. Now we have one more outlet to celebrate John H. Watson, and share our love of him just a little more. Join us, won’t you?

You can find the Watsonian Weekly at http://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/ and coming soon to iTunes.

Brad Keefauver
Podcast anchor and editor, as well as JHWS “Calder”

Happy (?) Reichenbach Day

"The Great Falls of the Reichenbach" - Turner, 1804
“The Great Falls of the Reichenbach” (Turner, 1804)

… upon the afternoon of the 4th we set off together with the intention of crossing the hills and spending the night at the hamlet of Rosenlaui. We had strict injunctions, however, on no account to pass the falls of Reichenbach, which are about half-way up the hill, without making a small detour to see them.

It is, indeed, a fearful place. The torrent, swollen by the melting snow, plunges into a tremendous abyss, from which the spray rolls up like the smoke from a burning house. The shaft into which the river hurls itself is an immense chasm, lined by glistening, coal-black rock, and narrowing into a creaming, boiling pit of incalculable depth, which brims over and shoots the stream onward over its jagged lip. The long sweep of green water roaring for ever down, and the thick flickering curtain of spray hissing for ever upwards, turn a man giddy with their constant whirl and clamour. [FINA]

Plaque marking the location of the final struggle between Holmes and Moriarty, placed by the Bimetallic Question of Montreal and the Reichenbach Irregulars of Switzerland

The fourth of May is a date well known to Sherlockians and Watsonians the world over. On this day, 128 years ago, Holmes and Moriarty fought a final, apparently fatal struggle at the edge of the Reichenbach Falls. What really happened there has been the subject of a number of essays and pastiches over the years.

Today, there are a number of memorial sites one can visit in and around Meiringen. A life-size statue of Holmes, sculpted by John Doubleday, was unveiled by the Sherlock Holmes Society of London in 1988. Nearby, a Sherlock Holmes Museum opened in 1991.

Also in 1991, in honour of the centennial, the Bimetallic Question of Montreal and the Reichenbach Irregulars of Switzerland erected a commemorative plaque near the Falls. There are a few other plaques to be found in the area, including one noting the location of the “Englischer Hof” (otherwise known as the Hotel Rössli, Meiringen).

Have you visited the Falls, either with a group or on your own? The closest I’ve ever been is the airport in Geneva, but I’d love to get there one day!

”Chips” writes that he will be spending the day assembling a puzzle of this iconic illustration:

Paget illustration for “The Final Problem”, 1893

TH7: Second warm up quiz – Answer

Dear fellow Watsonians,
we didn’t receive a great response to the second “Appetizer” quiz. In fact, we only had one. I suppose that the Easter holidays kept many people away.

“An excess of frankness could make it sink. What?”

Answer: Sherlock Holmes’s “poor little reputation”.

«“I begin to think, Watson,” said Holmes, “that I make a mistake in explaining. ‘Omne ignotum pro magnifico,’ you know, and my poor little reputation, such as it is, will suffer shipwreck if I am so candid.”» (REDH, 177)

Congratulations to Cameron Brandon on behalf of The Sound of the Baskervilles who sent the only and correct answer.

See you for the next preliminary quiz. Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”

Now We Are Six

Founded April 11, 2013, during a time of burgeoning momentum in “Things Doyle,” the John H. Watson Society seeks a level of equality in scholarship and enthusiasm for the life and work of John H Watson, M. D. We are an open and inclusive Society, seeking the collegiality and conviviality of Members worldwide and at all stages of involvement in Watsonian, Sherlockian and Holmesian interests. Really, we are about having fun.

(About the Society)

This month, the John H Watson Society turns six years old. Our members are a glorious representation of the worldwide Sherlockian community. We have now published 11 issues of the Watsonian (with the 12th issue currently at the printer). We will be presenting our seventh annual Treasure Hunt this August, and we are among the sponsors of the inaugural Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium this October.

As a Society, we have grown and matured, and I look forward to seeing what the future brings.

As you know, the John H Watson Society is a labor of love, run entirely by volunteers. Your current volunteers have worked to construct an executive leadership team consisting of a chairperson (Boy-in-Buttons), a treasurer (Carter), and a membership secretary (Boswell). This core group will work with other volunteers to continue the activities of the John H Watson Society. At this time, we are looking for volunteers to step into two of these leadership positions.

Members will soon receive an email with further details about these positions and information on how to apply. I hope that you will consider donating your time to this worthy venture and enjoy the opportunity to become more involved in your Society.

Statement Regarding Allegations of Harassment

The John H. Watson Society was founded as the Open and Inclusive Worldwide Online Sherlockian Society (Really, We’re About Having Fun), but having fun cannot be prioritized at the expense of the safety and security of our members. The JHWS is dedicated to providing a safe space for women, queer folks, and others who have found themselves marginalized in the Sherlockian world. As part of that commitment, we cannot tolerate the harassing behaviors by Chris Redmond that have been documented elsewhere, including those of which some of our members have been victims. This behavior is not acceptable and is not condoned by the JHWS, nor is any level of sexism, racism, ableism, or homophobia. To that end, Mr Redmond’s membership has been ended effective immediately. To anyone who has been affected negatively by this behavior please know that we see you, we trust you, and we believe you.


Beth Gallego (JHWS “Selena”), Boy-in-Buttons, and Elinor Gray (JHWS “Misty”), Watsonian Editor-in-Chief

TH7: Second Warm Up Quiz

Dear fellow Watsonians,
here’s the second “Appetizer” quiz that will be published before the Hunt. I hope that it will be challenging and stimulating.

“An excess of frankness could make it sink. What?”

Since it’s a busy period for many of us, what with Sherlockian conventions and other things (221B Con starts in Atlanta tomorrow) you have time until after the Easter holidays to submit your answers to: treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com.
Please send your email within April 23rd, Tuesday.

Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”

Quick Holiday for the Shop

Holmes and Watson seated on a train
Illustration from BOSC by S. Paget

Your Shopkeeper is taking a short holiday, so please be aware that there will be a delay in shipping any print publications ordered through the Shop this week.

Any new memberships purchased this week will be processed next week, after your Shopkeeper returns.

Two Watsonians nab tickets for Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium

‘There were some figures also upon a sheet of paper, with the names of some club friends…’

With the use of a John Watson Bowler hat and some slips of paper, the names of two Watsonians were drawn this morning to receive the admission tickets for the Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium in Portland, Oregon, this October. The lucky recipients are:

Bruce Parker, JHWS ‘Oxford’

Robert Perret, JHWS ‘Sampson’

Many congratulations to our winners, and thanks to all the Watsonians participating in the contest. Our winners will receive registration instructions via email.

Registration is on-going for the symposium. It is sure to be an excellent weekend of Watsonian, Sherlockian, and Holmesian fun. Information can be found at leftcoastsherlock.com.

The JHWS will be well represented at the symposium. Won’t you join us?

Margie Deck/ ‘Mopsy’