Quiz Page

  • 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

  • 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”

  • 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”

  • 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”

  • 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?
  • 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”)