April Journal Coming Soon

We had hoped to mail the April issue of The Watsonian by the 20th of April, but it will take a while longer than expected. This is a LARGE issue, bigger than the inaugural edition and has taken longer to produce.  Plus, to be more efficient and save on postage and handling charges by the printer, Buttons will do the mailings from Florida which requires shipping all copies in bulk from the printer.To be safe, we are targeting a mail date of May 6th, which should see domestic arrivals beginning on May 15 and international arrivals by the end of May.  So, overall we will be about two weeks longer than anticipated.

Thank you for your kind understanding and patience. The upside is that we can say YOU WILL ENJOY THIS ISSUE!  Dr Joanne Yates, our Editor and Publisher, has done a wonderful job of design, coaching, and creating a fine journal with many fascinating articles, papers, and observations by a large cast of our creative and talented members.

Society’s Website is Secure from “Heartbleed”

You have read of the massive security problem on most Internet sites called “Heartbleed.”

The Society tested its website this morning for this security problem and we are OKAY. Our host had taken steps to block this bug or the server was never vulnerable. The long and short: We are sensitive to Internet security and take steps to assure our website is secure.

Second Annual John H Watson Society and World Invitational Treasure Hunt To Be Held in August 2014

The Second Annual John H Watson Society and World Invitational Treasure Hunt will be held during the month of August 2014, beginning on 1 August and closing on 1 September, 2014.

The Treasure Hunt will consist of 100 exceptionally difficult quiz questions (perhaps more) involving Canonical text and the scholarship and miscellanea from the past 80 years.

This year, the Society is also extending invitations to scion clubs from around the world to field teams of 3 to 5 members to participate in the International Invitational Team Category.  We are hoping to have participation from England, France, Italy, Japan, India, Germany, U.S. scions, and other nations. All organisations are welcome.

A beautiful, engraved crystal vase will be awarded to the International Team who takes the honours.

More information is available on the Treasure Hunt page on this website. Please note the change in dates and please review the general guidelines for participating. As we believe many discovered last year, this is a difficult, grueling and time-consuming SuperQuiz, perhaps the most difficult ever devised in Sherlockian/Watsonian history.  Join in and have fun! Check back here for upcoming information over the next several months.

Brief Hiatus on Society Business

“Buttons” and “Asta” will be moving from California to Florida beginning March 3, 2014. We would ask your patience on Society business until we arrive and get moved into our new home in Ocala, Florida. We anticipate being able to fulfill Society business about March 15th, 2014. Until then, memberships, monograph orders, pin orders and other requests will be forwarded to us via email and we will respond as soon as possible after March 15th. Thank you for your understanding.

Of course, anyone having a burning question, idea, or comment can always leave a comment on this page and others can reply as if we weren’t here (which we won’t be)!

Email Disaster!

So many of our members inadvertently unsubscribed from the email sent today that the email service–MailChimp–has shut us down!  We cannot reinstate you if you unsubscribed. Now, we will have to switch to a new email service, re-enter all members, and that will take some time.  This only pertains to the member-wide emails we RARELY sent via Mail Chimp; normal individual emails from and to you via Buttons are not involved. So, in lieu of Society-wide emails for important topics, please visit this page REGULARLY!  Thanks!


Society Activities Through April 2014

During February and March, our Editor, Dr Joanne Yates “Sandy” and Buttons will be busy working on the next issue of The Watsonian scheduled for mailing on or around 15 April 2014.  We are anticipating an issue even larger than the inaugural October 2013 issue, so there is a great deal of work to be accomplished.

During this period, we may have to slow our Weekly Quiz to a Bi-Weekly Quiz. Buttons will try to keep them coming every week, but there are other complications, as you will learn next.

Buttons and Andrea Stewart “Asta,” our Membership Director, will be relocating from Sonoma County, California’s wine country to the beautiful Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, Florida, where they look forward to embarking on another of their many life adventures at age 70.  As you may imagine, the details of home buying and moving will be a bit time-consuming, so we may not be quite as responsive as normal. We are foregoing the seven-day, 3,000 mile drive in favor of a direct flight in seven hours (which is a major concession by Buttons as he had sworn NEVER to fly again for ANY reason after 40 years of  flying 200 days a year). We hope to be in our new home and fairly settled by 15 March 2014.

There will be some periods when we will be out of communication; unfortunately, some of it will be during the final days of getting the journal off to the printer, but we will persevere and doubtless all will go smoothly. If, for some reason, Buttons is unable to reply to your emails quickly, your patience will be greatly appreciated.

The John H Watson Society has been designed as primarily an online Society, so it will continue to operate as it has so far, only partially from a different location. Our activities for 2014 include the two issues of The Watsonian, two published monographs, the Weekly Quizzes, the Second Annual Treasure Hunt, and–coming in October–the First International Invitational Team Treasure Hunt, an exciting worldwide Super-Quiz to challenge Watsonians and Sherlockians from around the globe.

As always, sincere thanks and appreciation is extended to our now nearly 140 members for your interest, your participation, and your continued support of the Society.

Weekly Quizzes Resume 3 January 2014

Just a reminder to our intrepid Quiz Masters that the Weekly Quiz will resume on Friday, 3 January 2014 at 4 pm Pacific time.

With a new year beginning, we invite all of our members to participate in the quiz activities. It is a pleasant and fun diversion each week and we have many reports from long-time Sherlockians and Watsonians saying that they always learn many new things from the quizzes.

Please, do give it a go!

Weekly Quiz on Holiday until January 4, 2014

At the urging of our Quiz Masters and Members, Buttons is declaring a Quiz Holiday for the Holidays. We will suspend the Weekly Quiz until Friday, 4 January 2014 when we will resume with an all new year of Canonical quizzing!

Buttons needs a holiday, too, from the scribbling of notes in the margins of his Doubleday. He is planning on spending time with his mates at the local across the square, The Frog and Pig, where a turkey Cornish pasty and a few pints of best bitter are calling. The good Doctor and Mr Holmes will likely be looking for a two-barred goose again his year, and Buttons will repair to the Alpha Inn for a bit of supper and a nice eggnog.  An abundancy of Thanksgiving and Festive Greetings to all!


Confusion reigns!  Buttons went and changed the Blog Page to be called Watsonian News and Events . . . and then he moved it!

The old Blog Page is now the Home Page and is renamed Watsonian News and Events.  Same old Blog just a new name and location.  When you arrive at the Society website, you automatically are on the News and Events Page (old Blog) and you can click and comment on anything you wish just like before.

Clearly, Buttons had one too many pints and made this change without thinking. He is sorry for the confusion, but believes this will be easier for all to see the constantly changing news and events of the Society.  He is, however, grateful that members noticed!

Sherlock Hallows

New Weekly Quiz Today!

The first of the new Weekly Quiz features will appear today by 12 Noon (Pacific time) on the Quiz Page!  Please take a look and give it a try. Your answers can be sent via email to Buttons by 12 Noon on Saturday 21 September 21. First email received with the highest number of correct answers is the week’s Quiz Master.

The Open International Competition of the Treasure Hunt Won by the Team from France!

The Society is pleased to announce the winners of the Open International Competition of the First Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt:

Team France of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France.

Their team consisted of M. Thierry Saint-Joanis and M. Alexis Barquin, who are both leaders of La Société Sherlock Holmes de France and maintain the very valuable website Sherlockian Who’s Who found at the following web address:

This skilled and knowledgeable team answered an amazing number of the 100 difficult questions, and did so without the use of the edition of The Complete Sherlock Holmes specified in the Treasure Hunt and to which all page number references were keyed.  Essentially, they were working from memory. Formidable!

Congratulations to the first International Team winners!

The Answer Key to the First Canonical Treasure Hunt has now been posted on the Treasure Hunt Page.

Exciting New Quiz Approach

Here at the Doctor’s Consulting Room, we have an idea to keep our valued patients entertained while they await the good doctor’s ministrations.

Up until now, we have set out single question quiz conundrums for almost daily consumption. Not everyone stops by the practice daily, so we are going to tack up on the notice board a Weekly Quiz consisting of 10 to 20 individual questions. These will be set based on a theme. One week it may be poisons in the Canon; another it may be professions; other weekly themes may concern counties, or trains, or hotels, or manor houses, or dates … or even figs for that matter … the possibilities are almost endless.

You will be invited to work out the answers and send an email with your solutions to  buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com by the final day when the Weekly Quiz closes. Buttons will review your answers with the good doctor (who, after all, is the only one who knows precisely what he meant when he wrote the Canon) and the two of them will announce a Weekly Quiz Master. The successful Quiz Master will be the person who emails first with the highest number of correct answers.

The Weekly Quiz Masters will have an opportunity to participate in a Quarterly Quiz every three months (the 12 Weekly Quiz Masters competing for the Quarterly Quiz Master).

And, as you have already deduced, the four Quarterly Quiz Masters will participate for the Annual Quiz Master designation. Somewhere along the way, there will be appropriate, nice mementos for those members who excel. Sounds a lot like that American quiz program “Jeopardy,” doesn’t it?

Now for the details…

The Weekly Quiz will be posted on the Quiz Page of the Society website by 12:00 Noon (Pacific) each Monday.

Answers (preferably Word documents sent as an attachment) will be emailed to buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com by 12:00 Noon (Pacific) on the Saturday following (you will have five days to complete the Quiz). To be the Weekly Quiz Master, you will have to email first and have the highest number of correct answers.

The Weekly Quiz Master will be posted on the Quiz Page on the next Monday when the new Weekly Quiz is posted.

We believe this will be great fun… plus there is another reason for developing our skills. The Annual John H. Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt has recently identified a team of Quiz Mavens (the Seattle-based SOB’s) who have proven to be among the best in the world. Soon, we are going to expand upon that unique competition…. a very exciting development to be announced in a few months . . . and we are hoping to identify even more Quiz Masters and Quiz Mavens within the Society for what promises to be a whole new level of Canonical scholarship and quiz expertise.  Stay tuned!  But, until, please participate in the Weekly Quiz events!

The first Weekly Quiz begins 16 September 2013 by 12 Noon (Pacific).  Watch for it!  Try it!  Have some fun!

Treasure Hunt Winners!

The 2013 First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt was a success!

Many of our members (and many non-members) have reported that it was “fiendishly difficult,” “maddeningly hard,” and “just plain tough.” There were 100 questions, linked, requiring the solver to work from question 1 through to question 100 in order to arrive at the identification of the Ultimate Treasure. The devisers of the Treasure Hunt believe that it may be the most difficult quiz ever set in Watsonian and Sherlockian history.

Participants were given one month to complete the Treasure Hunt and the winners were determined by the number of correct answers, the date and time of submission of the answers, and the correct solution to the final Ultimate Treasure.

Were are delighted to announce that we have winners! There are members and non-members who persevered and found their way to the solution.

The 2013 winners of the First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt  are:

Open Team Competition:

The team consisting of Society Members from Seattle’s Sound of the Baskervilles (SOB’s) who scored a perfect 100 on the very difficult questions. Their team consists of:

Stephen Adkins, JHWS “Alfie”
Margie Deck, JHWS “Gwen”
David Haugen
Sheila Holtgrieve, JHWS “Daisy”
Allen Nelson, JHWS “tbn”
Margaret Nelson,  JHWS “tbn”

Congratulations to Team SOB’s on their scholarship, teamwork and their perseverance. They report having logged hundreds of hours during the month-long Treasure Hunt. They also competed entirely for the fun and joy and specifically requested that they be awarded no prize. Instead, the Society has awarded two-year Charter Memberships to the team non-members as a token of its respect and admiration and to joyfully obtain four new members who are dynamite quizzers. The team will defend in the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt scheduled for June 2014.

Open Individual Competition:

Working entirely alone and finally completing the Treasure Hunt just as his wife was preparing to pack his bags for him after twenty-three days of Treasure Hunt obsession, and as his grandchildren were constantly questioning “What in the world is wrong with Pop?” our intrepid Society member Denny Dobry, JHWS “Kirby,” who resides in Reading, Pennsylvania and is the  Current Gasogene of the White Rose Irregulars of York, took Open Individual honours with a score of  98 correct answers. Denny even managed to find numerous alternative, accurate answers to questions that Buttons overlooked. Congratulations to “Kirby” on a job well done. He wins the Treasure Hunt Prize, a British First Edition of The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes donated by an anonymous member.

The Open Student Competition attracted no entries. We would encourage all Society members to “adopt a student for the Canon” and encourage participation in next year’s Treasure Hunt.

The Open Team International Competition has been extended to 9 September 2013 and a winner will be announced if the correct entry is received.

The answers to the 2013 Treasure Hunt will be added to the Treasure Hunt page on 9 September 2013 when the competition is officially closed.

Congratulations to all who participated, those who tried, those who persevered, and those who achieved success. Next year, the Treasure Hunt will be revised and a focus on teams as well as inter-Canonical organization competition will be strengthened. And . . . It will be even more difficult!

Please watch for announcements of the 2014 Second Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt over the months ahead. Also, please watch in the next month for an announcement of a major new event being sponsored by our Society that will involve the entire Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world!  This is going to be VERY exciting!

And now . . . after a long labour . . . perhaps Buttons shall have a steak and kidney pie and a pint of best bitter . . . or two . . . .

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is Closed. The 2014 Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2013 Treasure Hunt is closed. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, 4 September 2013 on this Blog page. The International category will remain open until 9 September 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific) and the winner of the International category will be announced here shortly thereafter.

The 2014 John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt is Announced!

The 2014 Treasure Hunt will have slight changes and will shift focus towards open individual and team participation and competition from scion clubs and organisations worldwide. Society members, individuals and teams will find a detailed explanation of the 2014 Treasure Hunt on the Treasure Hunt Page of the website.

We encourage preparation and assembling of resources for the next John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt which we promise will be as difficult as the 2013 edition. We also are announcing new collectible awards in lieu of tangible prizes.