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: First Warm Up Quiz – Answer

So, here is the answer to the first Warm Up Quiz in preparation for the Annual Treasure Hunt 2019.

Three members of the family lived in the upper, and one lived in the lower. What place are we talking about?

Tredannick, in Cornwall. Brenda, Owen and George Tregeniss lived in Tredannick Wartha, and Mortimer Tregennis lived in Tredannick Wollas. In Cornish language, Wartha means “Upper” and Wollas means “Lower”.

“The nearest of these was the hamlet of Tredannick Wollas, where the cottages of a couple of hundred inhabitants clustered round an ancient, moss-grown church. …we […] had come to know, also, Mr. Mortimer Tregennis, an independent gentleman, who increased the clergyman’s scanty resources by taking rooms in his large, straggling house.” (DEVI, 956)
“…his two brothers, Owen and George, and of his sister Brenda, at their house of Tredannick Wartha, which is near the old stone cross upon the moor.” (DEVI, 956)

«The “Wollas” in the village name comes from the Cornish word goles, meaning “lower”; similarly, the “Wartha” in Tredannick Wartha means “upper”. The real village of Predannack was split into upper and lower manors owned by different families in medieval times.»
https://bakerstreet.fandom.com/wiki/Tredannick_Wollas

Congratulations to John Gehan, Sheila Holtgrieve “Daisy”, and Ron Lies “Chips”, who all gave the right answer!

I received three correct answers from three participants, so perhaps this question wasn’t so hard after all. Well, we’ll see with the next!
Regards,
Michele aka “Reggie”

TH7: First Warm Up Quiz

“Well, it begins to define itself.” (3GAR)

So, fellow Watsonians, here we are. In about six months we’ll have our seventh Annual Treasure Hunt. I’m proud and happy to announce that I’ll be returning this year as Treasure Hunt Master.

The task, as usual, won’t be easy. Trying to make up a satisfactory set of questions means being caught between “the Scylla and Charybdis” (RESI) of making the quiz difficult enough to challenge the resources and the brains of the participants, but not too complex or convoluted, lest people lose interest and throw the towel in, wishing the quiz maker to the bottom of the Reichenbach.
Some informations: the quiz will consist of 60 questions (a Canonical number!) and part of them will probably be chain questions like those devised by our “Mopsy” for last year’s Hunt. As always, the use of a good Sherlockian Encyclopadia is recommended (Jack Tracy’s Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana, Orlando Park’s Sherlock Holmes, Esq. and John H. Watson, M.D.: An Encyclopedia of Their Affairs, Martin Dakin’s A Sherlock Holmes Commentary), as well as a good annotated version of the Canon (Les Klinger’s, Baring-Gould’s, and/ or the Oxford Annotated).

In order to raise your interest, and to test and balance the level of the challenge, here’s the first of the “Appetizers” that will be published before the Hunt. Warning: this is a difficult question. It requires not only knowledge of the Canon, but also a certain amount of Internet research and/or the use of a good encyclopedia. If I am judging correctly, this is about the highest difficulty level that you will find in the questions of the Hunt. (But then again I may be wrong and you’ll all breeze through it…) The subject here is geography.

“Three members of the family lived in the upper, and one lived in the lower. What place are we talking about?”

(N.B. The answer must be the exact name of the place, not a generic one. E.G. if the answer was “Florence”, “Italy” or “Tuscany” would not be acceptable answers.)
Please submit your answers to: treasurehunt@johnhwatsonsociety.com within February 22nd, Friday. Happy Hunting!
Michele Lopez
2019 Treasure Hunt Master
JHWS “Reggie”, BSI “Attenta, Pericolo”