The JHWS 2020 Treasure Hunt May Test Lab

Here they are, three experiments in the science (or art) of Watsonian quizzery from your 2020 Treasure Hunt Masters, bull pups Buck and Calder. Good luck!

Like hidden treasure, the names of fourteen clubs or societies have been buried in the following tale. Find them collect all the booty in this part of the hunt!

The Adventure of the Club of Shadows

By John H. Watson, M.D.

“I’ve solved it!” I exclaimed over breakfast, one fine autumn morning as Sherlock Holmes gave a bald wince.

“The mystery of the fourth race at Sandown Park?” my friend asked with a wry smile. “I have a pair of clients coming up shortly, and I had hoped your were saving your mental faculties to hear their case.”

“No, no,” I corrected. “I was trying to choose a caviar to treat Mary to when I take her to supper tomorrow evening.”

“The beluga or the salmon? No, wait . . . you’re going to go osetra, aren’t you?” He dropped the morning paper on the rug by the hearth. “You saw your club friends yesterday, Bell, Crick, etc., and I recall that the Romanian . . . what is his name?”

“Cavend. I should ask what region that originated in,” I replied.

“Ah, yes. The liar. No matter, I remembered . . . .”  my friend was interrupted by a frantic knock at the door to our sitting room.

“The clients!” Holmes announced. “And from Mrs. Hudson’s knock, I would guess she is anxious to be rid of them. Come in! Come in!”

The door opened and in rushed two of the strangest characters we had ever seen invade our rooms. The first looked like a chorus member from a cheap-ticket production of The Pirates of Penzance where the costumer mixed up pirates with Welsh vagabonds. The second was an obvious academic, with a notebook and two mouldering tomes under one arm.

“Shoo must halp us!” the former cried out immediately. “Da rules! Da foe boss bans soooo much! Da nite ban, da hoos ban, da keyu ban – we are allowed no thang!”

“Perhaps my friend does not speak as precisely as one might wish,” the other said. “But he expresses our problem quite well. Our membership has been infiltrated by some hidden element that has taken control. Some thing hunted him within the walls of our own club. Someone kidnapped his children, and now he is charged like a spun ion, an angry volt, a radiant ethericle.”

“YAIS! YAIS! Shoo halp! Shoo end haunting! Shoo free ma sons!” The more colorful member of the pair gesticulated wildly.

“He was hunted, you say?” Holmes’s eyes had lit up with interest.

“He was not the only one. An occulist barely escaped a stalker, and the predator did manage to bag a teller from Capital and Counties! I myself have considered emigrating to America, where my French friend DuLeche has settle in the new city of Phoenix with Vicomte Morcar! Bon Arizona! These shadow-men filling our club are making life tres impossible!”

“Da foe boss ban whist! He ban rummy! He ban skat!”

“Ingenues have been admitted! The chef has been instructed to serve recipes no one has heard of! Coq au prune! Curried cabbage! Mustang loin Diana! Baked Virginia! It is an unsustainable environment for gentlemen!” The two men seemed to be raising each other’s level of agitation with each back-and-forth.

Sherlock Holmes raised a hand, holding his palm visible until they calmed enough for him to speak.

“I fully understand, gentlemen. You may trust that I will have this matter solved by the time you awake tomorrow morn.”

“Thenk yoo! Thenk yoo!”

“Yes, thank you, Mr. Holmes! We’ll look forward to tomorrow’s resolution!”

“Good-bye then,” said Holmes as he showed them the door. “And trying dining somewhere else this evening. Simpson’s is excellent.”

When we had heard them descend the seventeen steps and exit the house’s front door, Holmes smiled and picked up the paper from the rug where he had dropped it.

“Have you not found a way to keep those madmen from showing up every few weeks?” I asked him.

“A good night’s sleep always clears up whatever delusions they have built up,” my friend replied. “Let us get back to more urgent matters.  I believe Mycroft has a very discreet connection to more local sturgeons, and, given a good reason, such as your recent engagement, I believe I can persuade him to use it.”

“If you are invited . . .”

“If I am invited.”

And so ended the matter of the club of shadows, which would one day be recorded as a sort of “fan fiction” featuring the thespian Robert Downey the second’s portrayal of my friend. The fourth Mrs. Watson has always questioned the quality of the tale, to which I always reply, “It’s a Watson on par, Eilleen, it’s a Watson on par.”

————————————————————–

Every good treasure hunt needs a map, and you might need one too! In the following exercise, you need to be able to identify the streets, and then follow them to your final answer.

The Streets That Lead To A Treasure

PART 1

Find the roads.

A – Where an angel worked.

B – Where the Dutch have fake bottoms.

C – Where a gusty financial establishment works.

D – Where the tea merchant is.

E – Where Holmes swiftly turned into an alley.

F – Not Harley Street.

G – Where a van dashed.

H – Where Watson dispatched a telegram.

I – The origin of a doctor’s cigarette.

J – A crossing, two horses and a flash.

K – His own rooms.

L – After the doctors’ 25 cents.

M – Aroma ogre (anag.) comes from here.

N – The quarters where one must set up in one of twelve streets.

PART 2

Use Part 1 and the directions below to find a place.

1:

·   Start where A meets the first appearance of The Ring of Thoth

·   Travel along A to B

·   Follow B to C

·   Walk to D and stop.

2:

·   Start at the intersection of E and F

·   Follow E all the way down to G

·   Follow G to H

·   Follow H to be back in line with F

·   From here got to I

·   Go along to G and stop.

3:

·   Start at the junction of J and K

·   Go along K to L.

·   Go along L to H.

·   Go along H to J

·   Go along H to M and stop.

4:

·   Start at the corner of K and M

·   Go along M to N

·   Go along N until you cross your own path and then stop.

Combining all four routes, where are you?

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A single page of the Sherlockian Canon can lead you to gold and gems. Don’t worry if you don’t have the particular volume, the words are nearly always the same and there’s a look of this particular page after the questions so you can make sure you’re on the right trail.

A brief segment based entirely on page 520 of the Doubleday Complete based entirely on data found outside the Canon and not at all fair for anyone but the writers.

1. If this was set in 1987 and a predecessor to Elementary, what second member of “the Agency” would we surely expect to see on the next page.

2. We all remember Sherlock Holmes bending an iron poker in “Speckled Band.” But what evidence of his incredible strength do we see presented on page 520?

3. Who on this page was plainly done watching the films of Tommy Wiseau, even though Watson plainly hadn’t heard of one?

4. If Irene Adler were more like Elsie Cubitt, Watson might have done some damage. Why?

5. The help had to be drinking for everyone there to know their disdain for this Mary Steenburgen film they had been watching in their room so quickly. What was the film?

6. Of course the Norfolk official wanted to go into the garden. His greatest non-Canonical case involved a gang that hung out in such places in Croatia. Name the case.

7. The evidence of Sasquatch in this case?

8. Make the best poker hand you can from this page.

One Reply to “The JHWS 2020 Treasure Hunt May Test Lab”

  1. Please advise if you would like to receive answers? And, if so, is there a deadline?

    Looks interesting! (And scary, a bit.)

    Mopsy

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