running a test question has been a useful and instructive experience. I hope I have learned something about how to put my questions correctly in order that they may be challenging but not impossible.
The test question proved itself harder that I judged at first. I promise that feedback will be incorporated in the final revision of the questions for the Hunt.
Only one team gave the correct answer: Margie Deck, “Mopsy” and Sheila Holtgrieve, “Daisy”.
The revised text of the question:
“The two friends sat over this while talking about a man who had a turbulent relationship with a person homonymous (same first and last name) of one of them. Name the friends, the man, and what they sat over.”
Answer: The two friends: Sherlock Holmes and John H Watson; the man: Paganini; what they sat over: a bottle of claret.
“This led him to Paganini, and we sat for an hour over a bottle of claret while he told me anecdote after anecdote of that extraordinary man.” (CARD, 894)
The tricky part was the connection between Paganini and a man named John Watson. Watson was an impresario and pianist who played with Paganini on a tour. Later Paganini fell in love with Watson’s daughter, Charlotte, and asked her to marry him, but Watson prevented the marriage and a bitter feud ensued between the two former colleagues.
I honestly remembered that this was an easier information to find, but I noticed too late that it’s not mentioned on Wikipedia or the Encyclopedia Britannica online articles on Paganini and it requires some more extended internet search.
I promise that other references of this kind will not be so hard to discover. The use of a common encyclopaedia or a good reference book (such as Jack Tracy’s Encyclopaedia Sherlockiana) should be enough.
Congratulations to the winners and don’t despair, this should actually be the highest level of difficulty that you will find in the Hunt (about 10% of questions shall be of this type).