The Sherlock Holmes Quiz Bowl Packet
Copyright 1998, K. Michael Wilcox
1. It is unique in that it does not spend the second half on an extended
flashback sequence with neither Holmes nor Watson. Instead, the mystery on
Grimden Moor continues through the final chapter. For ten points, name this
most famous of the novels.
ANS: "The _Hound of the Baskervilles_"
2. The stories in "His Last Bow" were written between 1908 and 1917,
with one exception. This 1893 story, with its theme of adultery had been
uncollected for over twenty years. For ten points, what is this story named
for a container?
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Cardboard Box_"
3. In reality, it has three smaller parts, and it is probably the middle one
which Watson describes as a "fearful place." For ten points, what is this
feature of the Aare in Hasli Valley, where Holmes had his fateful
confrontation with Professor Moriarty?
ANS: _Reichenbach Fall(s)_
4. "Sherlock Holmes is a free spirit; you can't pin him down. He is
probably the most complicated character I've played in my life." This was
said by the actor whose pre-Holmes roles included Freddie in "My Fair Lady"
and Maxim de Winter in a television adaptation of "Rebecca". For ten points,
name this actor, born Peter Jeremy William Huggins, who played Holmes from
1984 until shortly before his death in 1995.
ANS: Jeremy _Brett_
5. "I charge you, sir, to remember the packet." "Keep him out! For ---'s
sake, keep him out!" Or simply "Aaaaaaaagggggghhhh!" These are, for ten
points, the what, respectively, of Anna Coram, Major John Sholto, and many
other characters in the canon?
ANS: _Last Words_ (Accept equivalents)
6. One of the detective's most amazing leaps is when he deduces "Never."
His deduction is even more amazing considering that a few letters are
inconsistent or identical to others. Unless, of course, Watson erred in his
transcription of, for ten points, what famous substitution cypher?
ANS: The _Dancing Men_ Code
7. This son of a U.S. senator and friend of Mark Twain was selected by
Charles Frohman to appear onstage as Holmes, and he was also given the task
of rewriting Conan Doyle's script. Doing so, he coined the phrase
"Elementary, my dear Watson" and created the most successful Holmes play
ever. For ten points, name the man forever associated with the 1899 play
entitled simply "Sherlock Holmes".
ANS: William _Gillette_
8. It gets only one mention in the canon, when Holmes receives a letter
referring to the Matilda Briggs case. As he tells Watson, Briggs "was not
the name of a young woman," but a ship associated with, for ten points, what
creature, in a story "for which the world is not yet prepared"?
ANS: The Giant _Rat of Sumatra_
9. His rooms are on Pall Mall, conveniently located around the corner from
his office, where he earns a mere 450 pounds a year, and across the street
from the club he helped found. Despite his insular, physically lazy
lifestyle and subordinate position, he is described by his brother as "the
most indispensable man in the country." For ten points, name this older
sibling of Sherlock.
ANS: _Mycroft_ Holmes
10. In one form or another, this appears seven times in the canon, including
twice in "The Sign of Four". The first comes after Holmes surprises Watson
by deducing that the doctor had sent a telegram that morning. Its next use,
in its most familiar phrasing, comes a short while later when Holmes gives,
for ten points, what famous axiom during his explanation of a murderer's
entry into a locked room?
ANS: _"When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however
improbable, must be the truth."_ (Accept equivalents)
11. There is, in fact, only one of these; all others are invented by
"Killer" Evans. Of course, this comes as a shock to the genuine article,
Nathan, a collector of fossils and other antiques. For ten points, what name
does he share (or not) with the fictitious John, Howard, and late Alexander
12. A member of the Algonquin Round Table, Christopher Morley, published in
"The Saturday Review of Literature" for May 19, 1934, a crossword puzzle
which became the test for admission to the first annual dinner of, for ten
points, what new Sherlockian society, now the largest and best-known in the
ANS: The _Baker Street Irregulars_
13. Watson claims to have "an almost verbatim report" on this case from the
July following his marriage, or so he says in the opening paragraph of "The
Naval Treaty," published in 1893. Many years later, though, when the story
itself is published, most of the dates and names are changed or omitted. For
ten points, what is this sequence of events now "in a year and even in a
decade that shall be nameless"?
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Second Stain_"
14. This nine-letter word is the daily newspaper in Council Bluffs, Iowa, a
small, flat chocolate drop covered with white pellets of sugar, a bird also
called the painted bunting, and the club in which Holmes discovered that
Colonel Upwood was cheating at cards. For ten points what is this word
15. A shade of red appears in the title of the first novel, and that hue
appears in numerous following tales. Later stories have titles with orange,
blue, yellow, black, and more tints, but, for ten points, what is the only
story title that contains (within a compound word) the term that describes
all of these?
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Retired Colourman_"
16. Though it's not known in what the work of the twenty-one-year-old may
have added to the subject, young Moriarty's treatise was said to have had a
European vogue. First put forth by Sir Isaac Newton, what theorem, for ten
points, asserts that for any real a and b and positive integer n, (a+b) to
the nth can be expanded into terms of the power of a and b?
ANS: The _Binomial_ Theorem
17. "I have wrought my simple plan/ If I give one hour of joy/ To the boy
who's half a man/ Or the man who's half a boy." So begins, for ten points,
what tale of Ed Malone and Professor Challenger, probably the best-known of
Doyle's works not to feature Holmes?
ANS: "The _Lost World_"
18. Though better known for his work with another franchise, he has written
some of the most popular Holmes novels of the last thirty years, including
1976's "The West End Horror" and 1974's "The Seven Per-Cent Solution". For
ten points, name the director of the second and sixth "Star Trek" films, the
latter of which included the suggestion that Spock is a descendant of Holmes.
ANS: Nicholas _Meyer_
19. Holmes must contend with the disguises and death-traps of counterfeiter
Hilda Courtney, who is searching for music boxes with stolen printing plates
inside in, for ten points, what last of the Rathbone/Bruce films, which
shares its name with a 1980 Michael Caine/Angie Dickinson film?
ANS: "Sherlock Holmes in _Dressed to Kill_" (Accept early: "Sherlock Holmes
and the _Secret Code_")
20. Holmes started his work on the case in this story in Chicago, then went
to Buffalo and Skibbareen before finally coming into contact with his quarry,
the popular sportsman Von Bork, who heads a ring of spies for Germany. For
ten points, name the story in which Holmes leaves his retirement on the eve
of the Great War.
ANS: _"His Last Bow"_
(Each of these is worth 30 total points)
1. Unlike with "Hound", each of the other three novels does devote the
second half to a background tale. For ten points each, given a brief
description of that story, identify the novel.
a. A very negative account of life among the Mormons in Utah.
ANS: "A _Study in Scarlet_"
b. The tale of one man's stay in the western U.S. in a town controlled by
ANS: "The _Valley of Fear_"
c. A first-hand description of a violent rebellion in India.
ANS: "The _Sign of Four_" (Accept: "The _Sign of the Four_")
2. In "A Study in Scarlet", Watson makes notes of his new friend's knowledge
in certain areas. For ten points each, given what Watson wrote, identify the
c. Accurate, but unsystematic
3. The period after Holmes's supposed death was known as the Great Hiatus.
For the stated number of points, answer the following about that period.
a. For five: According to Holmes, he spent the majority of the Hiatus in
what region of Asia?
b. For ten: What well-publicized traveler did Holmes claim was really him?
ANS: A Norwegian named _Sigerson_
c. For five: What story marked the end of the Hiatus?
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Empty House_"
d: For ten: For five points each, in what month and year did Holmes
reappear according to Watson?
ANS: _April_ and _1894_
4. For a quick fifteen points each, eliminating "The Adventure of" and any
articles, what stories come first and last alphabetically?
ANS: "The _Abbey Grange_" and "The _Yellow Face_"
5. For the stated number of points, answer the following about "The
Adventure of the Lion's Mane."
a. For five: Who narrates this tale?
ANS: Sherlock _Holmes_
b. For ten: What other story does Holmes narrate himself?
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Blanched Soldier_"
c. For five: Why does Watson not appear?
ANS: The story comes after _Holmes's retirement_ (Accept equivalents)
d. For ten: What is the Lion's Mane?
ANS: _Cyanea_ Capillata (Accept: _Jellyfish_)
6. Even in the Granada series with Jeremy Brett, stories were changed for
television, and this sometimes extended to the titles. For the stated number
of points, given the name of the television episode, name the original story.
a. For five: "The Eligible Bachelor"
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Noble Bachelor_"
b. For ten: "The Last Vampyre"
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Sussex Vampire_"
c. For fifteen: "The Master Blackmailer"
ANS: "The Adventure of _Charles Augustus Milverton_"
7. 30-20-10-5. Name the story from quotes.
For thirty: "It is the first Saturday night in seven-and-twenty years that I
have not had my rubber."
For twenty: "It is to copy out the Encyclopaedia Britannica."
For ten: "The fish which you have tattooed immediately above your right
wrist could only have been done in China."
For five: "Every shade of colour they were - straw, lemon, orange, brick,
Irish-setter, liver, clay; but, as Spaulding said, there were not so many who
had the real flame-coloured tint."
ANS: "The _Red-Headed League_"
8. And now for the obligatory combination bonus. From the description,
identify the title which combines a Holmes short story with a popular song
for ten points each. For example, if I said that this title track from the
Beatles' last album has been criticized for its depiction of Mormons, you
would say "A Study in Scarlet It Be," except that's a novel.
a. Queen's longest hit single was this tune dedicated to Irene Adler.
ANS: "A _Scandal in Bohemian Rhapsody_"
b. Paul McCartney and Wings gave us this hit about a very improbable snake.
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Speckled Band on the Run_"
c. Kenny Loggins turned the tragedy of the Tregennis clan into this
surprisingly upbeat song.
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Devil's Footloose_"
9. For the stated number of points, answer the following about the original
publications of the stories.
a. For five: What magazine introduced England to every Holmes tale from "A
Scandal in Bohemia" on?
ANS: "The _Strand_"
b. For twenty-five: With ten points for one or twenty-five for both, name
the journals which first published "A Study in Scarlet" and "The Sign of
ANS: "_Beeton's_ Christmas Annual" and "_Lippincott's_ Monthly Magazine"
10. William Gillette's "Sherlock Holmes" has been performed numerous times
in several countries. For ten points each, name these actors who've appeared
a. This famous member of an acting dynasty, whose name is the same as a
character in "Hound of the Baskervilles", played Holmes in the 1922 film
version of the play.
ANS: _John Barrymore_
b. At age twelve, he appeared as the detective's page, Billy, in one of the
first touring companies of the play before moving on to adult roles in "The
Kid" and "City Lights".
ANS: Charlie _Chaplin_
c. This actor, who played the title role in a major 1976 revival, has
appeared on film as Dracula, Skeletor, and a White House Chief of Staff.
ANS: Frank _Langella_
11. Earlier, I asked about "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box." Now,
answer these additional questions for the stated number of points.
a. For five: What was in the title box that caused such a stir?
ANS: A severed _ear_
b. For ten: If the story had been collected with others written at the
time, it would have been in what collection?
ANS: "The _Memoirs_ of Sherlock Holmes"
c. For fifteen: When the story was omitted from "Memoirs", the opening
scene of Holmes apparently reading Watson's thoughts was appended to what
ANS: "The _Resident Patient_"
12. For the stated number of points, identify the following women who have
caught Watson's eye.
a. For five: This is the one woman known for certain to have reciprocated
the doctor's interest enough to marry him.
ANS: _Mary Morstan_ (Prompt on partial)
b. For ten: Watson claimed "I can never forget the effect which" this
governess for American Neil Gibson and his late wife "produced on me."
ANS: Grace _Dunbar_
c. For fifteen: Seldom had Watson seen "so graceful a figure, so womanly a
presence and so beautiful a face" as when he met this recent widow lying to
shield her lover.
ANS: Lady Mary _Brackenstall_
13. Precious metals appear in the names of three stories. For a quick ten
points each, name them.
ANS: "The Adventure of the _Copper Beeches_," "_Silver Blaze_," and "The
Adventure of the _Golden Pince-Nez_"
14. The original by-laws for the Baker Street Irregulars specified the
creation of three officers. For ten points each, name the three officers,
whose duties correspond to those of a president, a secretary, and a guy who
"shall... telephone down for ice, White Rock, and whatever else may be
required and available; [and] conduct all negotiations with waiters..." among
ANS: The _Gasogene_, the _Tantalus_, and the _Commissionaire_
15. For ten points on the nose or five for within two years, in what year
did the following events in Arthur Conan Doyle's life occur?
a. His birth
ANS: _1859_ (1857-1861)
b. The publication of his first story, "The Mystery of Sasassa Valley"
ANS: _1879_ (1877-1881)
c. His second marriage, to Jean Leckie
ANS: _1907_ (1905-1909)
16. "Why [should I] study this case?" "Because it was the first in which I
was ever engaged." For ten points each, answer these questions about that
a. The story was named for what ship lost at sea?
ANS: The _Gloria Scott_
b. What type of ship did the Gloria Scott turn out to be?
ANS: A _prison_ ship (Accept equivalents)
c. Holmes became involved in the case after being invited home by what
fellow student, the "only friend I made during the two years I was at
ANS: Victor _Trevor_ Jr.
17. BSI may be the largest, but Sherlockian societies exist all over the
world. For ten points each, given some groups, name the country in which
a. The Society of the Three Schoolgirls, the Remnant of Scowrers, and the
Red Circle of Niigata
b. The C.P.R. Stockholder's Society, the Binomial Theorists of Nanaimo,
and the Midland Electric Company
c. The Trained Cormorants, the Non-Canonical Calabashes, and the Wisteria-
ANS: The _U_nited _S_tates [All are, in fact, in the L.A. area.]
18. Sherlock Holmes has become such an icon that others have often sought to
place him with otherwise unrelated characters. For ten points, or five if
you need another clue, identify the major icons who appeared with Holmes in
the following works.
a. For ten: 1987's "The Doomsday Book"
For five: This was the fiftieth-anniversary issue of "Detective Comics".
b. For ten: Philip Jose Farmer's "The Adventure of the Peerless Peer"
For five: In it, Holmes and Watson travel to Africa in the early twentieth
c. For ten: Andy Lane's "All-Consuming Fire"
For five: Watson shares chronicling duties with this Time Lord's companion,
Professor Bernice Summerfield.
ANS: _Doctor Who_ (Accept: _The Doctor_)
19. AUDIO BONUS: I will play a tape featuring six actors who have played
Holmes on film, TV, radio, or stage. For five points each, name them.
ANS: Christopher _Lee_ [clip from "Gremlins 2: the New Batch"], John
_Neville_ [clip from "The Adventures of Baron Munchausen"], Tom _Baker_ [clip
from "Genesis of the Daleks"], Orson _Welles_ [clip from "Citizen Kane"],
Julian _Glover_ [clip from "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade"], and
Charleton _Heston_ [clip from "The Three Musketeers"]
20. While in retirement, Holmes completed the "magnum opus of my latter
years." For fifteen points, what is the main title of this work, and for
fifteen more, what is the rest of the title?
ANS: "_Practical Handbook of Bee Culture_ -- _with Some Observations upon
the Segregation of the Queen_"