Category Archives: Giveaway

7th Annual Twelfth Night Giveaway Rules

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“Ah, Watson, it’s time for the boring part again.”


As much as Holmes may loathe them with his whole Bohemian soul, there do, indeed, have to be rules. Civilisation and all that. So here they are! I can’t believe this is the seventh year we’ve done this, and I hope you continue to find it as much fun as I do!

12th Night Give-Away Rules

  • The quiz and giveaway will be conducted via this blog and FaceBook.
  • The contest will begin on December 24th, 2018 and continue until January 6th, 2019. The last winner will be announced the following morning, January 7th. And yes, this is more than twelve nights. I am bad at math.
  • In order to encourage people to answer more questions, people will be allowed to win TWICE during the regular phase of the give-away, and all will be eligible to try for the grand prize offered on January 6th, no matter how many times he or she has won previously.
  • I will post the questions every morning. The time will vary, but I will try to do so by 6am, EST. Sometime during the day, as life permits, I will gather the names of those who answered the previous day’s question and place them in a box. One of my children will then draw from the correct answers to determine the day’s winner, and I will announce it on the blog and FaceBook sometime during that day. I have a day job now, which complicates things, but I will let you know!
  • If I receive only one answer for a question and it’s wrong…ok, that person wins. But next time, do your research. If I am wrong, well, I will be very happy to have it pointed out!
  • To answer a question, please leave a comment here on the blog or PM me on FaceBook,  either on the WRS FaceBook page, or on my personal FB page, if we are friends “in real life.” Blog comment answers will be kept private. In this way, I hope to avoid concerns some might have with others simply “copying” answers. :)
  • For questions with more than one prize, you must specify which prize you want when you submit your answer. This keeps me from having two winners who want the same prize. If you do not specify a prize on your entry, I cannot place you in the drawing. I know that might be harsh, but hunting everyone down to see which prize they want before the drawing would be time-consuming, and allow for a greater chance of error.
  • The daily prize will be announced, so that you can decide if it’s something that appeals to you.
  • If a prize has no takers, I will use it for a future giveaway.
  • If you win, I will ask you to give me your address privately in order to send you your prize. All addresses will be deleted once the Giveaway is over, and I know the prize has been received.
  • I will do my best to contact winners. If, however, I do not hear from a winner, that prize will be used for a future giveaway or awarded to someone else if unclaimed by February 12, 2017 (Mycroft’s birthday). I cannot tag some of you on Facebook, so PLEASE check back to see if you have won. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE ENOUGH HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!!!
  • At this point, I can’t see that geography will be a factor in anyone’s ability to participate. However, unless otherwise specified, videos are all Region 1 only, so please make sure your DVD player is either Region 1, or an All Region model.
  • I will ship prizes starting December 28th.  Be patient, because shipping can take time, depending upon the weather, or where you live. Sometimes it also depends on payday, but all prizes (excluding “book clubs” in which the book has yet to be published, or is specified as being delivered on a future date) should be shipped by 31st January.
  • We’re not talking blue carbuncles, here, just small tokens. All decisions are final. If your prize is damaged in shipping, contact me privately, as most prizes are replaceable.
  • If you’ve already won twice, you can, of course, continue to answer questions. You can also answer questions and specify that you don’t want the prize on offer, or that you never want a prize. This happened a lot last year, and it was fun!
  • Brett and Mom–sorry, immediately family are not eligible. Also, as always, no Napoleons of Crime.

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12th Night Giveaway: Day 11

In my day, we had to shovel our way to school!

In my day, we had to shovel our way to school!

Well, kids, this is it! The last weekend of Christmas Break! In just two short days, we’ll be back to our regular routines, and the sound of moaning and groaning over homework will be heard throughout the land! Doubtless many kids will find that they’ve forgotten just a little bit of what they learned this fall–or perhaps it’s just buried in their brain attics under visions of fading sugarplums. They’ll need a little review before they’re back up to speed.

It can be that way in the Sherlockian world as well. Some stories (particularly those with Granada episodes attached) are heavily imprinted in our minds, to the point that we can recall minute details, and quote passages to fit any situation. Others, however, are not as well known or frequently read. For me, one of those is “The Adventure of the Three Students.” It’s a quieter story, with (relatively) smaller stakes. To refresh my knowledge, I thought I’d give it a re-read, hence today’s question:

In “The Adventure of the Three Students,” lecturer and tutor Hilton Soames gives Holmes and Watson the names of the, well, three students he believes most likely to have tampered with the examination. Who are they? Who does Watson suspect? And who, ultimately, proves to be the culprit?

Today we have another dual prize, each chosen to help you supplement your Sherlockian education. First:


Nicholas Utechin’s Amazing and Extraordinary Facts: Sherlock Holmes

Nicholas Utechin is a well-known Holmesian scholar, a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London, the BSI, and other organizations. I didn’t use this book in coming up with this year’s questions, but that’s not saying I might not in the future….

And speaking of the future, if you’re a fan of BBC Sherlock, then you know that Season 4 (plus the special) begins filming on 6 January. Today’s alternate prize is a great way to bring yourself up to speed before they air…whenever…they air…..


It’s a fantastic book, so if it wasn’t one of your holiday gifts–now’s your chance!

As always, send your answers along with your choice of prize via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment. For full rules, see the entry for 20 December.


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12th Night Giveaway, Day 9



And now it’s 2015!  Hopefully you get to lounge around a bit today, before flinging yourself into the new year in earnest tomorrow. For many of us, with the new year comes a feeling of possibility–the urge to change something in ourselves for the better, or to set a goal we’ve always wanted to achieve, and to–finally!–make it happen. Whatever your dreams and desires for this year–even if they’re just that it’s better than the last one–I hope that they come true.

Which leads us to today’s question:

We don’t have any record of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson making New Year’s resolutions, but they both have some bad habits that they may have wanted to change (or, more likely that they wished others to change) and goals they wished to achieve. For today’s question, give one or the other (one of each if you’re feeling ambitious!), as well as the story in which it can be found.


The first prize of the New Year is, I think, slightly appropriate. It is the Canon novel in which we find Sherlock Holmes in a new phase of life…




This is a first American edition, published by George H. Doran & Co., New York. It was a gift to “George” from “The Family” in 1917 “With Best Wishes,” going from the pencilled message on the fly-leaf. It has had at least one other owner, whose name is written in ink on the same page. It’s not in perfect condition. As far as booksellers’ ratings go, it is in the “poor” range, which is the only way I was able to afford it!  There is some rippling on the spine, where the cloth has loosened, although it didn’t affect either cover. The binding is a bit loose and the hinges are damaged; there is noticeable shelf wear, and some staining inside the covers. There may be a little bit of “foxing,”  or brown spotting in some areas. That being said, it may not fetch a great price online, but I think it’s a nice book for any collection.

This is the rippling on the spine.

This is the rippling on the spine.



Title page

Title page


As always, to enter the drawing, send your answers in via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment! For full rules, see the post for 20 December.

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12th Night Giveaway: Day 8

My husband had hair just like that, I swear.

My husband had hair just like that, I swear.

These days, it’s unusual to see a popular movie or television show without some sort of merchandising tie-in. The Star Wars franchise made the practice into an art form, but even in decades previous there were Lone Ranger lunch boxes, Batman coloring books, Shirley Temple dolls and Little Orphan Annie decoder rings. People love to find ways to bring the characters and performers they love into their daily lives, and while it’s easy to get jaded about this part of human nature when it intersects with the equally human desire for “great gain,” it’s a boon for those of us with the collecting gene.

Which is why we have this.

Which is why we have this.

I must confess, I have been tempted several times to just keep today’s prize for myself. It is that cool. An early example of a Sherlock Holmes media tie-in. When this book was printed, William Gillette was the face of Sherlock Holmes, and publicity stills from his play serve as illustrations. This was no doubt a primary draw for some fans. One can, however, imagine some of the older set (who had read Holmes in the original Beeton’s) grumping that Mr. Gillette is too attractive to truly be the Great Detective, and that they prefer Paget. Or Gutschmidt. Or Charles Doyle. Ok, probably not him.

Unfortunately, the book is not the novelised version of Gillette’s play. Or rather, fortunately, for if it had been, I would have kept it.

For, museum....

For, um…my museum….

Instead, it’s the novel A Study in Scarlet. But even if the story and the photos don’t completely match, it’s still a wonderful treasure, and I hope you enjoy playing for it.


It’s not in pristine condition. As you can see there is some cover wear, shelf wear, and a small amount of writing on the inside front flyleaf. There is some slight pull-away to the hinges. I can provide photos of this if it is a concern. Here are some inside shots:




The ads in the back are a nice touch, and help to date the book between 1900 (the play debuted in London in November of 1899), and 1917, when the Iron Route advertised closed.

So then, today’s question:


Sherlock Holmes was himself a “fan” of particular performers. If he had a collection, to whom might it have been devoted? (Hint: There are several possible answers).

As always, send your answers in via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment for your chance to win. For full rules, see the blog entry for 20 December. Good luck!

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12th Night Giveaway: Day 7

Sometimes the identity of the villain is as plain as the ancestral nose on his face.

Sometimes the identity of the villain is as plain as the ancestral nose on his face.


Photos are everywhere nowadays. Even when I was a kid, photographs tended to be of specials occasions–birthdays, holidays, weddings, that sort of thing–and they were filed meticulously in albums or (in the case of my own family) kept in boxes. We had 3 albums and two small wooden boxes for over 20 years-worth of polaroids and photos that one stuck onto adhesive cardboard backings.* Now, I have well over 100 photos on my phone, many times that on my hard drive, and those of you whippersnappers with Instagram or other apps, well…..

Sherlock Holmes never took a selfie, however. We really have no idea what he looks like, even now. But over the past century or so, we have had dozens of actors portray him, each of whom, no doubt, became someone’s mental version of the Great Detective. Which leads me to today’s prize offering:


Admit it: they do beat Beecher and Gordon now, don't they?

Admit it: they do beat Beecher and Gordon now, don’t they?


If you can’t have a photo of the real Sherlock Holmes, these should do in a pinch. They are: William Gillette (bottom), and top, left to right, Jeremy Brett, Robert Stephens, and Christopher Plummer. Gillette is not in his Holmesian garb, but it’s really an awesome (and slightly rakish) photo, so I thought I’d throw it in. They are all prints, not originals, but they will look very nice in an album or framed on your sitting-room wall.

For your chance to win, simply answer the following question:



*No, they were not cabinet photos, and yes, I am very old.

Film never forgets, and sometimes, it reappears when we least expect it, throwing our past into the face of our present. Several of Holmes’s clients sought him out because their youthful indiscretions had come back to haunt them–or to threaten someone they loved. Name two, as well as the name of the case. Photographs may or may not be involved.

Send your answer to me via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment. Full rules can be found in the entry for 20 December.

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12th Night Giveaway: Day 6

No, they don't wear no scrubs....

No, they don’t wear no scrubs….


Reference books are all well and good of course, but eventually they become outdated–particularly in a field like medicine, where new discoveries are made all the time. When John Watson was born, many physicians were still be trained via apprenticeship, and many of the remedies available were insufficient, or even dangerous. By the time he would likely have been ready to retire, he and his colleagues had access to anaesthesia, could perform many operations successfully, and understood the importance of sanitary procedures. Diseases once thought to be attributable to bodily “humours” were now understood to be the product of bacteria or viruses, and disease prevention measures, such as sanitary sewers, hand washing, and vaccinations were becoming more commonplace. Pharmacology had advanced far beyond calomel and laudanum, with attempts manufacturing safer pain medications and, in 1929, the break-through drug, penicillin.

Any responsible and passionate physician would have wanted to keep up on these exciting  developments, but medical texts then as now would have been outdated nearly as soon as they were printed. The solution? Medical journals, published weekly or monthly. Hence, today’s question:

Passionate and responsible physician that he was, John Watson kept up his continuing medical education by reading which prestigious publication?

As Sherlockians, we too must keep abreast of research in our field, and one of the most reliable ways to do that is through the Baker Street Journal. I was, frankly, astounded at last year’s response to a set of old issues, and so am very pleased to be able to offer another this year. This is a complete set of Volume 2, 1947, 4 issues. They are in fair condition; two are in great shape, while two display some sort of moisture damage on the spine. For those of you who are sensitive to such things, they do smell like musty old paper, but there’s no mold. A casual glance-through revealed no writing inside,so I unfortunately cannot tell you to whom they belonged. I was a little intrigued, however, by the seller’s last name….

Sinister, isn't it?

Sinister, isn’t it?


Here are the journals themselves:


As always, to enter the drawing, send your answer to me via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment. Full rules can be found on the blog entry for 20 December. Happy Researching!

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12th Night Giveaway: Day 5

HMS Orontes of John Watson fame.

HMS Orontes of John Watson fame.

Not that I want to find out, personally, but I’m guessing that there’s a great deal of travelling going on out there today. Most of it likely involves planes, trains, and automobiles, and if you’re on the road or in the air today, I hope your travels are safe and trouble-free.

Today, ships are most commonly used for freight transport, fishing, and leisure travel. During the time that Holmes and Watson were in active practice on Baker Street, however, they were the only way to accomplish an overseas voyage. As such, they pop up quite regularly in the Canon. Today’s question has to do with two such vessels:

 Where can one find mention of the barque “Lone Star” and the steamer “Norah Creina,” and what do the two ships have in common?

Send your answers in via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment–and remember, if you’ve already won, you can play for a second prize…or you can play without wanting a prize at all. And speaking of prizes, this time we’re going over to the BBC part of the fandom. I am so excited to be able to offer you a “Cumberclay,” created by the lovely Vereen T. Joeng. This is a clay version of one of her famous cupcake toppers, in an acryclic case. It is a little tilted in the photo because I didn’t want to open it, but trust me, it is adorable!*

Ah! He's so cute!

Ah! He’s so cute! (Larger photo so you can really see it)

As always, just send in your answers via FaceBook PM, Twitter DM, or blog comment. Remember, you can win twice in the regular drawings, and full rules can be found in the blog entry for 20 December.


* Just in case you don’t win, but would love a “Clay” of your own (and they’re not just of Benedict), you can visit Vereen’s blog for information on what she has available and ordering at the link. They were shockingly affordable, and she ships quickly and securely:

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