Vol.16       December 2016   Number 12




Happy Blue Carbuncle Day to all!


Roger Riccard's long awaited Sherlock Holmes Christmas adventures!


Karen Milner's new 2016 canonical Christmas Tree Ornaments!
The thing sticking out the top of the box is a needle.
Karen's inventive mind has created four more "Canonical Christmas Ornaments!" Aren't they great?! She envisions her complete collection eventually to number 60 (of course). Can you identify the cases associated with each one? To take a shot, please CLICK HERE - please put the word "ornament" on the subject line
Photos courtesy of David and Karen Milner first published in December 2016 "The Gaslight Gazette." (Click here to ask David for a copy of the current issue.)


On 14 November, we received this most interesting note from our friend Jim Hawkins in Nashville: "Please note that the Super moon is at this moment located at 221 degrees SW and 221,819 miles from the gaslight streets of Nashville (and London). This will never again happen in any of our life times. Greetings from a Nashville Scholar.
Jim Hawkins"


   Martin Arbagi has announced the dates for the 2017 Holmes, Doyle and Friends gathering in Dayton, Ohio i.e., 24 and 25 March at the Clarion Inn, Englewood [suburban Dayton], Ohio  45322.. We have been assured that the costs for this event will be unchanged from last year except that the banquet price will be less. In 2017, HD&F will have a Keynote Speaker, none other than John Linsenmeyer, Editor of the BSJ in the late '70s and early '80s.
Check Here for more information


Current information re: the annual BSI January New York activities may be found Here.
For non-BSIs, information re: the Gaslight Gala can be found Here.


Chicago area Sherlockians: Attenda!

"Blue Carbuncle Dinner,"  
The Torists International will put on a spectacular Victorian repast to celebrate the occasion. 

December 27, 2016 at the Ridgemoor Country Club.
A six-course dinner 
cream of mushroom soup,
wedge salad,
Lemon intermezzo
a fabulously prepared LONDON BROIL with all the trimmings,
and accompanying the delicious entree, mashed potatoes and gravy and two vegetables;
the encore: Ridgemoor's incomparable CREME BRULEE dessert. 
PROGRAM:  "Plugs and Dottles--the Triumvirate Pontificate." 
  • Phil Cunningham, "Sherlockian Odds and Ends"
  • Al Shaw, "Sherlock Holmes and his Pipes"
  • Brenda Rossini, "The Occasion of the Blue Carbuncle"
Concluding Revels
Recitation of 221B 
Gusty group warble of "Auld Lang Syne" led by Donald Izban (but we recommend attending anyway).

The Evening's Order 
6 pm---cocktails/cash bar and complimentary nuts and popcorn
6:45 pm---Canonical toasts
7 pm---Dinner, followed by the Program
PRICE:  $45/person

RESERVATIONS:  In advance and no later than Dec. 20. 

Brenda Rossini for further information


St. Louis area Sherlockians: Attenda!
Christmas Open House at the Hill House of Mary Schroeder

Saturday, December 17, 2016
Please bring your potables and a treat to share.
Contact Nathan Garrideb for further information.


Received from Monica Schmidt, ASH (The Church of St. Monica)
" For the October 29th Criterion Bar Association meeting, a radio play based on "The Red Headed League" was the evening's entertainment.  I took the liberty of recording it. 

Per a request from Al Shaw, I'm sending you the link."
(Take a look to view unparalleled acting performances!)

Thanks, Monica and Al


Dallas Area Sherlockians: Attenda!

Charles and Karen Olson have graciously offered to host a Christmas party for all of our Crew members…
TIME: 2:00 – 5:00 PM
ADDRESS: Sunset Acres, off HWY 380, just east of McKinney

Charles and Karen have a lovely house, and you will enjoy seeing their Sherlockian items, as well as wonderful items from all over the world.


More Sherlockian gift stuff for the Holidays!

As most of you already know, we divested ourselves of our direct commercial endeavors a few months ago. However, when we were actually into direct marketing, we made some arrangements with other agencies either to produce, or market, products of our design. One of these other "entities" was Cafe Press. It just occurred to us that the products are still available via the Cafe Press sites. In view of the fact that we are on the brink of the Holiday Season, which brings with it the spirit of exchanging presents. We thought that you might want to consider some of these residual items as potential gifts for your Sherlockian friends. So . . . .

Sherlockian mugs, cups etc. CLICK HERE
Sherlockian wearables, sweatshirts, tee shirts, etc. CLICK HERE
Hound of the Baskervilles stuff, CLICK HERE

Other than some small royalties which we might receive from CafePress, we no longer have any commercial interest in any books, etc., which we might mention in the pages of the E-Times. Such mentions are inserted purely for your information.


New Posers!!!
Thanks to
Phil Dematteis

1. Definite article; in what way or manner; coordinate conjunction; pigeon; definite article; fish that comes in both freshwater and marine varieties; nonstraight line; diseases.
2. The Stooges go back to school.
3. Evel Knievel, all by himself.
4. Hotel guest at a Colorado ski resort.

Click here to offer solutions to the Posers. Please put "Poser" on your subject line.


A couple of months ago we put forth a few examples of Cockney rhyming slang. This caught the attention of our old friend, Hugh Scullion in the UK. He, being something of an expert on Cockney rhyming slang, offered some additional examples.
Rhymes With
Abbreviated version
Gregory Peck
Gregory (as in "grab him by the Gregory")
Tom foolery
Tom (as in "a nice piece of Tom there")
apples and pears
whistle and flute
jock (Scotsperson)
sweaty sock
jam jar
Daisy root

Thanks much, Hugh. These are always fun for a "septic."

Although not rhyming, Hugh offered the following slang expressions:
a bullseye = 50 pounds
a pony =  25 pounds
a monkey = 250 pounds
a jacks = 5 pounds
Old bill = police


This is the official scion pin of the popeyeChester Baskerville Society. If you didn't get Chester, Illinois' claim to fame, perhaps this will give you a hint.


Here's another "Paulie:"

What character in a Holmes story should remind you of ravings in a public restroom?

Respond HERE and please put "Paulie" on your subject line.


A newsflash from Brenda Rossini:
"Hi friends:
It has been just reported that several hours ago a 'Mob of mongooses invaded the green' during the European Golf Tour in South Africa.  20 of the said mongoose colony disrupted the golfers at play. They weren't attracted by a golf ball  but instead charged past, paying it little attention, and headed off towards the bush--in readiness for another leap year hunt.



The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories -
Part V: Christmas Adventures


Watson, the Victorian Doctor
Liese Sherwood-Fabre

            In A Study in Scarlet, Watson shares that his medical education included a Doctor of Medicine from the University of London and additional studies in surgery with the British Army before shipping off to India. Just as Holmes’ country squire ancestry places him among the gentry, Watson’s profession and title indicate his standing as a Victorian gentleman. During this period, physicians could have their wives presented at court, but a surgeon without a medical degree would not have even been invited to dine with the Victorian upper classes. That Watson completed studies in both medical practices illustrates how the distinction between the two diminished toward the latter part of the 1800s. Regardless, it is the “doctor” that puts him in the same class as his flat mate.
            Social class also determined whom Victorians would consult in the event of illness. The poorest would visit an apothecary. In addition to dispensing drugs, often homeopathic in nature, the precursor of the modern-day pharmacist also provided medical advice, although they were only allowed to charge for their drugs. For broken bones, illnesses that required bleeding, or even tooth extractions, surgeons would be called in. Because these men had to touch their patients, they were considered manual laborers and carried the title of “Mr.” When Holmes refers to “Dr. James Mortimer” in The Hound of the Baskervilles, the man corrects him, noting he is a “Mister—a humble M.R.C.S.” The initials refer to his being a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, created in 1800.
Until the middle of the nineteenth century, a man with the title “doctor” was more likely a clergyman with a Doctor of Divinity degree than a physician, but with medical practitioners’ professionalization and certification, the title shifted to those who had completed a Bachelor of Medicine, or “M.B.” Cambridge, Oxford, the University of Edinburgh (where Doyle attended) and the University of London offered such studies. As gentlemen, they rarely touched their patients (primarily from the upper class) beyond checking their pulse. Their practice consisted primarily of listening to a person’s complaints and then writing a prescription to be filled by the apothecary.
             By the late 1800s, as anesthesia became common practice and disease was linked to the spread of germs, both physicians and surgeons required more rigorous and practical training. The Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of Surgeons began holding joint exams in the 1880s, creating the qualification “M.R.C.S. L.R.C.P.” (Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate by the Royal College of Physicians) and carried the distinction of “general practitioner.”
            Holmes’ good friend, schooled in both medicine and surgery, missed this new designation by only a few years. Regardless, as a physician with a university degree, Watson represents Holmes’ social equal, but as a surgeon, he is not above rolling up his sleeves to examine a patient or collect evidence for a case. This dual training makes him the perfect partner for his colleague and friend.

Daniel Pool, What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew (New York: Simon and Schuster, Inc ., 1993), 250.

Sally Mitchell, Daily Life in Victorian England (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1996), 196.


Here's a new Janice puzzle.
Each circled number represents a place which Holmes visited during the Hiatus.
Want to take a shot at naming them?
Click Here - Please put "Janice" on your subject line

We got a few responses to the "Janice," "Holmes and Watson investigate the theft of a package left on Janice's doorstep.

From Michael McClure: Janice's purloined parcel would have been the titular item in    "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box".
From Jerry Riggs: The Cardboard Box


    "When a knight from the Round Table of Camelot bursts into 221-B Baker Street demanding the helpmxround of Sherlock Holmes, there begins the oddest, most mystical adventure Holmes and Watson have ever experienced. Merlin himself, has called the great detective and his scribe back through time, to solve a vexing problem. England's greatest Poet Laureate is missing! A Unicorn leads the way through the portal in the standing stones, and waiting for them are a series of challenges unlike anything they have ever encountered before, as well as Pixies, Gnomes, Hobgoblins, a dragon, an enchanted mirror, a very odd chess match, an underground labyrinth, King Arthur, and his Round Table, and the most infamous sorceress of history and myth, Morgan le Fey! Plot twists abound, as logic and rational thinking collide head on with myth and magic, resulting in Sherlock crafting a masterful scheme that echoes all the way down through history. Brace your selves for a most fascinating and enjoyable tale." Click Here


"Paulie" from last month:
"Four Seasons cold sweat," should remind you of what Holmes story title?

From Michael McClure: . . . after eliminating the impossible, whatever remains however improbable, including my daughter's answer for this Paulie of: Frankie Valli (VALLEY) and the cold sweat induced by a sense (OF FEAR), must be the truth. Please give my youngest scion, Elizabeth McClure, credit for "Valley Of Fear" ... final answer!

From Jerry Riggs: Vivaldi of Fear? (Really good answer, Jerry, but not the one Paul wanted.)

From Matt Swoap: "Four Seasons cold sweat" is "The Valley of Fear"


Baker Street Elementary
Steve Mason, Rusty Mason, Joe Fay from The Crew of the Barque Lone Star

An interesting observation via a note contained in Peter Blau's newsletter

"The now-immortal phase "Elementary, my dear Watson" is first known to have
been spoken by Sherlock Holmes in the film "The Return of Sherlock Holmes"
(1929), which starred Clive Brook and H. Reeves-Smith. The phrase also is
found in P. G. Wodehouse's "Psmith, Journalist: His Adventures in New York"
(which was serialized in The Captain: A Magazine for Boys and "Old Boys" in
1909-1910); Psmith murmured those words in the Jan. 1910 issue. The story
was published as a book in 1915, and you can read it on-line at Project Gu-
tenberg <>.

"You possibly have read or heard that the phrase was first used by William
Gillette, but it's not to be found in any of the scripts for his play used
or published during his lifetime. Holmes did say those words in the Royal
Shakespeare Company's revival of Gillette's play in 1974; that script was
published by Samuel French in 1976 and by Doubleday in 1977."


“Now, then, what’s the last entry?” ‘December 22d. Twenty-four geese at 7s. 6d.’ ” (BLUE)


There are current issues of many Sherlockian newsletters and Journals for which the world is quite prepared: Consider, the following, please:

"Groans, Cries and Bleatings," The Baker Street Breakfast Club
"South Downers Journal, " South Downers
"The Bilge Pump," Crew of the Barque Lone Star (The Crew's web site)
"Gaslight Gazette," Survivors of the Gloria Scott
"Ineffable Twaddle," The Sound of the Baskervilles (Check out the SOB's web site.)
"Alfalfa Gazette," Friends of a Soldier Named Murray
"The District Messenger," Sherlock Holmes Society of London (SHSofL web site)
"The PINK 'UN, the Hansom Wheels of Columbia, SC (now published on the internet)
"Scuttlebutt from the Spermacetti Press," Peter Blau (can now be read on line, Click Here)
(BTW: speaking of Peter Blau, you might find it interesting to check out The Red Circle's web site!
Sherlock Peoria (New Addition!!)


For December, what canonical character might have said:
"Oh, no! We never mention Uncle Elias after that mess he got into in The States!

From Deidre Chattler: Uncle Elias belongs to "The Five Orange Pips." And yes, that was quite a mess he got himself into in the States. Don't mess with the Klan!
From Brenda Rossini: John Openshaw in Five Orange Pips.
From Steve Mason: John Openshaw, of the Five Orange Pips, discussing the crazy ol’ uncle Elias Openshaw…   Though we can stretch our imagination and    determine it was one of Isa Whitney’s offspring talking about their uncle Elias Whitney, mentioned in the Twisted Lip…  we are not sure what he did before he    became Principal of the Theological College of St George's.
From Ed Lear: Not to be confused with an American cousin Gladys Knight, who also had some pips fame, I believe this remark can be attributed to John Openshaw    (FIVE).
From Michael McClure: At first blush the answer would seem to be the doomed John Openshaw of FIVE fame ... yet John DOES mention his Uncle Elias to    Holmes and Watson at the beginning of the case, so he can not be the character that says "we NEVER mention" that relative. Having eliminated the impossible, what    remains is an apparent inference to the real answer ... Isa Whitney's child from TWIS. This unnamed scion of the opium addict must have been recalling (but never    openly mentioning) the misadventures of HIS Uncle Elias Whitney, D.D., Principal of the Theological College of St. George's. This normally esteemed member of    the Whitney clan once traveled to the New Haven, Connecticut, and lectured at Yale College on Crusader hagiography, but he soon wore out his welcome since    his presentations always seemed to "dragon".
From Anders Odensten: Clearly, these are the words of John Openshaw about his uncle Elias. When in the States, among many other things, Elias Openshaw    became a member of the Ku Klux Klan, which eventually lead to his death (and, sadly, to the death of both John himself and his father Joseph Openshaw). FIVEFrom Janice M. Eisen: It would have been John Openshaw, from FIVE — although in the story, he spoke quite a bit about Uncle Elias. He should be embarrassed:    Uncle Elias was a drunken, racist jerk whose involvement with the KKK and inability to follow simple instructions led to the deaths of himself, his brother, his    nephew, and (ultimately) the entire crew of the Lone Star.
From Jerry Riggs: John Openshaw from the Five Orange Pips.
From Sandy Kozinn: John Openshaw, who might never have gone for a dip in the Thames had he eschewed his Uncle Elias and gone off to some public school to
   learn cricket.
From Jack Levitt:The quote would have been made by John Openshaw, in reference to his uncle, Colonel Elias Openshaw, who received 5 Orange Pips from the    Ku Klux Klan.

Thanks to all!!! We hope you will all be back for the next "Identify that Character" and the question is:

What Canonical Character might have said:
I know that there is no smoking in this part of the ship, but I have no intention of using these matches to light my pipe!

(We don't believe that this character's actual name is
specified in the Canon. He is identified only by his title, or position.)

Thanks, all, for your interest and outstanding Sherlockian scholarship! This was a good one!!

Click Here to respond.
Please put the word "Character" on your subject line. Thanks.


The new "Pink 'Un" is out. Check with Phil Dematteis. News of the October meeting of The Hansom Wheels and everything one needs to know re: Hansom Wheels Christmas Party!


Important Sherlockian Events for December

1st - Rex Stout born, 1886
2nd - Dr. Joe Bell born, 1837
3rd- Mary Morstan's Father disappears, 1878 (canonical date)
6th - Dave Haugen's Birthday
8th - "The Adventure of the Missing Three-Quarter" begins, 1896
9th - David McCallister Birthday
13th - Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes published, George Newnes, 1893
14th - Live radio broadcast of Art Schroeder's "The Double Good Fortune of Mr. Henry Baker and His Lucky Goose," Station WINU, 1996
22nd - Janet Biblewski's Birthday
22nd - Joe Eckrich's Birthday
23rd - The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle with Peter Cushing airs on BBC-TV, 1968
24th - Radio broadcast of "The Night Before Christmas" (loosely based on BLUE) Rathbone and Bruce, 1945
27th - "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle," 1887


Another interesting announcement from Peter Blau:

"Congratulations to David Stuart Davies on his invitation to join the Detection Club, founded in 1930 and the oldest society for British mystery writers; there's a sinister but tongue-in-cheek initiation ceremony, and David chose lines from "The Hound of the Baskervilles" as his motto; he's a prolific author of Sherlockian pastiches and plays, and has written books on Sherlock Holmes in film and on Jeremy Brett, and will contribute a Sherlock Holmes story to an upcoming Detection Club anthology."


All the best to you and yours this Holiday Season
Carolyn and Joel
(candy turkeys flanking Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, courtesy of Lucy and Lila from next door, ages 10 and 8, respectivel).

When player cannot see man who deal cards, much wiser to stay out of game. (Charley Chan)




Click below to email editors of the various newsletters

Peter Blau's Newsletter
The Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library
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