I have the smartest readers!

Congratulations to Joshua Southard.  He wins the 10 dollars of iTunes goodies.  More importantly he nailed a number of the questions, including the 20 point bonus question I thought no one would get!

Without further ado, here’s the questions and the answers as recorded by Joshua when correct, and as recorded by me where he didn’t get the answer.  Here’s the legend: Question, Josh’s Answer, My answer/commentary.

1) What does the title of Emily’s main poem (The Yellow Star of Texas) have to do with anything? (One point)
 I’m confused…The poem was called The Yellow Star of Christmas. Have you given away the connection to The Lone Star of Texas inadvertently?
Although I am not giving him a point for this one, because he didn’t actually point out what the connection is, I include it because he is correctly right that I inadvertently put the wrong name in the question just as he surmised because of the connection in my head.  The truth is also that he benefits here from being a blog subscriber because I edited this almost immediately from the site, but subscribers received the email with the original mistaken title.  The full answer to this is that the majority of Emily Dickinson’s poems can be sung to the tune of the Yellow Rose of Texas.  It’s a weird quirk of meter which will change forever the way you read “Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me;”.  
2) Where is Doyle’s name itself embedded within his story? (4 points)
No one gave an answer to this one, which I understand because it’s pretty tough.  This was one of many clues I put in the book, not because I actually thought anyone would see them but because it gave me pleasure to do it 🙂  In truth I was pleasantly surprised by how many of those kinds of clues, actually were discovered by my “oh so observant and smart” readers.  Anyway, there are three siblings in the story, our fake Santa, and his siblings.  There names are Arthur, DOn and kYLiE.  (See it now?)
3) How many other authors can you find directly referenced in the book who are not included in the main seven? (one point per)
        Joshua chose not to answer this one, although he mentions one of them in a later question (Chaucer).  I’ll just let this one sit without giving any answers of my own here, aside from Chaucer who shows up in two references, one mentioned below and one in the name of the Lodge, Canterbury.
4) On what Sherlock Holmes Short story is the Extraordinary league of Santa Clauses in A Christmas Puzzle based? (1 point) The story is based on (as titled in my book) Adventure II. – The Red-Headed League.  Absolutely correct and one of my very favorite stories.  You should read the original as it’s much better than my pastiche.  So that’s one point for Josh.
5) Where do the names Ernesto and Algernon in Wilde’s story come from? (1 point) The names are inspired by the play “The Importance of Being Ernest” by Oscar Wilde. Again completely correct.  So that’s another point for Josh.  
6) There are three characters in Jack’s story who are not named after Narnian characters.  Where do there names come from? (1 point for one; 5 points for all three) Geoffrey Chaucer; Anér- Greek for Man; Guné- Greek for woman; together they support Jack’s style of allegory and could probably be interpreted more clearly as “Adam and Eve” in the context of the story.  Nice!  This is completely correct of course.  I used the Greek words for man and woman instead of the Hebrew words for Man and Woman which is what “Adam” and “Eve” actually are.  Well Actually, Eve is closer to Mother, but close enough for our purposes here.   So that’s five points for all three being right, giving Joshua 7 points so far.
7) What is Merlot’s last name (20 points.  I have to warn you, although there is a hint to this in each of the two stories about Merlot I’ve thus written, I am planning on revealing this in a later story so it’s intentionally unlikely, though not impossible, that you would yet have been able to figure this out.  Thus the high point value.) My guess is Tolrem.
And without fanfare, Joshua answers the one question I thought was impossible.  I have not got the foggiest idea how Joshua got this one.  I only left two clues to this and I thought each of them were pretty obscure.  Joshua, you have definitely impressed me with this one and it earns you 20 more points for a total of 27 points.  Care to comment on what tipped you off to this one?
Extra Credit (5 points):  Share with me one clue which has not yet been mentioned by me or anyone else on my blog that you discovered. 
One clue that I don’t think has been shared that I particularly liked, because it helped support my suspicions of Jack being C.S. Lewis: “He seemed of a philosophical bent and A.C. correctly deduced him to be a professor of some sort.”  
Good, I like that one too:-)  Thanks for noting it.  That’s another 5 points, so you win handily with 32 points.  You may not have one the mystery itself, but you showed your attention to detail and quick intelligence by earning more points on this quiz than I anticipated anyone earning and decidedly more than anyone else did. 
Congratulations Josh!!!
And thanks to everyone else who played along.  My blogs over the next week should include a new installment of Katherine, as well as my thoughts on the Oscar movies I’ve seen so far.  See you in Cyberspace, faithful and brilliant readers!

One Comment

  1. This quiz was very challenging and more than doubled the reward I got out of this book. I particularly like the cleverness of the details and how knowing a little more about what the author is thinking as they create brings the story to life even more. The next time I read through this story (next Christmas perhaps) I will note as many storytellers as I neglected to find for question 3. As for my guess on question 7- here is the hint I used from the story:

    “To think I’ve known you for almost a month now without even knowing if I was calling you by your first or last name. Merlot shrugged, Well really what are names but a convention of convenience. First name, last name, it’s all right side up or upside down to me.”

    So, knowing his first name is Merlot, and his last name was right side the other way round from the hint, I reversed the letters and guessed Tolrem. It was a long shot but worth quite a few points and very worth the stab. I now feel obligated to hunt down the other hint which I believe is hidden in A Little Serial In The Morning.
    Thanks again, Dave, for your stories.

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