Competition Ended 1st December 2012

The Woman Who
Died a Lot
Sleuthing Competition

For other competitions, go to my Competition Page

book cover

The Frontispiece to TN7, US and UK editions.
Thursday (L) and Tuesday (R) discuss the technical
possibilities of the dodo encephalovision.

book cover book cover
The Millionth USA sale book US Woman Who Died a Lot Hardback
book cover book cover
Rebound with marbled cover and gold title - oooh The first signed stamp and signature

The USA and Canadian publication was on the 2nd October 2012 and the book is available
at your local bookshop and also these sites:

Amazon (USA)
Barnes and Noble (USA)
Indiebound (USA)
Amazon (Canada)
Amazon Kindle (USA)

The winner of this quiz received the millionth copy of my US sales. This is a copy of One of Thursdays is missing , and I had it rebound at huge expense with gold lettering and uniquely marbled cover papers by the Black Mountain Bindery, here in my home town of Hay on Wye. This is a true one-of-a-kind. The 1st runner-up received the First USA Signed copy of The Woman who died a Lot with a brief note appending to the fact that they won this in a sleuthing competition and are thus special in some way. There were two more books awarded to the third and fourth in line.

To win, all you needed to do was answer the following questions which are a mixture of easy, hard, fiendish and tricksy. There were 16 questions in total, all worth one point. Answers, winners and rules are below.

And now..

The Answers

1: "Although Homo Syntheticus were wholly artificial, they appeared sentient. If they were shown to be legally equivalent to Neanderthals, we could be convicted of murder. If they were deemed illegally spliced Chimeras, we were in no trouble at all - and could even claim a bounty by presenting an eyelid as proof."

Why would you take the eyelid of a synthetic as proof to claim a bounty?

The serial number of a Synthetic was written under the eyelid. Usually an alphanumeric code as pertaining to British Standard 6728MNK4 'Marking of manufactured life forms' although on later marks there was sometimes a barcode as well for easy reading. Some Synthetics were also designed with barcodes that grew out of the nail beds, but this wasn't universally adopted. 2: How many Children were there in the Hades family, and how many does Thursday kill?

There were six: Acheron, Aornis, Cocytus, Lethe, Phlgethon and Styx. Thursday eventually ends up killing three of them, Aornis, Cocytus, and Acheron. Cocytus' demise is somewhere in backstory. Styx, of course, was killed by his brother, Acheron.

3: Uncle Jesse Duke Question: In the Dukes of Hazzard there seem to be a lot of cousins, all with the name Duke. What is the minimum number of brothers that Uncle Jesse could possess?

A few people here said the minimum number of brothers is zero, if his sisters married men with coincidentally the same name, but I was really looking at the most feasibly low numbers, given the available facts. So, given that Uncle Jesse has no children, he must have had SIX potential brothers as Bo, Luke, Daisy, Coy, Vance and .... Jeb are all cousins, and not siblings. 'Jeb?' I hear you say, 'Jeb? Who the **** is he?' Yes, this little known Duke cousin appears in the episode 53: 'Along Came a Duke' and helps out his cousins who are going to have the theft of General 'Stonewall' Jackson's sword pinned on them by Boss Hogg (again) Now it is possible that Jeb is the brother of Vance and Coy, or, because he has also uses 'Stuart' as a name that he is the issue of a sister who married a Stuart, but who added his mother's maiden name for notoriety. It's a bit grey, to be honest, but I'm treating him as another cousin, so the answer is Uncle Jesse had a minimum of SIX brothers.

4: "Thank heavens," he said with a contented sigh as he produced a small book of certificates, "I'm going to mark you NUT-1 on the internationally recognised but tactlessly named scale of psychological normality, 'Disgustingly healthy and level-headed'.

...so says Dr Chumley. I never considered what NUT might actually stand for, so make one up. 'Backronym', as it's known.

Here are some suggestions:

Neanderthals Unhinged Threshold
Nonsensical Unravelling Threshold
Nothing Unusual There
Nonsensical Utterance Tabulation
Neanderthal Uniform Temperament (scale)
Normalcy Underling Traits
Navy Ultramarine Turquoise (Because it was originally colour coded)
Neurologically Unsound Taxonomy
Next Up: Therapy
Never Underestimate Tomfoolery
Neurosis Utility Type
Normal/Unstable Test
Neuropsychology of Unusual Thinking
Neuropathology Universal Tranche
Normal Under Tension
Nutter's Unsanity Taxonomy (named after the unfortunately named Dr Nutter)
Neurologically Unbalanced Termination
Naturally, Unashamedly Temperamental
Noggin Utilisation Theorem
Normalcy Unnecessary Typically
Neurologically Unstable Temperament

(Everyone got a point!)

5: Fairfax Rearwind is the author given to the imaginary book about Vanished Religious Orders on page 272. Knowing what you do about Jasper's hobbies, can you elegantly divine the complete etymology behind this name?

This requires a google to my entry in Wikipedia, which will tell you I fly a Rearwin Skyranger. More investigations will tell you that the Rearwin Aircraft were manufactured at Fairfax County airport in Kansas City, Kansas. There you have it: Fairfax Rearwind

6: Can you think of a good reason why the psychiatric doctor is called Chumley? ('No' would not be regarded as a correct answer)

He's named after Doctor Chumley from Harvey, that well-know rabbit infested comedy with James Stewart. Dr Chumley is the only person other that Elwood P. Dowd who can see the six foot rabbit. (Okay, 6 foot, three and a half inches - let's stick to the facts.)

7: In the BTTF world, How many DeLorean time machines simultaneously existed in 1955?

A few arguments about this but I think the safe answer is four.
DeLorean 1: Marty travels back in time to 1955 (BTTF1)
DeLorean 2: Old Biff steals DeLorean and travels back to 1955 order to steal the almanack (BTTF2)
DeLorean 3: Marty travels once more to 1955 to undo Biff's work and restore the present (BTTF2)
..and the DeLorean left in the mineshaft from when Doc gets accidentally propelled to 1885.

Now, we argue a lot over this, my sons and I, as I contend that there were only three simultaneous DeLoreans in 1955 as the Mineshaft DeLorean doesn't exist until Doc gets hit by lightning at the end of BTTF2 and changes the timeline, but if we look back at 1955 from the end of the series when the DeLorean is destroyed, then yes, there were four DeLoreans in 1955.

8: In the Nextian World, both Skokholm and Tresco are high security prisons. What is the connection between the two, and which might require a visa to visit?

They are both island penal colonies. Skokholm is off the coast of Wales, and Tresco is part of the Scillies, off the coast of Cornwall. Given that Wales is a Socialist republic, Skokholm would require a visa to visit.
9: Imagine you are member of the Blessed Lady of the Lobster. What would be the correct answer to the gender test question if you wanted to stay with the sisterhood?

The gender test question that Thursday suggests is: "Just find out if there is anyone who doesn't know the name of Jennifer Gray's character in "Dirty Dancing". Now I might be accused of gender stereotyping here, but there are many, many women out there who liked "Dirty Dancing" a LOT (in the same way that guys tend to gravitate toward "Star Wars"), and as a gender test for the Sisterhood, it seemed appropriate. The answer (supplied by Mrs Fforde as I didn't know) was 'Frances 'Baby' Houseman'.

10: Sadly, Tupperware do not yet offer a human-sized sarcophagus, no matter how groovy that would be. (I'd buy two, and would almost certainly choose a blue lid, if I could) So ... what is the largest tupperware container currently offered by the company?

It is, apparently, the 'Thatsa Mega Bowl' which holds 42 cups or ten litres, which is about 2.64 US gallons. This is woefully short of the size needed to contain a human body. I'm about 80 litres by volume, so you'd need at least eight Mega Bowls to contain me.

11: In past TN books, where was 'something odd' dug up?

This is one of those 'Never fully explained' plot devices of the TN series, which tantalisingly looks as though it might be resolved at some point, just don't hold your breath. 'The Quantocks' is the answer, and the current whereabouts of the 'Something Odd' is in the sub-basements of the SpecOps building. (The Quantocks are a delightfully named row of hills in Somerset)

12: How many 'Thursday Nexts' are there in Romeo and Juliet?

There are THREE, as any word string searcher will be able to tell you. One occurs in Act 3 scene 5, and two in Act 4 Scene 1.

13: The GSD has ten 'Bastions' or edicts to live by, and it is suggested - but not required - that followers undertake at least four a day. What is the Seventh Bastion?

As mentioned in the book, it is the 'Moment of Levity', which is a good bastion to live by. Laugh a little, in other words.

14: "...Bored and in need of cash due to an expensive Precambrian tourism habit, I take a hefty bribe in 2028 to undertake an illegal eradication."
"What sort of bribe?" said someone.
"A Titian - The Battle of Cadore."
"You hate Titian," said someone else, "and you'd have had nowhere to hang it."

How far back in time would you have to go to have a hope of acquiring this Titian without anyone ever noticing that you stole it?

Since this painting was destroyed in a 1577 fire at the Doge's Palace in Venice, you'd presumably go back to the evening of the fire to steal it, and probably, given the way time travel narratives work, start the fire that would have destroyed it. In any event, 1577 is the answer.

15: Advanced infrastructure is a big part of Thursday's world. The main travel centre in Thursday's Swindon is called the 'Clary-Lamarr TravelHub'. The Skyrail meets the bullet train here, and from where you might also travel on to Saknussemm international for a trip on the Gravitube, perhaps to Tarbuck International, near Liverpool. So, why is Swindon's hub called 'Clary-Lamarr'?

The Clary-Lamarr travelport is named after Mark Lamarr and Julian Clary, both British comedians born in Swindon.

16: Who was Friday's Mother's Uncle married to?

Friday's mother's uncle is Mycroft Next, who was married to Polly.

So although all of the questions were answered correctly at some point, no-one managed to answer them all. We had three entrants with 14 points each: Courtney Sammis, Jen Boyko and Caitlin Kling. We put these names into quite a small hat and pulled out.... CAITLIN KLING. So she gets the millionth copy, and Courtney and Jen get the signed copies. The fourth book goes to a randomly chosen entrant with 13 points (of which there were a lot) and that person was Qinyi Chew.

Hoorah! Thank you, one and all - sorry for the delay in processing, but we get quite a few entries and it's just me and Mari here at Fforde Towers!

These Were The Rules

Applicants must be from USA Viking/Penguin territories only - USA and Canada.

The prizes are:
1: The arbitrary millionth copy of my US sales book, a rebound copy of
One of Thursdays is missing which is as close as I can estimate to be the book on sale as we passed one million sales mark.
2: First Signed US copy of
The Woman Who Died a Lot
3: A signed US copy of
The Woman Who Died a Lot
4: A signed US copy of
The Woman Who Died a Lot

The rules are dazzlingly simple. All you have to do is answer the questions above (or as many as you can) and submit them to me at jasper(at) jasperfforde.com. with 'Sleuth Thursday' as the subject line. (It helps keep my inbox tidy as it will auto file). Please make sure I can email you back and that your mail server will accept my email address.

Quiz closes on the 1st December 2012

The winner is the person who answers the most correctly, BUT if there are many entrants with the same number of points, then they will be put into my largest hat and pulled out at random, with the prizes chosen in ascending order so everyone has a chance to win the first prize.

(Interesting aside, but if I chose the 4th prize first, then that person would logically have no chance of winning the 1st prize. It's little things like that that keep me awake at night.)

Answers will be published on this page around the 5th December 2012, and anyone can enter whether you have bought a book or not. You can borrow a copy from a library or a friend, if you have one.

There are no extra points for entertaining yet incorrect answers. Judges decision is final, and note that this is all for a bit of fun. Prizes have no value, and no cost is required to enter or find out who won, or receive the books.

No emails will be harvested by me or my publishers, and no entrants will be added to any databases or be subjected to endless news about new publications. If you want that, then join my twitter feed.

Note: These questions are all GENUINE questions and can be worked out by thought, a bit of logic, research and observation. Take your time. Read the questions carefully. Team up if necessary. No hints. If you can't figure them all out, send in what you can. It's possible no-one else did either.

I often clarify issues over questions once they have been posted, so if you are confused, then either email me or look back here to see if anything has been added.

It is a condition of entry that this is all for fun and not at all serious, and that I, as almighty arbiter of all that happens on this website, may change the rules on a whim, but only to make it more fun, or to level the playing field if someone has attempted to gain an unfair advantage.

Judges (me) decision is final.