Competition Ended: January 30th, 2012

Song of the Quarkbeast Sleuthing Competition

Was open to: Hodder territories only
(Scroll down to see results)

For other competitions, go to my Competition Page

Song of the Quarkbeast cover

The cover of the all-new Jennifer Stranger adventure

Published on the 10th November 2011 in the UK, the second in Jennifer Strange's adventures, The Song of the Quarkbeast.

A long time ago magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keep bicycles from falling over. Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls magic controls almost anything.

One person stands between Snodd and his plans for power and riches beyond the wildest dreams of avarice. Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. With only one functioning wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns, Jennifer must use every ounce of ingenuity to derail King Snodd's plans.

It may involve a trip on a magic carpet at the speed of sound to the Troll Wall, the mysterious Transient Moose, and a powerless sorceress named Once Magnificent Boo. But one thing is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic to big business and commerce without a fight.

Order a Paper Edition Amazon
Order a Kindle Edition Amazon
Buy at Waterstone's

...and available in your local independent.

To win the magnificent First Signed hardback copy of this book, we had a Sleuthing Competition, which is horribly difficult and almost impossible for anyone to google the answers. If you want to see what one looks like, you can go to The Great TN6 Sleuthing Competition or to here: Shades of Grey Sleuthing Competition

All the questions can be answered, but require a modicum of logical thought and (sometimes) a bit of research.

The rules are at the bottom of the page.

And Now..

The Questions
(With the correct answers in red beneath them.)

1: Why do you suppose the clock in the Trollvania border town of Kippen is stuck at ten to four, and when you find that out, what else in the village's description can be attributed to the same logic?

These days, getting to research someplace where you have never been is getting easier and easier - just go on Google Streetview, which is what I did here. The clock is stuck at ten to four on streetview, and by following Jennifer's route you can find something else on Streetview that relates to the story - the most obvious was an ice-cream van, described in the book as being "the Landship had halted atop the rubble of some houses opposite the monument, Its twenty-foot wide tracks sitting atop a rusty ice-cream van.." I'd accept one point for anything you found on Streetview that relates to being seen in the book, but award yourself extra smarty-pant points for spotting Mr Whippy.

2: Where can the Quarkbeast monument actually be found, and (most importantly to foil random guesses) how did you confirm that this was indeed the Quarkbeast?

Where can the Quarkbeast actually be found? I was referring to where in the real world, and since no-one got it, I'm carrying the question across (see rules below)

3: The idea of the transient moose originated from a thriller where an Oscar-winning actor opens a cabin door to find a moose staring at him. He closes the door, opens it again, and the moose has gone. Name that film.

This is an easy one - the film was called 'Deadly Pursuit' and the actor was Sidney Poitier. You can view the clip on Utube. It's very funny. Tom Berenger also starred (but not as the moose, who remained uncredited) One Point.

4: "Reader, I punched him." Give me the actual quote, and the book it came from.

Again, an easy one. This was a pastiche of the line 'Reader, I married him', one of the all-time quotable quotes from Jane Eyre, where Jane herself not only breaks the fourth wall, but demolishes it. One Point

5: Where did Miss D'Argento get Boo's ring from, the one they used to find the missing ring?

Yes, it was at Yarsop, where Once Magnificent Boo lives, and she complains how useless the Quarkbeasts were as there was a burglary and they didn't do anything, even though 'Jewellery' was stolen. One Point.

6: How many of Sister Yolanda's visions have not yet come true?

Okay, little bit of arithmetic. Sister Yolanda made 225 predictions in her lifetime, 92% of which came true. So that's 207 which did come true, and eighteen that didn't. But in the course of the book Vision BO55 also comes true, which reduces the 'yet to come true' total to 17. One Point.

7: How many different varieties of Floon Beetle are there?

According to Maltcassion's conversation with Jenny in 'The Last Dragonslayer', 'over 600 different varieties'. One Point.

8: How High is the High North Tower?

More arithmetic. This is based on how long it takes the telephone to hit the ground after Jenny throws it out the window. Since the phone took five seconds and acceleration is 32 feet per second per second, then disregarding terminal velocity, air resistance or whether she tossed it up or down, an answer of 'around 400 feet or 122 meters' is close enough. One point.

9: Given that Zambini Towers was once a hotel and has twelve floors, what is the upper limit for the number of (guest) rooms it contains?

Well, the standard way in which floors are numbered in hotels is with the floor first, and the room number second. Room '207', for instance, would be room seven, second floor. Using my amazing book searching skills I have ascertained that four rooms are mentioned in the text. Mysterious X (Room 245), The Funny Smell (room 632), The Thing (Room 346) and Tiger's. (Room 1039).

Since room 346 might indicate that there are at least 46 rooms on a floor and twelve floors, then Zambini Towers might have 552 rooms. The first floor might also have ballrooms, but the second floor is already guest bedrooms - Mysterious X is in 245, probably just beneath-but-one to the Funny Smell. So I think we can make an educated guess of 'About 500'. One Point.

10: What was Sister Yolanda's accolade?

This can also be found in the book, as related to Kevin Zip's strike rate. Jenny says:

"It put Kevin's Strike Average up to 76% - just out of 'Remarkable' and into 'Exceptional', but not yet beyond the 90% mark and the highest accolade of all, 'Blistering'..."

We know Sister Yolanda's average was 92.44%, which makes her 'Blistering'. One Point.

And the Winner Is...

...Adrian Hood, who managed to achieve a blistering 9/10!

The only one he couldn't fathom - in fact, no-one did - was the Quarkbeast and where it might be found. As stated in the rules, I think I'll hold this one back, and use it on a later date, as it's quite fun, and does need some serious sleuthing.

Many thanks to all who took part, and I'm sorry it took so long to mark all the entries!

These Were The Rules

Applicants must be from Hodder territories only.

On offer as a glittering prize is the UK First Edition First Copy EVER of DS2 signed by me. It is marked as such.

Such a stonkingly worthless gift cannot be simply given away. You're going to have to work for it, and that is why I have devised some insanely fiendish questions to test all you budding Sherlocks out there.

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' as the subject line. (It helps keep my inbox tidy as it will auto file)

Update: Extended finish date

All the correct answers received by the 1st Feb 2012 (or if no-one gets them all, then the most complete answers) will be put into my largest hat and pulled out at random. Answers will be published on this page around the 15th Feb 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.

Four runners-up will be given signed hardbacks of DS2, and 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 are harvested, 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.

If no-one gets Question 2, I may NOT reveal the answer and carry it over to the US sleuthing competition in 2012. Or I may not.

Note: These questions are all GENUINE questions and can be worked out by thought, a bit of logic, research and observation. Take your time. 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. All entries as JPEGs, please, and not too large.

No emails will be harvested by me or my publishers.

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.

This is a promotion by Jasper Fforde and is not connected to my publishers.

Judges (me) decision is final.