Competition Ended: 15th August 2012

The Woman Who
Died a Lot
Sleuthing Competition

For other competitions, go to my Competition Page

The UK publication was on the 10th July and is now available at these sites:

Preorder Amazon (UK)
Preorder Waterstone's (UK)
Preorder Foyles (UK)

And in the US, where the book is published in October 2012,
and who will have their own competition:

Preorder Amazon (USA)
Preorder Barnes and Noble (USA)
Preorder Amazon (Canada)

...and available in your local independent.

Okay, so I had two copies of this book to give away:

The FIRST ever signed UK hardback Hodder edition, complete with a set of postcards.

The FIRST ever signed Export C Format edition, complete with a set of postcards.

To win these magnificent First Signed copies of the book, we had a Sleuthing Competition, which was horribly difficult and almost impossible for anyone to Google the answers. There were twelve questions printed below, and all entrants had to do was to answer as many of them as they could. Some of them were quite hard, but almost all can be answered with a modicum of logical thought, a good knowledge of Fforde books and a bit of research.

And now..

The Questions, with the answers in RED beneath them.

1: Why would you be expected to get reversed in Dimension E-6, and what does this tell you about Dimensions in general? (two points)

All the dimensions noted in TN7 such as E6, X-TOL, DD-X or HC-110 are either photographic developers, or, in E6's case, a reversal process for developing colour slides - which is why you are reversed in dimension E-6. If you know that I like taking pictures and are one of the few insane people clinging on to the past glory that was film, this should have been obvious. While we're on the subject, HC-110 is a good all-round developer from Kodak that has a long shelf life, is very cheap, and can give you good results on pretty much anything.

2: Mrs Hilly's driving. Of whom does it remind Thursday? (One Point)

Not at all difficult, this one. The elderly driver in Thursday's mind who is ludicrously dangerous is none other than her old mentor, Mrs Havisham.

3: Near which main town is Agutter Services situated? (One Point)

The answer would have to be Taunton, of course, as this is where Jenny Agutter was born.

4: Who is the Piper-Astoria Hotel named after, and why? (One Point)

The 'Astoria' part of this is simply the hotel name, but the 'Piper' part is named after Billie Piper, who is a Swindon lass.

5: The Cheshire cat is mentioned many times in the book. But where? (One Point)

Okay, I made a mistake here so full marks to all those who saw where I was coming from, and just where I had blundered. The asteroid currently hurtling towards earth in TN7 is numbered HR-6984 which I thought was named 'cheshirecat' but is actually named 'lewiscarroll'. Asteroid 6042 is 'cheshirecat', and is a mars crosser. 6984 is out in the main belt, and neither is likely to hit earth.

Here are some other Carrollian named asteroids:

Alice 291
Tweedledee 9387
Tweedledum 17681
Cheshirecat 6042
Madhatter 6735 Marchare 6736
Lewiscarroll 6984
Jabberwock 7470
Whiterabbit 17942
Whiteknight 17612
Redqueen 17518

6: In which work of literature did Gavin's porn magazine 'Big and Bouncy' first feature? (One Point)

Again, not difficult to figure out. This racy publication is famously named in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. If you haven't read it, do - a classic. (Adrian Mole, I mean - I'm not sure B&B is for reading)

7: Finish Mother Daisy's rude Limerick (half a point for the original, full point for a new one)

There was a young man from Australia
Who painted his arse like a dahlia.
A penny a smell was all very well,
but tuppence a lick was a failure.

You can see that the Ladies of the Lobsterhood like to make their own entertainment. Selected contributions from entrants are as follows:

There was a young lad from Australia
Who painted his arse like a dahlia
But he took down his pants Midst a pruning of plants
And his lovelife from then was a failure

There was a young man from Australia,
Who painted his arse like a dahlia, While streaking at cricket
A bee stung his wicket
And decided the stunt was a failure

There was a young man of Australia
Who painted his arse like a dahlia
An old lady knelt
To sniff how it smelt
And pronounced "That's not an azalea!"

There was a young man of Australia,
Who painted his arse like a dahlia.
Then he got an obsession
To finish the session
By tattooing his paraphernalia.

There was a young man from Australia
Who painted his arse like a dahlia
The scent of the flower
Made the audience sour
At the Great New South Welsh Bacchanalia

There was a young man of Australia,
Who painted his arse like a dahlia.
Then he rendered his willy
To look like a lily,
Then a rose, then a pink, (inter alia).

There was a young man from Australia
Who painted his ass like a dahlia.
A large swarm of bees came down from the trees
and stung him on the genitalia.

and, my favourite:

There was a young man from Australia
Who painted his arse like a dahlia
From Brisbane to Perth
He would drive back and forth
Shouting, 'Look at my bum', by loud-hailer

8: What device, in the book, developed from a Hornet into a Heron? (One Point)

Tricky one, this. You have to remember that I am unhealthily obsessed with aeroplanes. And as soon as you know that, things might slot into place - but really only if you, too, share this unhealthy obsession. Eagle-eyed readers may know that I have named things after deHavilland aircraft before; there was a Thylacine named DH-87. In any event it's the Gravity Suit, whose designation goes from D-H 87 to D-H 114. The Hornet Moth was a DH87 and the Heron was the DH114. I said some of these questions were tricky. 

9: Who is 'That author with the beard' whose name no-one can ever remember? (One Point)

Yes indeed, it's Sebastian Faulks. He has a beard, and there were clues in the new 007 book and of where he appears alphabetically in the library. I do have problems remembering his name, but I don't know why.

10: Landen and Thursday's passwords. Can you find a common link (1 point) and what do each of the passwords relate to (one point each, total 5, but no-one will get the postilion part, so you shouldn't even try.)

1: "No cookies at the hunt, Sir! ... It's not a cookie, it's a Newton'
This was for an American Fig Roll commercial that we shot in the UK, featuring riders at the hunt, arguing over the etiquette of bringing cookies. I hate Fig Rolls, so have gone to extreme measures to find out what they are called the world over, just in case of accidents. It's a 'Newton' in the states, where they were popularised. I've just found out from Wikipedia that they are an ancient Egyptian biscuit. I always wondered why the Middle Kingdom fell.

2: "My postillion has been struck by lightning".
The line was featured during the Silk Cut cinema commercial 'Escape', written by David Horry for Collett Dickenson Pearce in 1979. The producer was Peter Levelle, who I worked for at Beechurst in 1983 - and this outrageously expensive commercial was still then very much being talked about, even though it had been supplanted by the innovative 'Silk Slash' campaign then running.

Astonishingly, someone DID get this question right - step forward Glyn Allanson. His answer was this:

"Silk Cut lower strength "mild" cigarettes were launched with a campaign that urged people to try them for two weeks instead of their usual brand. The advertising campaign consisted of very funny cinema ads that were almost mini-movies (possibly directed by Alan Parker?) featuring people who were "confined" and therefore able to do the two-week trial.

One was a spoof of Zulu with John Bird effectively doing his Idi Amin impression. The other was a Colditz-style spoof. Where the POWs were trying various escape plans was a blackboard upon which was written "a postilion struck by lightning" which was a reference to the autobiography of Dirk Bogarde. Dirk starred in the POW-escape film "The Password is Courage" which brings us back to Thursday and Landen."

It's on Youtube; note blackboard at about 1.14 :1979 Silk Cut Advert

3: "No ring goes like a Ringo goes,"
This was an advertising slogan for the Ringo crispy snack. I was associated with this too, again for Beechurst where we shot a commercial in the British Virgin Islands of a castaway on an island who finds the 'O' in his SOS eaten as 'no ring goes like a ringo goes'. Yes, nonsense, I know, but quite amusing and part of a series. We did get to go to the Caribbean (my first major foreign location) and got to play with a Grumman Widgeon flying boat. The island was built on a barge and was hell to manoeuvre into position - what fun.

4: Nothing... should disturb that condor moment
Peter Levelle at Beechurst shot a whole series of these, featuring the hero dealing with some irksome nuisance disturbing his peace, whether torpedoing a model boat in a pond, or removing the clappers in a bell tower - nothing should disturb that condor moment. Pipe tobacco and cigar commercial were still allowed to be shown on TV in the eighties, and well, commercials were a lot simpler in those days. This was one I worked on for Peter as a lowly clapper-loader, aged 24. CDP were the Agency. 1985 Condor Advert

5: When it absolutely positively .. has to be there overnight'
The Fed-Ex ads of the eighties were quite something, and Beechurst represented Joe Sedelmaier, who made many of these commercials. He came over and worked through Beechurst, so I got to watch him work, but can't find the one in which I made an infinitesimal contribution - but this is worth watching if you haven't seen it: 1983 Fedex Advert

The common link was commercials.

11: Where does the term 'Day Player' come from, and how does it relate to me?

As so many of you correctly pointed out, a 'Day Player' is an actor who comes in to do a single line, or a very small part in a movie - in which I used to work in a previous life.

12: Why protocol 451, precisely?

From Ray Bradbury's: ' Fahrenheit 451', I imagine.

The Winners.

We ended up with three top scorers in the UK category: Martin Stockdale, Michael Firth and Ben Lawrence, all of whom got the same number of correct answers. We placed their names in my largest hat and drew out the winner at random.

For the FIRST ever signed UK hardback Hodder edition, complete with a set of postcards, the winner is: (drum roll)

Martin Stockdale

For the FIRST ever signed Export C Format edition, complete with a set of postcards, the winner is: (drum roll)

Alistair Hamel of New Zealand

Thanks for everyone for taking part - US readers will have their own competition.

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 TN7 signed by me for the UK winner and the same in C Format for readers who are in Hodder export markets, such as Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Eire, Singapore, etc . (Not Canada, that belongs to the US publisher)

Such stonkingly worthless gifts 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)

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. Answers will be published on this page around the 17th August, 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 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.

Note: These questions are all GENUINE questions and can be worked out by thought, a bit of logic, research and observation. (except the Postilion question which is probably not worth attempting) 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.

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.

Did I tell you not to bother about the postilion question?