Competition Ended: 1st December 2012

The Last Dragonslayer
Sleuthing Competition

For other competitions, go to my Competition Page

book cover

The Frontispiece to The Last Dragonslayer, as seen in the UK book,
but missing on the US edition - can't remember why,
but it is reproduced here so everyone can enjoy it.

book cover book cover
The US Last Dragonslayer The 'first signed' stamp

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

Amazon (USA)
Barnes and Noble (USA)
Books a Million (USA)
HMH Store Guide (USA)
Amazon Kindle (USA)

I had three copies of this book to give away:

The winner received the First USA Signed copy of The Last Dragonslayer and there were two runners-up who received a signed copy of The Last Dragonslayer appended with a brief note explaining that they won this sleuthing competition and are thus in possession of a Hugely Large Brain.

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 (reduced to 14 when it was found out that the Floon Beetle had been excised from the US edition) All were worth one point each. Rules are below, and entries to the quiz had to be with me by 1st December 2012.

Yes, okay, Fforde, but who won?

First we'll look at the answers. The winners are announced underneath.

The Answers:

All questions earn one point, and no extra marks for amusing entries. Overly verbose answers which are right will be marked down.

1: What is the official term for 'Tuning up'?

Everyone pretty much got this. It's called 'Quazafucating' and really means warming up, much the same way as you do before a jog (well not me of course because I don't jog, but you know what I mean) It's also to stop you getting cramp in the index fingers, the conduit of all a wizard's power.

2: Name the two spell languages currently in use in Jennifer's world.

RUNIX which I find an amusing pun, based, of course, on LINUX, the open-source computer language. ARAMAIC is the second spell code, and spells do seem to resemble computer language in their use.

3: Who is very attractive to lightning?

It was the younger Deirdre Karamazov, but I would have accepted either as they both have the same name.

4: Name two important characters we talk about, but never actually meet.

There were a few possibilities mooted on this answer, but the two I was thinking of were The Great Zambini and The Mighty Shandar, the latter of who is only met in a recording, so doesn't count.

5: Why do you suppose Tiger has the surname 'Prawns'?

Again, most people got this. Brought up by the Sisterhood of the Lobster, he was given a 'devout' name, after another crustacean. They must have quite liked him.

6: "..all I knew for certain was that she had held the 1927 Air-racing record in a Napier-engined Percival Plover at 208.72 MPH.."

So Jennifer tells us of Mother Zenobia, who has a trophy in her room as her 'One Small Vanity'. The question is, which aircraft actually held the Air speed record in 1927, and how fast was it?

A little bit of google finger-trouble here as a lot of people said the Supermarine S5 was the fastest during that year's Schneider Trophy races in Venice, when in fact it wasn't - the 1927 FAI recognised Air Speed Record for 1927 (and we're interested in the fastest of that year, obviously) was broken by Mario de Bernardi in a Macchi M.52 at 297.817 mph. He raised it still higher in 1928. Interestingly enough, the speed record for piston floatplanes is still held today by the Macchi MC.72 at 440MPH, set in 1939. Since no-one is insane enough to build a race plane that also has to survive the vagaries of a water take off and landing, it is unlikely to ever be broken.

7: William of Anorak states: "The only fish that begins and ends with a 'K' other than the Killer Shark is the King-sized portion of haddock."

Can you think of another answer which might disprove him?

Okay, yes, well the answer I was looking for here was 'Kilmarnock' which is a place (plaice) in Scotland. *groan* But naturally enough a few know-alls had to come up with Kitefin Shark, Kalimantania Lawak and Kryptopterus Limpok, all of which (unless a desperate contender invented the Wikipedia page in order to correctly answer the question) are all acceptable, and presumably, would have been known by William.

8: Where did Jennifer first meet the Quarkbeast?

It was in Starbucks - 'Quark', and there he was.

9: Generally speaking, the Quarkbeast only says one thing during the entire book: 'Quark'. But on one occasion he says something else. What?

Tricky one this. The only thing he says other than 'Quark' is a double 'quark': Quark, quark' which he says when they meet the recording of Shandar. The reason for the Quarkbeast's exceptional level of verbosity at this point is due to Shandar having creating the Quarkbeasts (more of which in book two)

10: Name the linking factor in (most) of the choices of names for Kingdom of Snodd's newspapers.

They are all named after molluscs of some form - winkle, clam, etc.

11: Math corner. The ID number that Jenny gives the guards when she is trying to sneak past the guards into the Dragonstation is 86231524. This is a relatively uninteresting number, meaning that it doesn't have any staggeringly peculiar attributes. 50 is much more interesting as it is the lowest number that can be expressed as the sum of two squares in two different ways: 5X5 + 5X5 and 1X1 + 7X7. (Asleep yet? No? Then I'll carry on) Naturally there can't be a MOST uninteresting number, for that would logically make it interesting. Then the second least interesting number becomes the most uninteresting number, but it too is then interesting - and so on.

Here's the question: Which number under 50 has the most factors? (The amount of different integers which can divide into it without leaving a reminder. Example: the number ten has four factors: 1,2,5 and 10. Seven has only two: 1 and 7.)

Yes indeed, it's 48, which has ten factors: 1,2,3,4,6,8,16,24,48.

12: Name three peculiar things that varieties of the floon beetle can accomplish.
Okay, this question is cancelled due to the peculiar excising of the floon beetle from the US editions. Next Question...

13: Name something in the Thursday Next books that also appears in the Jennifer Strange Books.

There are two possibilities here (that I've found) and the most obvious one is the Blessed Lady of the Lobster, although there is a brief mention of the Quarkbeast somewhere in the TN series (I think TN2)

14: Who owns the Volkswagen Beetle on the cover of this book?

This was one of those very tricky questions that I dropped in to try and catch everyone out. The beetle on the cover of the US book is a beetle, but appears to be a 1970's 1302S model with the large windscreen and round headlamps. Jennifer's beetle, as mentioned in the text, is from 1959. Whoever this beetle belongs to, it isn't Jennifer's. Incidentally, my parent's first new car was a 1959 VW beetle. Dad spoke well of the gearbox and its incredible modernity, given the rubbish that the UK were churning out, but little else. We had a VW split-screen camper, too, which is the first family car I can recall (about 1965). I can remember sleeping ACROSS the rear parcel shelf!

15: Who first discovered the Floon Beetle?
I cancelled this question too as it didn't seem fair, but if you really want to know it was Professor Bleent, as imagined by Don Martin of MAD magazine. There was a strip called 'Professor Bleent and the Floon Beetle expedition' in which, with the help of the lovely Miss Fonebone, Bleent discovers the only Floon Beetle. You can google it.
And, finally:

16: The Quarkbeast is actually depicted as a bronze sculpture in a city somewhere in the world. When I saw it I thought to myself: 'Ah, yes, Quark!' Can you find it, and, to stop lucky guesses, also supply the proof of how you knew?

This is a very , very, hard question and first appeared in the UK Dragonslayer sleuthing competition two years ago, and another quiz since. No-one has yet solved it.

...and it remains unsolved! Looks like I will have to up the ante for this one.

Okay, so who won? Well, there were four entries who were tied with the same number of points: Erica Savage, Cord Allison, Jennifer Elliot and Courtney Sammis.

The name that was picked out of my biggest hat was ..... Jennifer Elliott, who wins the first signed US copy of The Last Dragonslayer. The others win signed copies, all with as many different freebie postcards as I can find. Hooray!

Sorry for the delay in processing the results, but there were quite a few entries to wade through!

These Were The Rules

Applicants must be from USA.

The prizes are: 1: First Signed US copy of
The Last Dragonslayer
2: A signed US copy of
The Last Dragonslayer
3: A signed US copy of
The Last Dragonslayer

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' Dragon 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.

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.