Sherlock Holmes Quiz


By: Staff Writer

6 Min Quiz

Image: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

About This Quiz

How much do you really know about Sherlock Holmes, the world's first consulting detective? The answer will be elementary once you take this 35-question quiz.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was the prolific author of the Sherlock Holmes novels. Which of these titles were NOT written by him?

Edgar Allan Poe wrote The Tell-Tale Heart, and was best known for his mysterious and macabre poetry and short stories. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.


Where does Mr. Holmes hang his (deerstalker) hat?

221B Baker Street in London is the home of the most famous of fictional detectives.


From Conan Doyle to Dr. Doyle, the author has been referred to by many names. What is his real full name?

His name is in the register of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh.


The character Sherlock Holmes is extremely quotable, his dialogue sharp and acerbic. Which of these is one of his most famous quotes?

Sherlock has said, “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” Similar expressions occur in The Sign of Four, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet and other stories.


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created not only Sherlock Holmes, but the Watson character as well. What do Sir Conan Doyle and Watson have in common?

In A Study in Scarlet, Watson, as the narrator, establishes having received his medical degree from Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1878, and subsequently being trained at Netley as an assistant surgeon in the British Army.


What has been erected opposite the former birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle? (Doyle’s birthplace was demolished in c.1970.)

Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on May 22 1859.


Sherlock Holmes stories are timeless; they have been in print for over a century. When was the first Sherlock Holmes story published?

The rights to A Study in Scarlet were bought by Ward Lock & Co in 1886. The piece was published one year later in the Beeton's Christmas Annual in 1887, when Grover Cleveland was president of the United States.


Sherlock Holmes is many actors' dream role. Which of these actors has not taken on the brilliant detective in a movie?

Jonathan Lee Miller portrays Sherlock Holmes on the *TV series*, Elementary.


A superior detective needs a master-mind to test his wits against. Who is Sherlock Holmes’ biggest nemesis?

Professor Moriarty is the well-known nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, who describes him as the "Napoleon of crime." Moriarty is only mentioned in a handful of Sherlock Holmes stories, and yet he remains one of most memorable characters in all of fiction.


Other than Professor Moriarty, who is an arch-enemy of Sherlock Holmes?

Colonel Moran first appears in the short story "The Adventure of the Empty House". Holmes once described him as "the second most dangerous man in London" - the most dangerous being Professor Moriarty, Moran's employer.


Which of these substances did Sherlock Holmes partake in, at times?

Sherlock Holmes partook in all of the above substances when he did not have a case and his mind was not stimulated.


What percent of cocaine solution does Sherlock Holmes use to inject himself?

The literature refers to Sherlock Holmes using a seven percent solution. He had a powerful mind, but still had to be capable of serious thought while dabbling in cocaine.


Which composer was a favorite of Sherlock Holmes?

In The Adventure of the Red Circle, Holmes particularly enjoyed the music of Wagner.


Sherlock Holmes’ residence is maintained by a landlady. What is her name?

Mrs Hudson wants her home to be kept clean and tidy, and often fights with Holmes about this.


Mrs. Hudson had to put up with a lot of curious behavior from Sherlock Holmes. Which of these did she have to tolerate?

Poor Mrs. Hudson!


In A Study in Scarlet, The Sign of the Four and The Adventure of the Crooked Man, Holmes occasionally employs agents from the city's underclass. What name did he give to these agents?

Not your typical group, these agents included a host of informants and a group of street children.


Holmes and Watson were roommates before Watson's marriage and again after his wife's death. What was Mrs. Watson’s maiden name?

Mary Morstan is first introduced in The Sign of the Four, where she and Watson are tentatively attracted to each other, but only when the case is resolved is he able to propose to her. She is described as blonde with pale skin. At the time she hires Holmes she had been making a living as a governess.


What instrument does Sherlock Holmes play?

While Holmes’s association with the violin is well known through modern representations of his character on radio, television and film, there are actually relatively few references to his musical passion in Conan Doyle’s original books. References to his playing are rarer still, but they are sufficient to give a picture of a cultured, if unusual, player who – of course – possessed a Stradivari.


When it comes to defending himself against the criminal element, in which of these skills is Holmes NOT an expert?

It is mentioned by Watson, as the narrator of the first Sherlock Holmes story “A Study in Scarlet”, that Holmes is “an expert singlestick player, boxer, and swordsman”.


There are items that will always be associated with Sherlock Holmes. Which of these items are NOT part of his fictional appearance?

Meerschaum is a soft white clay material which resembles sea-foam, thus the name which is German for "foam of the sea." The first recorded use of meerschaum for making pipes was around 1723. It soon became prized as the perfect material for providing a cool, dry, flavorful smoke.


It really is surprising how many actors have portrayed Sherlock Holmes. Which of these did NOT portray him?

Daniel Craig starred as James Bond in Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). Born the year after the release of You Only Live Twice, he is the first James Bond actor to be born after the start of the film series, also making him the first Bond actor to be born after Ian Fleming died. Much media attention has also been given to him for being the "blondest" Bond.


How did you do on the last one? One more chance: which of these actors did NOT portray Sherlock Holmes?

Timothy Dalton is another English actor known for portraying James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), as well as Rhett Butler in the television miniseries Scarlett (1994).


Which person did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle base the character of Sherlock Holmes on?

Joseph Bell was born on December 2, 1837 and died October 4, 1911. He was a Scottish lecturer at the medical school of the University of Edinburgh in the 19th century and Doyle served as his clerk at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary.


What is the name of the dog Sherlock uses?

Toby is first introduced in The Sign of the Four and is described by Watson as a "ugly long-haired, lop-eared creature, half spaniel and half lurcher, brown and white in colour, with a very clumsy waddling gait." Holmes has stated he would "rather have Toby's help than that of the whole detective force in London" and requests the dog by name.


In the TV Series 'Elementary,' who plays Watson?

Lucy Liu got her acting break playing the role of the vicious Ling Woo on the TV series Ally McBeal (1998–2002), for which she was nominated for an Emmy. She went on to star in Charlie's Angels (2000), played O-Ren Ishii in Kill Bill (2003), and has lent her voice to the animated series Kung Fu Panda (2008).


Who has NOT portrayed Moriarty on stage or screen?

Did you know: Al Pacino attended the Actors Studio in 1966, studying under legendary acting coach Lee Strasberg, creator of the Method Approach that would become the trademark of many '70s-era actors.


What is the first name of Sherlock Holmes’ older brother?

Mycroft and Sherlock also had a younger sister named Enola.


In the Elementary TV series, who is cast as Professor Moriarty?

Professor Moriarty is played by a woman, actress Natalie Dormer, who is also well known for her roles as Anne Boleyn on the Showtime series The Tudors, and as Margaery Tyrell on the HBO series Game of Thrones.


How many years older is Mycroft than Sherlock?

In John Dickson Carr's "Sir Henry Merrivale" novels, the brilliant, overweight military intelligence chief is compared to Mycroft Holmes, much to his annoyance.


How does Mycroft's brain power compare to Sherlock's?

Mycroft did not become a detective due to his poor physique and dislike of fieldwork, but his deductive capabilities were described as exceeding Sherlock's.


Who plays Sherlock Holmes’ father on the Elementary TV Series?

Australian actor John Noble is perhaps best known for the roles of Dr Walter Bishop in the science-fiction television series Fringe, and Henry Parrish in the action-horror series Sleepy Hollow. His most high-profile film role was as Denethor in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy.


If you take into account film, TV, stage and radio portrayal, how many actors have portrayed Sherlock Holmes worldwide?

From Japan to France to the UK and US, there are 101 actors to date who have portrayed Sherlock Holmes.


Which of the following actors have played both Holmes and Watson?

Avengers star Patrick Macnee has played both Holmes and Watson.


Which famous actor who portrayed Sherlock Holmes is also the creator and one of the producers for the Elementary TV series?

Downey Jr. made his debut as an actor at the age of five in the film Pound (1970), written and directed by his father, Robert Downey Sr.


Conan Doyle’s stories have been adapted into a variety of formats. Which of these formats have NOT been done?

The BBC was the first production company in the world to dramatize all sixty of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories with the same two actors in the lead roles throughout -- Clive Merrison playing Sherlock Holmes and Michael Williams playing Watson.


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