Royal Mail Competition: Win a Holmes holiday
Tuesday 12 October 1993
In keeping with the detective theme, the stamps incorporate a challenge to decipher some extremely well-disguised clues. Throughout this week the Independent will be running an exclusive competition with Royal Mail to test your powers of detection. Each day until Friday, one stamp will be featured; today's is The Reigate Squire.
Your first task will be to find the five letters hidden somewhere in the scenes, one on each stamp. These letters should then be rearranged in an order with strong Holmesian connections. Your second, and more taxing, problem is to solve the five clues, saving your answers for the reply coupon which will be included, together with further hints, on Friday.
The winner will receive a week's holiday for two in Switzerland's beautiful Bernese Oberland region. Flying Swiss Air and travelling with the tour specialists Kuoni Travel, they will stay at the picturesque Park Sauvage Hotel, overlooking the stunning Reichenbach Falls, where Conan Doyle himself stayed and plotted the death of his most famous creation. Accommodation is half board and the holiday must be taken between 1 April 1994 and 31 October 1994, subject to availability.
Three runners-up will also win a copy of The Penguin Complete Sherlock Holmes, containing four novels and 56 stories, including The Reigate Puzzle. There will be 100 further prizes of beautifully illustrated presentation packs of the stamps - a valuable addition to any collection, or a fine start to an interesting, inexpensive hobby enjoyed by some 4 million people in the UK and millions more throughout the world.
The second stamp in this set shows Holmes and Dr Watson in a scene from the story The Reigate Puzzle, originally featured in the 1894 Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes uses his powers of deduction to unmask the murderers of the Cunningham family's coachman.
'Talking of Reigate,' said Dr Watson, 'reminds me of the Giant Rat of Sumatra. Whatever happened to that rodent?' He gestured towards the instrument on the table. 'I suppose your violin playing frightened it off.'
'My violin?' queried Holmes in surprise. 'I fancy that some sort of rat Aids virus is the answer.'
What had Holmes been playing?
Answers will be given and winners announced in the 8 November issue. Standard Independent competition rules apply.
Arts & Ents blogs
Sherlock's Benedict Cumberbatch 'first sexy Holmes', says Mark Gatiss
Too upsetting? Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it
Jessica Alba interview: From Hollywood superwoman to household product CEO
Captain Phillips actor Barkhad Abdi struggles financially despite Oscar nomination
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
- 1 To those who can’t see the point of International Women’s Day: you are the very reason it exists
- 2 International Women's Day 2014: The shocking statistics that show why it is still so important
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 5 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role because late wife Natasha Richardson said she wouldn't marry him if he took it