Sleuths Rise to Watson’s Puzzle Challenge – December 2, 2020

Hello, everyone!

Thank you for participating in our puzzle contest for a chance to win a free copy of our book: Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book!

Did you enjoy this puzzle challenge? If you did, there are many other puzzles like this in our book. Links on where to get it are below (and these links will be updated on our main book page as more information becomes available).


While traveling in London, you are suddenly approached by a dirty little street urchin. He walks up to you and mumbles that his name is Wiggins. He hands you a crumpled cream-colored scrap of paper and mumbles that “Premierword smiths have rightfully won this challenge.” Wiggins scampers off into the crowd.

You glance down at the dirty scrap of paper:



Many participants recognized that the puzzle required a keyboard to solve the above cipher. However, a fewer number of super sleuths realized that the standard computer keyboard wouldn’t have been appropriate since they didn’t exist in the late 1800s.

Using the cryptic message from Wiggins (Premier word smiths have rightfully won this challenge.), these code-breakers determined that he was referencing the Smith Premier 1 (won) Typewriter and that the message was typed shifting one key to the right (we included a picture of the Smith Premier 1 Typewriter on our Discounts page as an easter egg).

Photo of a Smith Premier No. 1 typewriter
Image source: and

As a result, the proper solution would read as:

Death and deception surround us.

We require your assistance to solve these mysteries.

– Doctor John Watson


Winners who submitted the correct solution were put into a pool. We randomly drew five from the U.S. and five from the U.K. and will notify them through the social media channel or email (however they submitted their answer) on December 3 and request their mailing addresses.

In the event that any of the entries are ineligible, we will select alternate winners. We hope to have books sent out later this week.

Thank you for playing!

Please follow this blog and our social media channels as we review in-person escape rooms, online escape room experiences, and escape room puzzle games.


Jason and Mike

(*Note: The Escape Room Guys LLC participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to… in other words, we earn a small fee by providing direct links to products on Amazon in return for promoting them.)