2012-08-25

“Before turning to those moral and mental aspects of the matter which present the greatest difficulties, let the enquirer begin by mastering more elementary problems. Let him on meeting a fellow-mortal, learn at a glance to distinguish the history of the man, and the trade or profession to which he belongs.”

–Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, “The Book of Life” article by Sherlock Holmes

“All this is amusing, though rather elementary, but I must go back to business, Watson.”

–“A Case of Identity”

“Interesting, though elementary,” said he, as he returned to his favourite corner of the settee. “There are certainly one or two indications upon the stick. It gives us the basis for several deductions.”

The Hound of the Baskervilles

“The detection of types is one of the most elementary branches of knowledge to the special expert in crime, though I confess that once when I was very young I confused the Leeds Mercury with the Western Morning News. But a Times leader is entirely distinctive, and these words could have been taken from nothing else.”

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Elementary,” said he. “It is one of those instances where the reasoner can produce an effect which seems remarkable to his neighbour, because the latter has missed the one little point which is the basis of the deduction.”

–“The Adventure of the Crooked Man”

“I’m sure, Watson, a week in the country will be invaluable to you,” he remarked. “It is very pleasant to see the first green shoots upon the hedges and the catkins on the hazels once again. With a spud, a tin box, and an elementary book on botany, there are instructive days to be spent.” He prowled about with this equipment himself, but it was a poor show of plants which he would bring back of an evening.

–“The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge”

“The train of reasoning is not very obscure, Watson,” said Holmes, with a mischievous twinkle. “It belongs to the same elementary class of deduction which I should illustrate if I were to ask you who shared your cab in your drive this morning.”

–“The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax”

Still, elementary as it was, there were points of interest and novelty about it which may excuse my placing it upon record. I now proceeded, using my familiar method of logical analysis, to narrow down the possible solutions.

–“The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier” (narrated by Sherlock Holmes)

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