Martin Freeman (left) and Benedict Cumberbatch played the roles of Dr Watson and Sherlock Holmes in one of the most well-known television adaptations of the books. Image Credit: IMDB

Ever since the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes was introduced in A Study in Scarlet in 1887, he has captivated the world, with his wit and unique technique of deduction.

Click start to play today’s Crossword, where you can identify the author of the Sherlock Holmes series.

He may be everyone’s favourite fictional detective, but here are a few things you may not have known about him:

1. He was going to be called Sherrinford

English author Arthur Conan Doyle may have altered his name to Sherlock because of a cricketer who had the same name. Doyle was a fan of cricket and a keen cricketer himself, playing for the Marylebone Cricket Club between 1899 and 1907.

2. The first novel was a flop

Although A Study in Scarlet is one of Doyle’s most well-known stories today, the debut novel was not well received when it was published in 1887. Doyle was 27-years-old at the time, and wrote it in just three weeks, inspired by a lecturer of his at the University of Edinburgh, named Dr Joseph Bell. The doctor was known to diagnose patients just by looking at them.

3. A discerning editor got him writing again

An editor who admired the first novel, Joseph Stoddart, worked at Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. He convinced Doyle at a dinner party in 1889, to write a second novel featuring Holmes, and promised to publish it in his magazine. And so, Doyle’s novel The Sign of the Four was published in 1890. Another author also agreed to write a novel for the magazine, which was published in the same year – Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. If it wasn’t for the discerning editor, would these authors have tried to pick up their pens? We’ll never know.

4. The most-filmed fictional character

Sherlock Holmes has appeared in 226 films and has been played by dozens of different actors since the late 19th century, according to film ranking website IMDb. The fictional detective has also been the basis for a number of rival characters in literature. He’s the most filmed fictional character – that is, human character. The most filmed non-human (filmed a whopping 239 times) is Dracula, who is supposed to be part-man, part-vampire.

5. He never said the famous phrase attributed to him

In the original novels and stories, Holmes does say ‘Elementary!’ and ‘my dear Watson’ at various points, but he has never said the phrase as one sentence. The first reported use of the exact phrase ‘elementary, my dear Watson’ seems to be in a P. G. Wodehouse novel of 1915, titled Psmith, Journalist.

What do you think of these facts about the world’s favourite detective? Play today’s Crossword and tell us at