Giveaways · Nina's Threads · Stitch enigmae · The Grey Tail

purple glory

thank you all for taking part in this year’s games, I really hope you had half the fun I had working on them.


if you don’t have it on brain-play already, here is what sparkled the final clue of this year’s STITCH ENIGMA: a hell of a track that starts with Steven Tyler mocking Judy Garland‘s lines in The Wizard of Oz, one of his massive cat-like screeches and BAM! epic guitar intro by Joe Perry. that’s how awesome The Farm is from the very beginning. if you haven’t been listening to the smashing record NINE LIVES since in came out in 1997, I honestly feel sorry for you, guys. I really do. 😀

anyways, the enigma’s final game & clue went live on Friday morning at 7AM local time (GMT +1) as usual, and within 15 minutes we already had 3 contestants guessing correctly, one latecomer due to a faulty alarm clock (it takes only one bad clock to lose a war sometimes 😬😉) and a brave Frenchwoman who hopped all the way here on one foot (the other being currently on the mend from a falling injury while visiting some Roman ruins, life has a great sense of humour if you ask me 😱😂); and they all went in the right direction: OZ! 😀

stitch enigma 2015

like I explained yesterday in one of the comments, there were many possible answers and all of them were valid as long as they featured an Oz reference of some sort. the final clue was obtained by putting together all the letters gathered from the 5 previous games, which formed the quote: «It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or train. It’s far, far away..» because this is a clue, the place to get was Oz, The Land of Oz, or anything along these lines.

technically, since the final clue describes the place, the correct answer that I immediately thought of when planning this was OZ meaning The Land of Oz, but because I wanted these games to be as inclusive as possible, everything featuring Oz, from rewriting the final clue in a more complete form (100% right as well) to mentioning Aerosmith‘s The Farm was just as fine and correct. 🙂

because my friends here come from different countries, there’s a good chance we read the book or watched the film in different languages; I couldn’t use a direct quote that wasn’t recognisable, and the song from the musical is so popular and wide known even separated from the book & film, I figured this way everyone had a fair chance of catching the OZ vibe from it.

– – –

now that we are discussing technicalities and reasons why the enigma was built the way it was, here is a look at which aspects made me choose to do things the way I did them:

– INTERNATIONALITY: I chose to write all the games in English and couldn’t make different versions of each game in the languages I speak first of all for time reasons; I don’t speak more than Italian, English, German and Spanish, so I was going to leave out a lot of people anyways. organising a month-long experience (even as simple as this one) takes time and no short amount of consideration and knowledge of the language; if I was to do anything of this sort in German or Spanish I was bound for mistakes because those are the languages I feel more rusty these days. Italian was never an option because I don’t think there are more than 1 or 2 people in this country interested in something like my stitch enigma. last but not least, my activity in this blog has always been in English, I figure if you are a friend of the grey tail to have to speak it to a certain extent anyways.

this being said, I still wanted some of my international friends to feel “at home” so I tried to squeeze a few international answers in some of the games (something anticipated in the rules post & PDF instruction sheets). it’s the case for example of 11 across in the crossword puzzle An island in Greece, a heart in needlework. for Ariadne and 18 across “Light Effects Floss” in France. for Nadine/Jocondine.

 – VARIETY: splitting the final clue in letters to be put together little by little, allowed me to feature more types of games that were meant (at least that was my intention) to please everyone’s taste at some point. you can be a fan of word-search puzzles but not like crosswords; you can enjoy riddles but not codes, etc. – with five different games I figured I would be able to entertain almost everybody.

– SIMPLICITY: I really wanted to keep all the answers accessible without making everything too easy (to me, if it’s too easy it’s not even entertaining) so I planned & wrote every challenge in a way that would be convenient to everybody (PDFs working on all platforms, being printer-friendly, etc.) with just a bit of the final clue to put together every time. this meant that even if you couldn’t figure out a riddle or a coded word, or one or two of the red letters in the crosswords, you would still be able to gather enough letters to figure out the quote/final clue and be a winner.

– INCLUSIVITY: this aspect has been present throughout the entire games & planning, and it’s even more important when it comes to winnerseach and every one of you who has enjoyed the enigma, even for a few moments, is a winner to me. you spent time and effort, and possibly paper and ink, working on something I created for our own pleasure. to me that’s a WIN WIN for both of us. and we should all take a moment to ponder the beauty of having A. geeky friends who organise these things* B. geeky friends who like to play with us.

* I’m thinking of Nadine’s Train Travels Through France (Poirot this week!), Jo’s Blog Hops, Heather’s Theme-a-licious and Stitch Olympics themes, etc. I’m really grateful for all the great time I have thanks to you guys, it’s only fair that once in a while I get to return the favour.

– – –

this is where I end the clarification talk on how the games were conceived this year, with a reflection on possibly keeping this format for the times to come. I reckon it works really well for me (especially now that it’s already figured out 😀 ) and for you. I will ponder a few other aspects though, in order to keep the games and the fun as drama and stress-free as possible in the future.

now, let’s go back to the fun stuff, shall we? 😀

here is the screenshot of my Admin Comments page as of yesterday morning at 9:44 AM local time [play drum roll here]: 🎉🎈🎺🎶

enigma winners: Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 09.44.46
coloured lines are hiding email and IP addresses for privacy reasons
  1. Amanda at 7:12 AM
  2. Garrett at 7:13 AM
  3. Angie at 7:14 AM
  4. Ariadne at 7:44 AM
  5. Nadine at 8:24 AM

so AMANDA MRS.MILKYBARKID is the lucky gal who won the gold, fetched the flag, crossed the finish line, stole the loot, caught the snitch, baked the soufflé, .. you get the picture 😉 CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU, MY FRIEND! 🏆 😀

now, if you’re not familiar with Amanda, here are a few fun facts about her that will put a smile on your face:

  • Amanda has a problem with threads 😉 so her sister is keeping her on a close stash-under-approval-only watch. she is doing really well, she participates in to the enigma and get free stash! 😀 🙌🏻
  • the stash she gets is from Italy, is originally from Hungary, and has lots of French names all of which she adores
  • she has quite an addiction to the colour purple, and guess what linen I had picked months ago as a prize, without even knowing about Amanda’s existence in the needlework world at that time? Royal Purple! and Amanda’s a Brit! [royal country ✓]
  • I planned on working on a couple of extras for the winner, and had a few items on the go for me as well, all in autumn colours (my favourite ones + I’m an autumn baby too) .. And guess which season Amanda was born in? yep. 😀

what more can I say? Fate wanted you to win, Amanda. 😃 your stash called like a siren for Nina’ Threads, you pleased the gods of Stash with your #operationthreadporn and fetched the prize! now make sure you don’t blow it on 36 count, no pressure there 😀 😉

stitch enigma 2015
oh, and see the catmasutra artwork on my copy of Nine Lives? remember what is the name of Amanda’s operation to use up some of the 462476294624 threads she owns? 😛

I need to clear up my crafting table downstairs, buy that packet of DAS I mentioned, work on a sketch of a cup and make one! I want to paint it a in gold shimmering coat, smell that nasty scent of petrol derivates that I like so much (ouch!) .. then I can take a commemoratives picture of each winner of the enigmas! like put a mouse in the cup for Michelle’s win in 2013a tiny Nathan Fillion with yarn in his hand for Heather’s in 2014, a whole bunch of different threads skeins for Amanda 😀 and so on!

– – –

now another friendly disclaimer:

the fancy needlework prize consists of about €30 worth of cotton threads and small linen cuts of my choice I bought specifically for the enigma prize; Nina kindly offered to add 8 skeins out of her hand dyed silk collection on her expense.

I never helped any of the contestants or altered the results of the games in any way, in fact the screenshot I provided shows beyond any doubt that the prize was won fair and square by Amanda. all my regular readers are my friends, I would never push one or the other towards anything. I believe in the power of the gods of Stash so I would never cheat or allow cheating under this roof.

– – –

now I have A LOT of catching up to do, but I’m saving it all for another post where we will discuss the #30for30crafting challenge, monthly goals, THE ALPHABET CLUB handy-dandy inspirational sheet, Pablita’s recovery, BaBa’s cuteness, the usual 🙂

Taras 5/15

see you soon! ciao!



15 thoughts on “purple glory

  1. Congrats to Amanda! What an enigma, I’m still laughing in the purple rain 😉
    And to the author of this … enigma (I still hesitate on adjectives… brilliant, smart,…twisted) hats off (said in the musketeer posture). xxx
    Hope we’ll have the solutions of those 5 games. Thank you.


  2. I think I am still in shock! Thank you so much for such a fun enigma and all the work you put into it, a true masterpiece (and in your second language too 😛, are you sure you’re Italian? lol!) 💜💜💜.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. oh, you’re too kind! I’m so happy you had a good time! 💜💜
      my English is in greater shape than my Italian these days, to the extent that I go “oh shit!” instead of “merda!” when I mess up.. 😬😂💩


  3. Congrats to Amanda! That’s fantastic. Still bummed that I missed the last day, but I had a great time playing all the games! Thank you so much for organizing them all 😀


  4. Those prices are lovely – and since I managed to not win (I still don’t have the solutions now), I will have to check out Nina’s threads myself. Thanks a lot for hosting this enigma, it was brilliant and lot’s of fun to search for the clues ^_^


    1. oh, I’m so glad you had a good time! that means a lot to me! ❤️❤️
      as long as you’re having fun it’s always worth playing 😊🙌🏻
      I’m totally addicted to Nina’s threads, be careful 😂😍


  5. Congratulations to the winner!And thank you for the clarification and all the details! I have to clarify something too,my alarm clock wasn’t faulty, it was a day I have school later and although I set it for 7.30, in my sleep I knew I had school later so pressed the buzz.Then some minutes later I realised I had set it at that time for a differenet reason, the stitch enigma, and rushed but I was too late!Cry!Cry! But I really so enjoyed this!My favourite where the three riddles!They were amazing!You were great in making them! Maybe you should make a whole blogpost with all the answers!By theway the answer about the roots came into my sleep!LOL!AriadnefromGreece!


    1. that is FANTASTIC!! an answer in your sleep!! ❤️❤️
      I will post everything as soon as my laptop comes back from the techs, hopefully at the end of the week.
      that is so funny!! I love all these back stories!!


  6. Congrats Amanda! Well done you 🙂
    Great game… I have loved doing all the puzzles… This has been the most fun I have had in a long time… Word puzzles are such a great way to pass the time when not stitching :0)
    Hugs xx


    1. that is so nice of you to say, thank you!! ❤️❤️❤️ I’m so thrilled about all the positive feedback on these games, the best ones so far I gather!
      definitely going to keep the format for next year! 😊❤️


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