2017 CALENDAR WINNERS AND SOLUTION

My 2017 calendar competition is now officially over, dears. Very many thanks to everyone who took part to win frankly amazing prizes featuring musical superstars who I’ve worked with, or inspired, and their album covers visualised as they should have been. Sadly, dears, some of the stars featured are no longer with us but continue to inspire us all.

Sadly since my calendar was put together the music industry suffered another loss, that of the fabulous George Michael. I always felt particularly connected to his track 'Outside', where's he's trying to convince his cat to go outside after its enjoyed a spot of relaxing on his sofa, in his hall and on his kitchen table. I always wondered if the cat from the song decided to go outside via the front or back door; such an difficult decision I find.

While the intellectual property of the competition was all mine, I’d also like to thank @nookiedog for doing the tricky design and web page building. He is a useful member of my staff, quite unlike that layabout @dignut. If you’d like to hire @nookiedog to design something for you, create a webpage, or photograph your pet, child, or event, see here, and here.


The first to complete my puzzles were:


@superlative - 29 Dec, 18:23
@smallrabbit - 29 Dec, 18:27
@david_p_ellis - 29 Dec, 18:41
@hugeshark - 29 Dec, 21:14
@gillpea - 29 Dec, 23:44

Special mentions:


It would be fair to say that you all found my puzzles challenging, dears.

Poor @sheppitsgal said that she had a severe handicap. I would say this was an advantage.
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Some of you even resorted to bribery. While @hugeshark did eventually appear on the leaderboard, this email from her when she was stuck had no effect on the outcome.
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I kept @KatherineKBC and her nice family in Carlisle occupied for quite a while too, dears.
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Rufus the dog wasn’t going to help, dears.
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After letting you flounder for a couple of days I realised I was going to have to dangle some dainty little titbits of clues on social media. Then on 29 December the penny dropped, and one after another the correct entries started to appear in my secret email inbox.

Well done, dears.

THANKS FATWANS FOR THE MUSIC PUZZLE SOLUTIONS



On this page I shall explain the solutions to my puzzles, dears. I’ll leave the actual puzzle pages up for a while, for those of you who wish to play through them some more. You’ll enjoy my final light relief sliding tile puzzle.

So, if you don’t want to see the answers just yet, dears, be aware that spoilers lie below…

My puzzles were all about discovering the place I’d gone into hiding, to avoid the Celebrity Curse Of 2016. I’m a generous cat, dears, so on the very first puzzle page I left some clues. Many of you didn’t notice these straight away.

“To find where I’ve gone, you’ll need to solve a few layers of catty conundrums. You’ll meet Harry, Julius, and Dmitri along the way, and elements of some of the solved puzzles will also be codewords.”

LAYER 1 - WORD SEARCH
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Simple enough once you’ve spotted it dears. The coordinates of the CAT gave you your first password: k3l4m5
LAYER 2 - GOING UNDERGROUND
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First I travelled from Edgware Road to South Kensington.
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Then I made a short hop from Watford to Croxley.
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I then took a trip from Kenton to Marylebone.
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If you think you are being followed, try a switchback, dears. Burnt Oak to Camden Town, to Finchley Central.
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Finally I invoked my Schrödinger’s Cat powers, and made two journeys at the same time. Oxford Circus to Victoria, and Piccadilly Circus to Knightsbridge; both via Green Park, so I could see the Queen.
Each of these little journeys within our capital city’s tube system spelled a capital letter if traced on the tube map. The original tube map was designed by Harry Beck; the first person I mentioned in my opening clues.
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This gave you the password CILVX to take you to the next stage, dears.
LAYER 3 - COLOURS, LETTERS, & NUMBERS
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Each of these pretty coloured circles corresponded to the letters generated in the previous puzzle, dears. I did say “from things you’ve already seen”.

This gave you:

XCI


LXXIV


XVI


…and so on.

There you met my second namecheck clue: Julius, dears, the most famous Roman I could think of, and their peculiar way of expressing numbers.
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Translated into our modern Arabic numerals we now had:

91, 74, 16, 24, 85, 6, 1, 27, 74, 83, 52


This is where a lot of you became really stuck, dears, despite there being two big clues remaining at the beginning:

“To find where I’ve gone, you’ll need to solve a few layers of catty conundrums. You’ll meet Harry, Julius, and

Dmitri

along the way, and

elements

of some of the solved puzzles will also be codewords.”
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This is Dmitri Mendeleev, dears, creator of the Periodic Table of the Elements, visible at the front of all good chemistry classrooms. If you look up each of the elements by their atomic numbers as listed above you get both a password (PaW) and a codeword (Cow):
Pa W S Cr At C H Co W Bi Te
LAYER 4 - TILES AND TASHIROJIMA
The final stage gave you a beautiful sliding time puzzle to solve. Once you’d done this you were given a latitude and longitude:

38° 18′ 0″ N 141° 25′ 0″ E


Pop these into your nearest friendly search engine and you’ll be taken to the Japanese island of Tashirojima. This is more famously known as Cat Island due to its large feline population, where they are rightly venerated.
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This was the ultimate solution to my puzzles, dears
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