Happy Birthday to my favorite enigma…or is it EnigRA?

How about a birthday riddle for the enigmatic man of the hour?

What walks on four legs in the morning,

two legs at midday, 

and three legs in the evening?

Does that riddle sound familiar?  It probably does since it is the famous “Riddle of the Sphinx.”  One can hardly refer to enigmas and riddles without including the Sphinx.

Not that sphinx...

Not that sphinx…

I’m talking about the famous Greek version of the Sphinx (Σφίγξ).  She (all the best monsters were female) had a human head, the haunches of a lion and was often depicted with the wings of a bird.

Sphinx with Oedipus Source

Sphinx with Oedipus

Pictured above with the famous Oedipus, she doesn’t look terribly dangerous, but looks can be deceiving.  As usual, there are several etymological stories relating to the Sphinx, but the common element is that she was a sort of curse on the city state of Thebes for some ancient transgression.  Stationed outside the city, she asked her riddle of all who passed her and devoured them all when they failed to answer correctly.  The situation had become so dire that the regent of Thebes…one Creon (of Antigone fame) promised the throne of Thebes to anyone who could answer the mysterious riddle.

Along came Oedipus (this is after he killed King Laius – who he didn’t know was his birth father – and before he married Jocasta – who he didn’t know was his birth mother…you can’t make this stuff up!) who took up the challenge and correctly answered the Sphinx’s riddle…when he did, she was so distraught that she flung herself off the mountainside.  Enigma of the Sphinx solved.

Now, I would never venture to argue that Richard Armitage devours those who misread his cues, but he has often been plenty enigmatic since joining the Twitterverse.  So then, in honor of the Sphinxine Birthday…let’s answer that riddle

Four legs in the morning:

four legs in the morning

Two legs at midday:

armitage grey suit


Three legs in the evening:

three legs in evening


Happy Birthday Richard Armitage!

Happy Armitage Day Armitageworld!!

27 comments on “Happy Birthday to my favorite enigma…or is it EnigRA?

  1. Servetus says:

    LOL! Excellent tie in! Happy Armitage day.

    • obscura says:

      These birthday posts are getting to be a challenge! (and for the record, I’m not subliminally suggesting someone has a big head…I’m just a lazy photo editor!)

      • Servetus says:

        I agree. At birthday #6 I don’t have a lot of original ideas left. So I’m impressed when someone does, lol 🙂

        [it’s a good thing he’s not a family member. I’d be like, it’s your birthday? AGAIN??]

        • obscura says:

          Being in the throes of Mini Me’s big day (August 24th) which I’ve been bugged about incessantly since June, I’m not real big on the birthday thing, so this was a convenient fluke 🙂

  2. Esther says:

    Ha! Wonderful! 🙂

  3. Perry says:

    1- I thought there’d be an illusion to a slightly different third leg. 2. I agree these birthday posts are getting more difficult – this year I used some of his own content for half, and recycled last year’s for the rest, and 3. why are they both called Sphinx?

    • obscura says:

      1. Naughty!!
      2. Right?!
      3. Probably because the Greeks tended to be the travel writers of the ancient world, and the appellations they gave foreign things often stuck (Mesopotamia, hieroglyphics, etc) So a Greek traveler goes to Egypt in the 6th century, sees the Giza monument (there is no known inscription dating to its construction date, and the later Egyptians referred to it as Hor-em-akhet (English: Horus of the Horizon; Hellenized: Harmachis) and says, “Hey! That looks kinda like a Sphinx!” Shazam – The Sphinx ever since.

  4. Hariclea says:

    Brilliant i like Opa Armitage most as well 😊and that is one hairy baby! I’m glad you guys still find fun things to say I’ll just clap along and open the purse which i find easier than thinking what to say.Funny enough i always find things to say after as the day always turns out nice.

  5. jholland says:

    That last image is burned into my retinas forever! ROFL

  6. Ha! Great post! And I love the Oedipal reference–in terms of the age difference between himself and his older wife/mother. Richard would be fantastic and cougar hearts would melt everywhere. *wink*

    • obscura says:

      that is a dream casting time waster of mine…who might play Jocasta opposite Armitage?? (I have some ideas…)

      • Servetus says:


      • How about the actress who played Katie Dartmouth in Strikeback? Orla Brady. She was then 49 by the bios (born in 1961)–so 10 years older than Richard Armitage, but she looked at least ten years younger. And with Jocasta probably having Oedipus at 14, then marrying him when she was about 35, the age difference is close enough to work. Here is here picture from 2012 in Sinbad:

  7. Guylty says:

    FINALLY catching up here, too. Oh, those manips. I mean, baby RA may still be cute (although I draw the line at stubbly cheeks on a toddler) but octogenarian RA? Not an image one likes to contemplate. Mind you, RA is reverting into youth, by the look of things. Nothing to worry about, then…

    • obscura says:

      Oh, I don’t know. I have noticed over the years that the octogenarians LOVE me! (Like pass me their phone numbers and ask to escort me around town LOVE me…kind of disconcerting initially) so Octogenarian Armitage might be just the thing…of course, by then I’ll be Octogenarian Obscura…eeek!

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