Okay, first, I must indulge. MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Second, yes, congratulations. You have solved my puzzle.
So, a bit of background.
To rewind things a bit, at the time this all happened, you guys were starting to pay serious attention to Experiments in Food Preparation, and you guys were intent on trying to find something, anything hidden in there. Except that there wasn't anything hidden in there at that point; you guys were chasing smoke and thinking it was some grand secret. So I decided to have a little fun. I was about to write up a post talking about the results of the squash soup that I had attempted to make, and I decided that the first two paragraphs could, with a little creative rewording (which was picked up on at the time, I think by Sicon), make an acrostic that spelled out "apophenia," basically saying "Guys, you're making up patterns that aren't there." And yes, I realized the irony of hiding a message that says that there aren't any hidden messages; I thought this was sufficiently silly and snuck it in. I didn't even tell the other PMs; there was enough going on that it was of little consequence.
I figured that an acrostic would be one of the first things you'd try (they're pretty basic, and it doesn't take long to try it). Turns out I was quite wrong. And then, the plan to "lure me out" (the one that nearly got me in trouble) happened very soon after, so I was actually nervous to mention to anyone else for some time that I had, in fact, hidden something in the blog. The endgame was when I finally felt comfortable doing so, and it was entertaining to see even the other puppetmasters taken by surprise by what I did.
I also enjoyed periodically dropping clues as to what I did. One of the biggest was around the one-year anniversary of the blog post; I tweeted about acrostics and how interesting they are (fun fact: Scarab responded to it). My favorite was saying that I hid nothing in something and something in nothing - apophenia literally is trying to find something in nothing, and it was kind of a meaningless thing that I hid in the blog itself. By the way, for those that kept being frustrated that I wouldn't detail the variety of puzzle that I hid... if I had said that it was an acrostic, you would have had it in minutes, maybe even seconds. Well, maybe not - as I pointed out on Twitter, Scarab actually point blank suggested that it might be an acrostic multiple times, but I don't think anyone bothered to check that specific type of acrostic (Pix said he checked the "first word" version, and I think Robynne did too). EDIT: Oh, yeah, and every so often, I would even talk about apophenia when you guys started asking me a lot about the puzzle. You don't know how fun it is to tell people the answer without them realizing it.
Oh, Qara may have accidentally stumbled a bit when compiling clues, because I was a bit devious in terms of exact words. At one point, she asked if "not everything is going to work" was pertinent to the solution. I said "Almost," because she left off the word "Anyhow," which was
pertinent to the solution. However, when compiling the clues, she did remember the word then. I wondered if that threw people off.
Finally, as to who knew before this - I believe I said it before, but it was Dana and Sophie (maybe Dana told Tom; I never asked). I told Dana at ARGfest when we both went, and Connor tried his best to dupe me into telling him. So if it makes folks feel any better, he tried his best to troll the information out of me. Sophie figured it out herself about a half hour after I confirmed that the message was hidden in "On various experiments." I have to dig up the specific message that she sent me; I forget if she called me evil, terrible, or just awful. But she also thought the whole thing was hilarious.
Now, there's a few lessons to be learned from this. First, of course, is that what seems like the obvious solution to the puzzle maker isn't always obvious to the puzzle solver. Second, if you manage to build up enough of a mystique or a reputation, you can sometimes slide an easy one past people simply because they expect something more grandiose from you. Third, exact words matter in puzzle solving, because the devil is always in the details. Fourth, I had *way* too much fun with this. Finally, I think you see now why there isn't more to it beyond this - the whole point was that there wasn't anything to it at all.
As a coda - I considered making the IMIIIII some variety of code as well, but I abandoned that when any part that EFP would have played was shut down after the wiki edit issue. Though I promise that it wouldn't have been game-important, either. It probably would have just been a message saying "Seriously, guys, nothing here."
I smiled when the wall was built, for I knew we were creating something incredible. And I smiled when it cracked, for the world would soon see what we had wrought.