Puzzling Paragraph

Jun 19, 1999

RAY: Hi, we're back. You're listening to Car Talk with us, Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers, and we're here to discuss cars, car repair and the new Puzzler. And I'm going to read this just the way I got it. It came from someone named Robert Skidmore, and, like I said, I'm going to read it just the way I got it.

TOM: You read it, and if I like it, I won't do this...

RAY: He says, "OK, I sent this one to you to be put in the daily trivia. Since you didn't do that, I'll send it again. This time as a Puzzler. It'll probably be more fun to have people try to answer it after hearing it rather than after reading it anyway. The person trying to answer this puzzle must listen/look closely at the following paragraph." Now, you can't look, but you can listen.

TOM: Yeah, I'm listening.

RAY: "This paragraph is odd. What is its oddity? You may not find it at first, but this paragraph is not normal. What is wrong? It's just a small thing, but an oddity that stands out if you find it. What is it? You must know. Your days will not go on until you find out what is odd. You will pull your hair out. Your insomnia will push you until your poor brain finally short-circuits trying to find an oddity in this paragraph. Good luck."


RAY: The answer, of course, is that the letter "e," one of the most commonly used letters in the English language…

TOM: According to Arthur Conan Doyle, it is the most commonly used letter.

RAY: It used to be.

TOM: Oh, it's not anymore?

RAY: No.

TOM: Now "w" is.

RAY: Yes, exactly: "w-w-w.com." It does not appear once in this entire paragraph, and just to show you how odd this is, this paragraph that I just read to you has 19 "e's" in it.

TOM: Really?

RAY: Exactly. Do we have a winner this week?

TOM: Yes, the winner is Jennifer Hellier from Fornton, Colorado.

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