Seeing Double

Jun 25, 2007

RAY: A friend of ours who runs, for lack of a better term, a small business in our fair city -- he's a loan shark actually -- came across this word some years ago and sent it to Tom, thinking it might be a good puzzler. Tom obviously lost it. But he also sent it to Alan Feldman, who recently sent it to me!

Here it is:

Give me a word with three, consecutive double letters. I'll give you a couple of words that almost qualify, but don't. For example, the word committee, c-o-m-m-i-t-t-e-e. It would be great except for the i that sneaks in there. Or Mississippi -- M-i-s-s-i-s-s-i-p-p-i. If you could take out those i's it would work. But there is a word that has three consecutive pairs of letters and to the best of my knowledge this may be the only word. Of course there are probably 500 more but I can only think of one. What is the word?
RAY: And the word is --

TOM AND RAY: Bookkeeper.

RAY: Or bookkeep, or bookkeeping, B-O-O-K-K-E-E. Pretty good, eh?

TOM: Very, very good.

RAY: Someone sent in good deed. But that's not one word. And the Scrabble crowd sent us heelloop, hooffooted and veneerroom, but bookkeeper is our answer.

TOM: That's right and it's better than any of those stupid other words.

RAY: Yeah, and by the way, I mean, you can't go using the Internet to solve these puzzles. It's like sitting down and doing a crossword puzzle with a crossword puzzle dictionary sitting next to you.

TOM: Yeah.

RAY: It's like you've given up on life, you might as well as start wearing sweatpants.

TOM: We're asking you to think.

RAY: Bingo. Do we have a winner?

TOM: Yeah, the winner this week is Bruce Kinsey from Beaufort, South Carolina. And for having his answer selected at random from among all the correct answers that we got, Bruce is going to get a 26-dollar gift certificate to the Shameless Commerce Division at, with which he can get one of our Car Talk Lackeys T-shirts.

We have so many lackeys that we had to make up four different lackey shirts to put their names and titles on it.

RAY: These are the lackeys that we list at the end of the show, like the head of our working mothers support group, Erasmus B. Dragon.

TOM: Right. And our meteorologist from the New Delhi office, Luke Outovwindow. Congratulations Bruce for being this week's puzzler winner.

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