First, the big news is that my new book has just come out in the USA!  It is called Rip It Up in the UK, but in the USA it’s called The As If Principle.  There is a short animation about the idea here….

Hope you enjoy it. OK, onto the puzzle….

Please do NOT post your answers, but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle and how long it took. Solution on Monday.

This week it is a nice puzzle by Lloyd King.

Can you fill in the missing letters in the following sequence: ??E, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ????, ???EN, ?IN?

1. Couple of seconds – and I know it’s right

2. -M- says:

My answer to the question is:
no… I don’t have a clue.

Since that is a valid answer, I consider it solved… ok? 🙂

1. Stevie says:

Okay.

2. -M- says:

That leaves a paradox than as it says “but do say if you think you have solved the puzzle”

3. Mick says:

3. Amy says:

Can I fill in the missing letters? No I cannot. Puzzled by those pesky last 3 words.

4. Martha says:

Gorrit! Who’s Lloyd King? Never heard of him before

5. mrspf2010 says:

Why do I even try these on Friday, its gonna bug me till Monday now

1. Stevie says:

Couldn’t see it. Saw your comment. Saw it straight away.
DOH!

2. Martha says:

How? There’s no clue in what he said. (Is this a covert ad for ‘The As If Principle’ – if you approach the problem ‘as if’ it’s easy, it’ll turn out to be easy? Must try this more often!!)

6. Good that you mentioned the name of the puzzle maker! 😉

7. @GhostOfWinston says:

About 2 mins – clever use of distraction

8. No idea. I have read through the comments carefully to look for cryptic clues, but still no idea.

1. Louise says:

Same here! The phrase ‘can’t see the wood for the trees’ springs to mind. This is going to bug me til Monday!

9. rmb says:

Couple of seconds.

10. Anonymous says:

Have an answer, but it’s not very satisfying.

1. Then you probably have it wrong. When you get it, you know it.

11. Frank says:

About twenty seconds. How is that hard?

12. Eddie says:

Got it. But it’s not presented correctly. There will be arguments on Monday no doubt.

13. mrspf2010 says:

Idiot me I looked again and this time actually did get it lol. First time I think I created a wicked puzzle lol

14. Greg says:

I’m embarrassed it took me as long as it did. I don’t think this one is controversial.

15. Eric says:

Big deal. I got it. 🙂

1. Lazy T says:

Snap!

2. Anonymous says:

59

16. This threw me: I thought the last ? was the question mark for the question he asked; it isn’t. It’s another missing letter. Once I saw that I got it instantly.

1. Joe in San Francisco says:

I did exactly the same! I’m struggling with every 3-letter word that ends in “IN” and it makes no sense. Then, suddenly I realize that it’s 4-letter word with the 1st & last letters missing. Voila: two seconds! I’m embarrassed!

17. Bugged me for a few minutes. Saw it just as I was giving up!

18. I know I’m not supposed to post my answer, but I can;’t help it. And I KNOW it’s right. 😉

“ARE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, AGES, GIVEN, GIN?”

1. Michy says:

That’s not it. Don’t post anyway. 🙂

19. moo says:

This is a really difficult one, no idea. Can’t wait til Monday to put me out my misery,

I knew that this was a classic piece of misdirection……. then I got the answer….and it was still a wonderfull piece of misdirection…

21. Kathy says:

The last question mark represents a letter as well. Maybe If the puzzle was grammatically correct, I suppose the sentence should end: ???en, ?in? ?
When I solved the puzzle ~ ten to twelve mins for me ~ I realised that the first word is a huge misdirection. Don’t assume anything!
That is all…
Kathy

1. Dave's neighbour's mother's neighbour's son. says:

I’ll bet you’re fun at parties.

22. Anonymous says:

very easy one this week. got it in three seconds

23. Cuda says:

very easy. 3 second job for me and i dont normally get them!!!

24. Anonymous says:

1. Eddie says:

Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.

25. I’m wondering if this is a cultural thing that i won’t get even when I see the answer. Sat here and looked at it for about ten minutes with NO breakthrough. 😦

1. Anon says:

There is a cultural element to it I guess.
I did not solve this puzzle unaided, but my wife gave me clue – I think I could have stared at it for weeks and not got the answer, whereas I knew that my wife could get it in a few seconds.
It’s not solvable by logic and, as noted above, there is a misdirection in the question.
Here’s a culture based hint – think Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner.

26. Mihawk says:

easiest one ever 🙂
But I must admit I’ve had practice in university… probably more hours with friends than attending lessons :p

27. edwardv says:

I’m still stumped. The lateral thinking side of my brain must not be working.

28. Dougal McTavish says:

I’m surprised some prat hasn’t posted a spoiler. It took me til today to get it. Now I feel smug 🙂

29. duncan says:

Too hard, I had to read the comments for a hint. After that, too easy! Nice puzzle 🙂

30. I’m actually stumped to the point of giving up on this one. Never happened before.

1. Anonymous says:

have no idea either. I saw it Friday morning and I am no closer to guessing what the other words are.