Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
May 2024

Branton Hills

BY NOW, BRANTON HILLS was so proud of not only its “smarting up,” but also of its startling growth, on that account, that an application was put forth for its incorporation as a I city; a small city, naturally, but full of that condition of Youth, known as “growing pains.” So its shabby old “Town Hall” sign was thrown away, and a black and gold onyx slab, with “CITY HALL” blazing forth in vivid colors, put up, amidst band music, flag waving, parading and oratory. In only a month from that glorious day, Gadsby found folks “primping up”; girls putting on bright ribbons; boys finding that suits could stand a good ironing; and rich widows and portly matrons almost out doing any rainbow in brilliancy. An occasional shop along Broadway, which had a rattly door or shaky windows was put into first class condition, to lit Branton Hills’ status as a city. Old Bill Simpkins was strutting around, as pompous as a drum-major; for, now, that old Town Council would function as a CITY council; HIS council; His own stamping ground! According to him, from it, at no far day, “Bill Simpkins, City Councilman,” would show an anxiously waiting world how to run a city; though probably, I think, how not to run it.

What is off with this paragraph about City Hall?

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6 guesses to Branton Hills

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  • Crabman

    I am familiar with this book. This paragraph, and this post from Crambman, lacks a thing that is usually fairly common. Not a trivial task I say.

  • Whn I first ncountrd this puzzl, i found it so badly writtn that I wantd nothing to do with it. Now, days latr, I com to chck th answr, and notic that Crabman is th only rspondnt! That intrigud m, so I grappld with it furthr. Finally, I got it!

  • Crabman

    It’s difficult to acually find words that don’t contain that symbol. Not too difficult to simply omit it from it’s just location.

    This paragraph from Gatsby, that total book (what a production!) and again this post from Crabman omit words with an:


  • Jasmine

    Ha. I’ve heard this one before. I think only the people who know this riddle already would get it.

  • Crabman

    I knew because I’m familiar with the book Gadsby, and know it’s a lipogram written entirely without words containing the letter E. I think we discussed it in grade 9 or 10, then I read it on my own out of curiosity. To this day I’m amazed at the authors accomplishment.

    Since I was familiar, I said so and then waited for at least one other person to get it.

    I don’t think it’s a completly unsolvable riddle though Jasmine, there’s some bright people here.

  • Crabman, you are today’s winner. I try to throw some curve balls every month.
    Excerpt from Gadsby, a novel written without the letter E.