One of my peculiar acquaintances introduced me to the world of puzzles, so I've started to dabble in making some of my own.

Here's a single sentence puzzle, where I want you to find a four letter word that is the answer to the puzzle, and a four letter word that is NOT the answer to the puzzle. You will be very sure when you have found either word.

I_ Y__ __AD TH_S RI___, _H_ A_SW_R ISN'T ___N THE A_SWER.

Oh, by the way... there's an L missing somewhere.

Hint for the Not Answer:

The numbers have two uses. One interpretation of the numbers will get you the answer. Another interpretation will give you the not answer!

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    $\begingroup$ well prepared puzzle... $\endgroup$ – Oray Dec 11 '16 at 11:59

The missing letters, filled in, give


The letters added were


The missing L noted in the puzzle comes in here -


The answer

is OATH as found by @Deusovi -
it's the 4th, 8th, 10th, and 11th letters of the sentence.

The NOT answer

is THIS as found by @Sherlock9,
because the 4th, 8th, 10th, and 11th words of the sentence tell us THIS ISN'T THE ANSWER.

If you upvote this answer, please make sure to upvote Deusovi and Sherlock9 as well!

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  • $\begingroup$ You've got the first half of the puzzle! Now to find the answer and not-answer :) $\endgroup$ – TheGreatEscaper Dec 10 '16 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ .... which is proving harder than expected :) $\endgroup$ – Rubio Dec 10 '16 at 21:43
  • $\begingroup$ Stealing not required - I happily give you that clue - mainly because I can't see how it is right. $\endgroup$ – YowE3K Dec 10 '16 at 22:01
  • $\begingroup$ Well, the last sentence of your edit is right! All information is utilized in the answer and not answer. I think it's quite obvious when you've reached either one, there's still a step or two to go! $\endgroup$ – TheGreatEscaper Dec 10 '16 at 22:02
  • $\begingroup$ Or 11? Since the not answer? $\endgroup$ – Sumurai8 Dec 10 '16 at 22:12

The answer could be


which comes from

the fourth, eighth, tenth, and eleventh letters of IF YOU READ THIS RIGHT...

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    $\begingroup$ That is the answer, yes. But what isn't the answer? $\endgroup$ – TheGreatEscaper Dec 10 '16 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ An idea: reading it right vs. reading it left? $\endgroup$ – Joshua Lin Dec 11 '16 at 1:55

Small contribution towards the not-answer.

Looking at the fourth, eighth, tenth, and eleventh words of the sentence gives us THIS ISN'T THE ANSWER.

So I would guess that the not-answer is


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    $\begingroup$ Nice! The puzzle is completely solved. :) $\endgroup$ – TheGreatEscaper Dec 11 '16 at 11:04

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