The Freshest Tablet

Stories of the theft of the freshest tablet (5,5,5,5,5)

Given the above, if L is a backslash, then what number is E?

Hint 1 (minor):

Both "of the"s are just filler to make the clue words read as a sentence. Yes, that leaves only four clue words to produce five answer words...

Hint 2 (major):

Anagrams are involved...

E is:

3

Because:

if we arrange the five words in Quantum Twinkie's answer so that the Ls form a backslash so:

LEAST
SLATE
TALES
STALE
STEAL

and then draw lines connecting the Es, it looks like a "3".

• You got it!!!!! – jasonharper Feb 21 '19 at 2:03

Is it related to

Tales, Steal, Least Stale, Slate?

Because

A synonym (as Rand al'Thor mentioned) of stories is tales. The anagrams of tales are steal(theft), (least stale(freshest), and slate(tablet). This would make 5 five letter words.

For the final part,

If we uses tales to reference the l as a "\", we could look at t for [, a for ], l for \, e for 7, and s for 8, on a keyboard with a number pad. This way, E would be a number. But, it is a big jump....

• Yep, that's the first half solved... – jasonharper Feb 17 '19 at 18:10
• @jasonharper, do I have the answer? :) – QuantumTwinkie Feb 21 '19 at 0:35
• No, it's nothing related to keyboards. – jasonharper Feb 21 '19 at 0:56

I think this puzzle involves

finding five words of five letters each (hence "5,5,5,5,5"), probably by paraphrasing the phrase we've been given.

More specifically,

"Stories" could become TALES, and "of the" could be ABOUT. Maybe "tablet" is STONE (in the sense of an ancient clay tablet)? THEFT is already 5 letters, but maybe we still need to paraphrase it. Not sure about "freshest".

• The intermediate answer is five separate words - I've reworded the clue a bit so as not to suggest a word square. – jasonharper Feb 16 '19 at 21:21
• @jasonharper aww, word square would've been cool :-( OK, edited my answer. – Rand al'Thor Feb 16 '19 at 21:28
• Freshest could be rot13(pehqr, lbhat, be svefg)? – ZanyG Feb 16 '19 at 21:45

This is heavily based on @Rupert Morrish’s answer, because

The backslash is the character \, not /. The answer is still 3, though!

So, by following their method:

If we arrange the five words in Quantum Twinkie's answer so that the Ls form a backslash so:
LEAST
SLATE
TALES
STALE
STEAL
and then draw lines connecting the Es, it looks like a "3".

• Thanks. I edited my answer. – Rupert Morrish Feb 21 '19 at 1:52