# A self-referential puzzle

This puzzle uses X characters of text. Can you replace "X" with the correct number? Spaces and punctuation are counted too. Good luck!

The number of characters in the text

excluding the first X, add up to 133. (I feel that the question implies that we have to replace only the first X, not both of the X's.)

But that is not yet final.

133 would still not work because we add 3 new characters (1, 3, and 2) when replacing the first X.

Therefore

because the number of characters is now 133+3 = 136, then there is no harm in changing X = 133 to X = 136 since the number of added characters would not change when doing so.

• Will edit my answer, because I feel I messed up at one part.
– oAlt
Commented May 4, 2020 at 2:31
• I helped you to improve your answer more. Commented May 4, 2020 at 2:42
• You got it. Well done! Commented May 4, 2020 at 3:04
• The answer above is correct. Commented May 5, 2020 at 10:04
• I give you a new challenge though. I can't write it in the original puzzle as it will ruin it. What happens if X is allowed to have leading zeroes? ;) Commented May 5, 2020 at 10:06

Alternative solution:

This puzzle uses one hundred fifty-five characters of text. Can you replace "X" with the correct number? Spaces and punctuation are counted too. Good luck!

Or, if you prefer and:

This puzzle uses one hundred and fifty-nine characters of text. Can you replace "X" with the correct number? Spaces and punctuation are counted too. Good luck!

And just because I can:

This answer uses one hundred fifty-five characters of text. I have replaced "X" with the correct number. Spaces and punctuation are counted too. Thank you!