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The Missing 'W'

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Dedicated in memory of Jim Collins


The Missing 'W' Contest was one of the most popular ones the station ever ran. So much so that it ran three separate times! The first occured in 1967 when the 'Riddler' stole the W. It was eventually located on the 'Welcome to Virginia' sign at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge by listener, Wayne Roper of Maryland.

In 1972 the contest was revived. This time, 'Dr. Strangeletter' appropriated it. The W was found on the 'Olde Georgetown 1751' sign on the left side of M street in the District by Jeannie Patton of Alexandria.

In 1983, the contest was brought back yet again. No one thus far has been able to remember where the W was found!


Mike Cohen writes:

As you may or may not know, I was sworn to never reveal the identity of 'Dr. Strangeletter' under penalty of severe reprisal from Captain Good Guy. But now that the good Captain has gone to that great radio station in the sky, I can let the world know that 'Dr. Strangeletter' was indeed me, Mike Cohen, a.k.a Mike Crawford (WDON), a.k.a Johnnie Sharpe (WEAM).



1967 Clues

The W is in or around the Capitol of the Nation. Find it, and you'll see a lucky letter combination.

(Generic tease).

A great lady hopes you'll find the letter. You see, my clues are getting better.

(Generic tease).

While seeking the W, don't have a care. For the missing letter, you'll be up in the air.

(The W was located on a sign, suspended up in the air, over the roadway).

Finding the W is now the rage. Just sing a song like Patti Page.

(One of Patti Page's biggest hits was, 'Cross Over The Bridge').

Everybody says to find the W please clue us.
You don't have to see a ballgame in St. Louis.

(The St. Louis baseball team is known as the Cardinals. The state bird of Virginia,
the Cardinal, decorates the 'Welcome to Virginia' sign where the W was found).


1972 Clues

Things may seem dark in your quest for cash. The day will brighten if you're not so rash.

(Generic tease).

The W mystery deepens every hour. Perserverance; do you have the power?

(Generic tease).

Horrace Greeley was partly right. The W will be in sight.

(Horrace Greely coined the phrase, 'Go West Young Man'.
The W was on the Olde Georgetown 1751 sign, visible when heading west).

A rich reward is the fruit of your labor. There's one at each end of a special neighbor.

(There were two Olde Georgetown 1751 signs. One is seen
entering and another leaving Georgetown and the District).

This should be a juicy clue. Upon discovery you'll see right through.

(The lettering on the sign was made out of wrought iron and could be seen through).

Land some Mary, land o'goshen. The nearby water is not the ocean.

(The nearby water was the Potomac River).



Print Materials


WPGC Music Survey Weekly Playlist - 08/12/72
WPGC Music Survey Weekly Playlist - 09/02/72
WPGC Music Survey Weekly Playlist - 09/09/72


Newspaper Ads

WPGC $5,000 Reward Ad

This ad ran in various DC newspapers on 08/24/72.


Newspaper Articles

WPGC Article - GO Magazine - 08/04/67 - Riddler Mystery In Its Fourth Week

GO Magazine, 08/04/67. See enlargement.




WPGC Photo - Dr. Strangeletter

(Left) The Mysterious Dr. Strangeletter places the sealed envelope containing the exact location of the missing 'W' in the vault at Suburban Trust Company, as bank V.P. William Norris looks on. PGC offers $5,000 for the return of the missing 'W'.

(Right) Dr. Strangeletter then stealthily leaves the bank,,,And the Great Search begins for PGC's missing 'W'.


WPGC Photo - Harv Moore


WPGC Photo - Columbus


WPGC Photo - big Wilson


WPGC Photo - Harv Moore, Jeannie Patton, Mr. Sound Off


WPGC Photo - Jeannie Patton

Congressional secretary, Jeannie Patton of Alexandria.
$5,000.00 Winner of the 'Missing W' Contest in 1972.



Sound Files


WPGC Play Audio Button August 1967 Missing W - :50 Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller)
& JA the DJ, Jack Alix
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1967 Missing W
Riddler's Clues - 1:05
Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller)
& Bob Howard
WPGC Play Audio Button 8/27/72 Missing W (live) - :23 Unknown AT 40 Board Op

Miscellaneous Audio

WPGC Play Audio Button August 1967 Chewing out Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) :19 Bob Howard
as 'The Riddler'
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 The 'W' has been stolen
by Dr. Strangeletter :21
Bob Howard
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Missing W Clue 18 :14 Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) as 'Dr. Strangeletter'
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Missing W Clue 21 :06 Harv Moore
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Missing W Clue 23 :14 Columbus
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Missing W Clue :07 Columbus
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Missing W Clue :06 Johnny Jones
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Another Missing W Clue :06 Johnny Jones
WPGC Play Audio Button 8/27/72 Missing W Legal ID :10 Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) as 'Dr. Strangeletter'
WPGC Play Audio Button August 1972 Missing W Winner :28 Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) as 'Dr. Strangeletter'
WPGC Play Audio Button September 1972 Missing W Winner 6:59 Harv Moore
WPGC Play Audio Button September 1972 Missing W Restored :43 Bob Raleigh (Bill Miller) as 'Dr. Strangeletter'


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