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Most of my correspondents want to make my life more difficult. They always want something—a back issue, a soapbox, money I owe them.

But on occasion, there is a Bob Jones. Bob wants to make my life easier, and to that end, he has suggested a variety of topics for this column. His proposed mysteries are as far-flung as the specific Washington address mentioned in the 1951 sci-fi flick The Day the Earth Stood Still, the exact location of the Dupont Circle apartment used by Wallis “Call Me the Duchess of Windsor” Simpson, and the history of the ruins found next to a nearby apartment complex.

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One of Bob’s suggestions stood out from the rest—a giant stone sphere that rests in front of the Costa Rican Embassy at 2114 S St. NW. As Bob points out, the orb is very large, very round, and very weird. Bob also provided me with a dossier on the sphere—theories that range from the geological to the extraterrestrial.

Unlike Bob, however, I have no desire to make life easier (and T-shirts more plentiful) for the readers of this column. Suffice it to say, here is a brief list of things that I know the sphere is not:

A condo for James, who, having eaten his way out of the giant peach, was in search of a more permanent abode

A monument in memory of kickball, crab-ball, speedball, and prison dodge

The prop used in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark.

A Washington City Paper T-shirt will be awarded to the person who can come up with the best explanation of the giant sphere without mentioning Indiana Jones. Answers will appear in the first edition of 1995. Send your description or explanation to: Mysteries, Washington City Paper, 2390 Champlain St. NW, Washington, DC 20009. Our fax number is (202) 462-8323, or e-mail us at Mysterieswashcp.com. No phone calls, please.