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Nynex Corp. has added a mystery twist to its latest regional Yellow Pages directory to throw competitors off its trail.

In a promotion breaking today, Nynex is offering $25,000 in prizes to consumers willing to crack "The Case of the Missing Diamond."

Nynex says its goal is to draw attention to the depth of information in its directories, under heavy attack from smaller players in many local markets.

"This is our way of getting consumers to discover for themselves why our directories are superior, by creating a reason to explore them," said Sally Millice, associate director of advertising and promotion for Nynex's Middleton, Conn.-based Yellow Pages unit.

Created by best selling mystery writer Jane Dentinger, Nynex's Yellow Pages mystery offers one grand prize of $10,000, five first-place awards of $1,000 and 250 gift certificates.

The promotion begins in Utica this week and moves elsewhere in New York State this fall. Manhattan's Yellow Pages are not included in this round.

The Hadley Group, New York, coordinated the promotion, backed by print, radio and outdoor advertising created by Chiat/Day, Nynex's Yellow Pages agency of record.

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