How did I come to be here? Doctor, perhaps I can make you understand.

Do you know logic puzzles? You’re provided a series of written clues. Every clue narrows the field, until you’re left with a correct answer, just one.

I found this particular puzzle published in an old periodical. And I worked it by the usual methods—they’re pretty well-established, and trivially easy for any puzzle enthusiast.

Except this one. I worked it obsessively, doggedly—hundreds of times and could not solve it. Maddening.


The next issue included an apology. The editor had mistakenly omitted a necessary clue.

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Written in response to the month’s 100 Word Challenge from Prompt: “Library.” I actually had more inspiration from that post’s title, “Gently Mad.”

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