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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7 thoughts on “Librarian”

  1. A maddening situation indeed – for someone addicted to logic puzzles. So disturbing as to render him/her needing medical help. Oh deary me … Nicely done in 100 words.

  2. I think that would probably drive me a little mad too! I love logic puzzles and I hate not being able to work out an answer. I’ll keep going on a puzzle long after everyone else gives up! 🙂

  3. I did exactly the same thing as you. I wrote a story that included “Gently Mad”. I have never entered this challenge and I thought that “Gently Mad” were the Prompt Words.

    I did not enter post. I only realised today that the Prompt Word was Library.

    I will suggest to Velvet Verbosity that she replaces the Title of her story with the Prompt Word.


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