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That Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky was one of the best writers of the last century, the small part of his work that has so far appeared in English translation is quite sufficient to establish. Here is a little puzzle from his Letter Killers Club, written in the 1920s and now available in English as an NYRB Classic, translated by Joanne Turnbull. (The Russian word translated “letter” in the title refers to letters of the alphabet, not missives, etc.)

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