“I’m thinking of a word,” said Lionel. His hands moved quietly while he spoke, setting pieces in their accustomed places. “It has two zeds in it.”
“How puzzling,” said Adolf, allowing himself a smile. “This is much easier than last time, when I think you claimed there were 1,851 possibilities to consider.”
“You see things always in black and white, Adolf,” said Lionel. He finished setting things up and leaned back. “Though I am impressed with your first guess, my word also has two gees in it.”
“Barely harder,” said Adolf. He moved a piece. “Guzzling. An ugly word, ungainly. Not one to lay claim to immortality.”
“Always the romantic, holding the material in contempt,” said Lionel. “Besides, the one I have in mind has a double-you in it.”
Adolf was silent for a while, the only noise being the steady click-click-click as the two men quietly warred. Somewhere in another room a clock chimed eleven.
“Ah, there goes the clergy,” said Lionel with a smile. “If it helps, it also has a single-you in it.”
“You could be clearer,” said Adolf. “After all, I am sacrificing a lot here.”
“And yet I am the one feeling stranded,” said Lionel staring down between them. “I wonder, do we really need to see this to the end?”
“The outcome seems obvious to me,” said Adolf. “As, at last, does your choice of word.”
Where, and in what city, are the two men having their conversation?