Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Today's attempts to resolve the Quandary (login or register to compose yours):


We left Lulu – being distracted by the sophistry of the clerisy and others who may or may not be suspected bookleggers, far be it from us to pass judgement - following another woman into the Ladies at The Bridges Public House in South Darent, Kent, where Father Mungo 'Muckle' Macaneny and Wee Wullie Broon were back-slapping, glad-handing, Pint-supping, dram-drinking, ear-bashing, re-enacting famous grapples of yesteryear, and generally having a ball at the Annual Wrestlers Re-union; now, knowing Lulu as we do, it will be no surprise to find her, if we peep discreetly round the door, locked in a grapple of her own with this other woman - aged about thirty-five (give or take 10 years - for she's either lived her life to the full, or had a Croydon Facelift) blonde and some might say brassy, be we aren't so pass-remarkable as them - and there is a fierce hunger to their embrace, so we slip inside and lock the door - which, of course they should have done themselves, and we tuck ourselves into a corner where we won't get in their way and can observe them with our customary detached, disinterested, professional eye, taking in their passion, their dexterity, indeed their ingenuity and flexibility, for we truly doubt that we are either fit or supple enough to get into that position, given the restricted space, or manage that advanced manoeuvre, without causing ourselves serious injury! – but they fair go at it hammer and tongs - this is serious grappling which far exceeds the standard being drunkenly enacted out in the Beer Garden by the menfolk (and the fewer, but much better toned and tanned, womenfolk who enjoy considerable status in the world of Grapplers and Grappling fans) most of whom are already drawing their pensions and living on their memories; indeed, the bout within the Ladies looks set to continue for some time, neither contestant seeming to need to break the water-tight seal of their lips to take a breath, for fear of disentangling their tongues too abruptly and causing muscle damage! – drat! one of you has just kicked over the bucket and mop beside which we are wedged and two pairs of angry eyes blaze at us: Lulu recognises me and she scowls, the other woman snarls: "fuck off you Peeping Tom-boys! can't you see this is a Private Party, go on. gerrout before I call the rozzers!" and I quietly and politely usher you all out and follow and close the door behind me and then open it again and call to Lulu: "Lulu, will you be staying here tonight?" and there is a quickly muttered confab and she calls back, "no, Teri, I'm going to Stevenage with Gloria, I dunno when I'll be back, can you let Maude and the boys know?" and I close the door, hear the bolt shoved home and the key turned in the lock and shepherd my voyeurs out of the Pub and send you all on your way with the strict and stern injunction not to tell a single soul one iota, not even one scintilla of the scene we have just witnessed for if you do you will carry the albatross of that breach of good manners on your back like the Mark of Cain for the rest of your natural life, to Eternity and Beyond!

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for today, Sunday, September 25, 2016, consists of:
  • clerisy
  • booklegging
  • iota
  • albatross
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 6106 sentences — each one a surprise — to QQ's unique and growing library. Explore earlier Quandaries through our word list or the calendar below. View yesterday's QQ resolutions or pick a day at random.

Definitions Of Today's Words:

The well-educated class; the literati; the intelligentsia.
  1. The illicit publication and distribution of banned books.
    Banned Books Week, organized by the American Library Association to celebrate the freedom to read and to draw attention to banned and challenged books, is held in 2016 from September 25 to October 1.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 25, 2016 is:

iota • \eye-OH-tuh\  • noun

1 : the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet

2 : an infinitesimal amount : jot


"The rooms were impeccably decorated, with not an iota of clutter." — Judy DiForte, AnnArbor.com, 21 Mar. 2011

"The ’my way or the highway’ representatives couldn’t care one iota about those who do not share their specific values and goals." — Diane W. Mufson, The Herald-Dispatch (Huntington, West Virginia), 21 July 2016

Did you know?

The words iota and jot share a lot more than just a common meaning—both ultimately derive from the same word. When Latin scholars transcribed the Greek name of the ninth letter of the Greek alphabet, they spelled it as either iota or jota (the letters i and j were simply variants of each other), and these spellings eventually passed into English as iota and jot. Since the Greek letter iota is the smallest letter of its alphabet, both words eventually came to be used in reference to very small things.

albatross: a seemingly inescapable moral or emotional burden, as of guilt or responsibility.

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