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):


The evidence was exceptionally flimsy;
The criminal was Burke.
The judge was weak, incompetent and mimsy,
The trial was hard work.
The Prosecutor tried to tell the story,
It fell on deaf ears,
"An old wives' tale" they stood and roared, he
Denounced their fears
As nothing but nocebos in their thoughts,
Censured them gravely,
And angrily he left the Public Courts
And quit Old Bailey.
(by OldRawgabbit)


All mimsy were the Old Wives' Tales

Of Nocebos that lurk,

In Nooks and Crannies,

Loved by Nannies,

Messrs Hare and Burke!

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for today, Monday, October 23, 2017, consists of:
  • mimsy
  • nocebo
  • burke
  • old wives’ tale
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 6594 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:

Prim; feeble; affected.
  1. (pharmacology, also attributive) A substance which a patient experiences as harmful due to a previous negative perception, but which is in fact pharmacologically (medicinally) inactive.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 23, 2017 is:

burke • \BERK\  • verb

1 : to suppress quietly or indirectly

2 : bypass, avoid


The mob boss dropped a few well-timed bribes to prosecutors in an effort to burke any investigation into possible wrongdoing.

"There is, however, a respectable and reasonable ethical argument against clinical trials of correctional treatment methods which must not be burked in our enthusiasm for the acquisition of knowledge." — Norval Morris, "Should Research Design and Scientific Merits Be Evaluated?," in Experimentation with Human Beings, 1972

Did you know?

When an elderly pensioner died at the Edinburgh boarding house of William Hare in 1827, the proprietor and his friend William Burke decided to sell the body to a local anatomy school. The sale was so lucrative that they decided to make sure they could repeat it. They began luring nameless wanderers (who were not likely to be missed) into the house, getting them drunk, then smothering or strangling them and selling the bodies. The two disposed of at least 15 victims before murdering a local woman whose disappearance led to their arrest. At Burke’s execution (by hanging), irate crowds shouted "Burke him!" As a result of the case, the word burke became a byword first for death by suffocation or strangulation and eventually for any cover-up.

a traditional belief that many people think is wrong or silly because there is no scientific...

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