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):


Despite the cogent advice I had received to the contrary, I decided to make a run for it as soon as my feet hit the lunar surface, although anyone with half a mind would have called me an inveterate gamphrel for doing so, considering the bright lunules stamped on my prison garb and the desolation of the wilderness I was escaping into.

(by The Masked Pimpernel)
The Quandary for today, Saturday, July 20, 2019, consists of:
  • lunule
  • lunar
  • cogent
  • gamphrel, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7363 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:

noun: 1. The crescent-shaped whitish area at the base of the fingernail. 2. Any crescent-shaped mark, object, etc.
  1. Of, pertaining to, or resembling the Moon (that is, Luna, the Earth’s moon); Lunar.
  2. Shaped like a crescent moon; lunate.
  3. (chiefly historical) (Believed to be) influenced by the Moon, as in character, growth, or properties.
  4. (alchemy, chemistry, historical) Of or pertaining to silver (which was symbolically associated with the Moon by alchemists).
  5. (astronomy) Of or pertaining to travel through space between the Earth and the Moon, or exploration and scientific investigation of the Moon.

On this day 50 years ago in 1969, Apollo 11 became the first space mission that landed human beings on the Moon.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 20, 2019 is:

cogent • \KOH-junt\  • adjective

1 a : appealing forcibly to the mind or reason : convincing

b : pertinent, relevant

2 : having power to compel or constrain


At the town meeting, citizens presented many cogent arguments in support of building a new senior center.

"The council made the difficult decision to raise property taxes by a total of 6 cents…. [The] decision to earmark the full 4 cents for educational capital expenditures was a difficult one, and there were cogent, logical arguments to be made in favor of keeping the city’s options open regarding the use of funds." — Kate McConnell and Anthony Smith, The Roanoke (Virginia) Times, 21 Apr. 2019

Did you know?

"Trained, knowledgeable agents make cogent suggestions ... that make sense to customers." It makes sense for us to include that comment from the president of a direct marketing consulting company because it provides such a nice opportunity to point out the etymological relationship between the words cogent and agent. Agent derives from the Latin verb agere, which means "to drive," "to lead," or "to act." Adding the prefix co- to agere gave Latin cogere, a word that literally means "to drive together"; that ancient term ultimately gave English cogent. Something that is cogent figuratively pulls together thoughts and ideas, and the cogency of an argument depends on the driving intellectual force behind it.

OED Word of the Day: gamphrel, n. Scottish and Irish English (northern). A stupid or foolish person; a fool, a blockhead, an idiot

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