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):


And now Jasmine told Tavish all she knew of Little Levy Balquhidder, of how he had devised the string and tin-can telephone which Tavish had found to be the one glimmer of hope when he and the others had been stranded in the 13th Century; she told him about The Creator – ignoring Tavish's sceptical eye-roll – and how Levy was now in contact with another Spirit, Columbine, just twenty years in the future, and she told him about the one living and three dead who had turned up there and were part of a case the police were still investigating here and now; "but according to Sam," said Tavish, "there is no here and now – everything is all around is, Past, Present and Future, happening simultaneously, I didn't study Philosophy or Quantum Physics, so I just don't get it!" and Jasmine replied: "according to Levy, there is only ever The Present, the Point of Time and Space in which we exist, and every step we take, corner we turn, door we open, telephone call we either answer or ignore, takes us into a new, alternative Universe which exists, alongside those in which we made a different choice." and Tavish shook his head: "you've told me that this Little Levy is the reincarnation of my scapegrace brother, Pherson, and if that is true, how can I believe anything he says?" to which Jasmine snapped: "for Christ's sake, Tavish, don't act like a standee in front of me – you can ask him yourself, he speaks for himself, pro se, no intermediaries – and remember, it's entirely thanks to him discovering the Moth Hole and devising the string thing, that you and your friends are here!" and suddenly, in that instant, Tavish's perspective changed and he knew a parallax when he experienced it, "you are right Jasmine, I'm sorry for behaving like a numpty; take me to him, let me hear what he has to say," and Jasmine smiled, "well it's rather late tonight, he goes down by 7pm at the latest, so let me call his mum, Rilla, and see if we can't have a chat with him in the morning."

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for today, Tuesday, June 27, 2017, consists of:
  • pro se
  • standee
  • scapegrace
  • parallax
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 6434 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:

adjective, adverb: On one’s own behalf (i.e., representing oneself in a court, without a lawyer).
  1. Somebody who is forced to stand, for example, on a crowded bus.
  2. A free-standing, rigid print (usually life-sized), for instance of a celebrity, often displayed for advertising and promotional purposes; a cut-out.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for June 27, 2017 is:

scapegrace • \SKAYP-grayss\  • noun

: an incorrigible rascal


"He embarks on an arduous ocean voyage to America, where he faces swindlers and scapegraces, and nearly dies of malaria—and maintains his sunny demeanor throughout." — Scot Lehigh, The Boston Globe, 1 Jan. 2016

"Theodore Roosevelt styled himself an incorruptible politician untainted by scandal. But in his path to the White House lay a troubling obstacle: his scapegrace brother, Elliott." — The Daily Beast, 19 Nov. 2016

Did you know?

At first glance, you might think scapegrace has something in common with scapegoat, our word for a person who takes the blame for someone else’s mistake or calamity. Indeed, the words do share a common source—the verb scape, a variant of escape that was once far more common than it is today. Scapegrace, which first appeared in English in the mid-18th century (over 200 years after scapegoat), arrived at its meaning through its literal interpretation as "one who has escaped the grace of God." (Two now-obsolete words based on a similar notion are scape-thrift, meaning "spendthrift," and want-grace, a synonym of scapegrace.) In ornithological circles, scapegrace can also refer to a loon with a red throat, but this sense is rare.

parallax: the apparent displacement of an observed object due to a change in the position of the observer.

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