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):


Elizabeth Bennet, once married to Fitzwilliam Darcy, would have been happy to slough off most of her family because, apart from her kind sister Jane and her admittedly eccentric father, the rest were all both obnoxious and acute causes to her of embarrassment—from her mother, a foolish flibbertigibbet, to Mary, with her unwarranted pretentions to pierian culture, to Kitty, still remarkably thoughtless and vain, to Lydia, who although now Mrs. Wickham, was as much a fizgig as ever she had been in her hoydenish girlhood—but Elizabeth was content to retain contact of a sort with all: her husband tolerated them for her sake, and she always bore in mind the saying about the humble drupe: that such fruit could have the plumpest, juiciest flesh in the world, but one must remember that they had in them stones that must be navigated, and that families were like that too.

(by TheMagicalExplodingUnicorns)
The Quandary for today, Friday, April 28, 2017, consists of:
  • pierian
  • fizgig
  • slough
  • drupe
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 6361 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: Relating to learning or poetry.
  1. (archaic) A flirtatious, coquettish girl, inclined to gad or gallivant about; a gig, a giglot.
  2. (archaic) Something frivolous or trivial; a gewgaw, a trinket.
  3. (archaic) A small squib-like firework that explodes with a fizzing or hissing noise.
  4. (fishing) A spear with a barb on the end of it, used for catching fish; a type of harpoon.
  5. (Australia, slang, dated) A police informer.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for April 28, 2017 is:

slough • \SLUFF\  • verb

1 : to cast off or become cast off

2 : to crumble slowly and fall away

3 : to get rid of or discard as irksome, objectionable, or disadvantageous


"The glue [that affixes the tiling to the hull] is exposed to a wide variety of environmental conditions, including big temperature swings as well as the pressures of operating at 1,000 feet beneath the surface. The friction of moving underwater tugs at the coating, and running into objects contributes to it gradually sloughing off." — Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, 7 Mar. 2017

"After Monday’s [landslide], the Department of Public Works cut down two trees on the hillside, removed a loose mass of dirt that was unstable and reopened the road. But a significant chunk of the hillside sloughed off in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, with a valley resident alerting people that it had closed as early as 12:30 a.m." — Samantha Kimmey, Point Reyes Light (Marin County, California), 9 Mar. 2017

Did you know?

There are two verbs spelled slough in English, as well as two nouns, and both sets have different pronunciations. The first noun, referring to a swamp or a discouraged state of mind, is pronounced to rhyme with either blue or cow; it derives from Old English slōh, which is akin to a Middle High German slouche, meaning "ditch." Its related verb, which can mean "to plod through mud," has the same pronunciation. The second noun, pronounced to rhyme with cuff, refers to the shed skin of a snake (as well as anything else that has been cast off). Its related verb describes the action of shedding or eliminating something, just like a snake sheds its skin. This slough derives from Middle English slughe and is distantly related to slūch, a Middle High German word meaning "snakeskin."

drupe: any fruit, as a peach, cherry, plum, etc., consisting of an outer skin, a usually pulpy and succulent middle layer, and a hard and woody inner shell usually enclosing a single seed.

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