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

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The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

Episode 10

Hitherto: we left the short, stocky, swarthy and surprisingly hirsute Olive Green Major staring in horror at the condition of her Boss, Enn Crusted, when she found him behind a blood-encrusted chaise longue on which a butchered woman's rather dead body lay oozing, read on – if you dare:

"Enneas, can you hear me?" she spoke in a deeply compassionate, rather manly voice, resonate with baritone notes behind the natural soprano, Crusted groaned and his voice, dripping with an outpouring of saliva, made her heart ache and she quickly found a Rennies tablet in her handbag and popped it into her mouth, listening all the time to his scratchy wheeze: "it's The Rainmaker," whimpered Crusted, as Olive leaned over and touched his shoulder, gently, and he blew a raspberry, like a fanfaronade on a trumpet, then muttered: "this is his bastle house, more like an abattoirs!" he shuddered: "it's where he eradicates them, all of them," and he looked up at the Sergeant for the first time since she had entered the room: "Marj!" he cried, "what are you doing here, it's not safe, he could come back!" and then out of the corner of her eye, Major caught a faint movement, barely the flutter of a butterfly's wing, but she turned and looked closely, then pulled out her phone again and pressed 999: "send an ambulance to End of Time Street, blues and twos all the way, I've got a woman, badly injured but still alive!" and she saw that Crusted had heard, his face suffused with relief, his lips twitching like little dancing worms, while his eyebrows seemed to be two caterpillars doing a mazurka and his eyes were crossed like searchlight beams scanning the night sky for enemy bombers; which was when a shadow burst into the room and seemed to leap on them! quick as a flash, Major threw a glance over her shoulder, saw it bounce off something round and shiny, darted another which seemed to be absorbed by something dark and heavy, she turned and shot a double-barrelled stare which stopped the man in his tracks and the light in his eyes was extinguished; he dropped to the floor, jerked in the death-spasm of a ham actor, rolled about, knocking over a standard lamp, a small escritoire with a Queen Anne chair that Olive rather liked to look of and as the dying man crawled towards the door, she stepped over him and took a closer look at the chair; yes, it really was very nice indeed and with her jeweller's eye-piece she examined the joints and decided then and there that she would have it, it would go well in her little flat above Harry Ramsden's; now, in the distance, above the death rattle of the intruder, she could hear the fast-approaching emergency service vehicles, lit a cigarette and sauntered out to the landing, stepping carefully over the crying man; the moon was gone, the sky was inky, in the distance she could see the high-rise blocks, many windows bright, many others not and wondered why one should be lit and that next to it dark, these were the sort of reflections which came to her at times of crisis and, she supposed, showed that she was not just a Plod, a Copper, Pig, Filth, Rozzer, any of the other epithets applied to her profession, she was at heart, a romantic philosopher, a poet from another, perhaps rustic, sunnier, certainly less-industrialized time and place, transported to this modern inner-city district rife with violence, squalor, exploitation, crime, greed, drugs and sex for sale on every street corner, while hard-working parents struggled to support their children, give them a decent education and the moral compass to help them avoid the pot-holes and pit-falls around which they would have to walk to and from school, church, college, a Saturday job in Tesco or Asda, and the nearest Macs or Spoons with their mates: "fuck it," she thought, "Love Potion Number 9? it's a mug's game!" and waved down to the ambulance which had just pulled up at the bottom of the stairs: "this way, lads," she called to the paramedics, "hope you've got some Vic's, there's a bit of a stink up here."

Is the woman whose body they found really alive, or dead, or does it just look like one or the other? how did Olive Major manage to do whatever she did to the new attacker, or was he just a casual passer-by who walked into the wrong place at the wrong time? these are just some of the questions which may not be answered in the next, inexplicable, episode of this x-rated tale, so don't miss Part 11 coming soon to a Screen near You.

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for today, Wednesday, February 19, 2020, consists of:
  • fanfaronade
  • rainmaker
  • eradicate
  • bastle house, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7602 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. Bragging or blustering behavior. 2. Fanfare.
  1. Someone or something that causes or attempts to cause rain to fall.
    1. An African or Native American medicine man who seeks to induce rain through performing rituals.
    2. A person who seeks to induce rainfall through scientific methods, such as cloud seeding.
  2. (originally Canada, US, figuratively, informal) A person having the ability to generate business, raise funds, or otherwise engineer success for a company, organization, etc.
  3. (baseball, informal) A batted ball that is hit very high into the air.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for February 19, 2020 is:

eradicate • \ih-RAD-uh-kayt\  • verb

1 : to do away with as completely as if by pulling up by the roots

2 : to pull up by the roots


Widespread, global vaccination has been successful in eradicating smallpox.

"The golf-cart fleet is fully powered by lithium batteries, food and horticultural waste is processed into fertilizer for the course, and a simple edict that every agronomy worker must handpick 15 weeds daily before quittin’ time has all but eradicated the need for chemical treatments." — Max Alder, The Golf Digest, 16 Dec. 2019

Did you know?

Given that eradicate first meant "to pull up by the roots," it’s not surprising that the root of eradicate means, in fact, "root." Eradicate, which first turned up in English in the 16th century, comes from eradicatus, the past participle of the Latin verb eradicare. Eradicare, in turn, can be traced back to the Latin word radix, meaning "root" or "radish." Although eradicate began life as a word for literal uprooting, by the mid-17th century it had developed a metaphorical application to removing things the way one might yank an undesirable weed up by the roots. Other descendants of radix in English include radical and radish. Even the word root itself is related; it comes from the same ancient word that gave Latin radix.

OED Word of the Day: bastle house, n. A fortified farmhouse of a type chiefly found in northern England close to the Scottish border, typically built in the 16th or early 17th cent. as a defence against raiders

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