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 Quandary for today, Monday, July 23, 2018, consists of:
  • shunpike
  • maverick
  • pro rata
  • geotic, adj.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7035 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: A side road taken to avoid a toll road. verb intr.: To travel on a side road.
  1. An unbranded range animal.
  2. (by extension) Anything dishonestly obtained.
  3. (by extension) One who is unconventional or does not abide by rules.
  4. (by extension) One who creates or uses controversial or unconventional ideas or practices.
  5. (military) A person in the military who became an officer by going to college while on active duty as an enlisted person.
  6. (poker slang) A queen and a jack as a starting hand in Texas hold ’em.
Texas lawyer and politician Samuel Maverick, whose name is the source of the word, was born on this day 215 years ago in 1803.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for July 23, 2018 is:

pro rata • \proh-RAY-tuh\  • adverb

: proportionately according to an exactly calculable factor (such as a share or liability)


"The Senate also structured the budget bill so that any new money must be added pro rata, meaning proportionally to all areas where a deficit now exists." — Tim Morris, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), 13 June 2018

"Specifically, an S corporation is not a separate taxable entity for federal, and most state, income tax purposes. Instead, profits and losses of an S corporation are divided pro rata among the shareholders and ’passed through’ to their personal returns." — Mike Cote, The Union Leader (Manchester, New Hampshire), 27 May 2018

Did you know?

The Latin phrase prō ratā, meaning "in proportion," is a shortening of prō ratā parte/portiōne, meaning "according to the fixed proportion." English users borrowed the shorter phrase in the 16th century, dropping the diacritics along the way, and began applying the term in contexts formal enough that Latin doesn’t seem too out of place: in finance and law. There pro rata refers to distributing or allocating a quantity proportionately—for example, dividing up an annual interest rate pro rata into monthly rates; distributing pro rata a profit amongst shareholders; paying part-time employees pro rata (according to full-time pay); or allocating liability for a defective product pro rata. In the early 19th century, pro rata demonstrated its usefulness as an adjective, as in "a pro rata share" or "pro rata distribution." The verb prorate (based on pro rata) followed soon thereafter. Incidentally, the familiar noun and verb rate (as in "tax rates" and "rating on a scale of 1 to 5") also trace back to Latin prō ratā parte, but they entered the language back in the 15th century by way of Anglo-French.

OED Word of the Day: geotic, adj. Of or relating to the earth; terrestrial; geological

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