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):


Sir Wilfred spoke on the telephone and both Tim and Quentin could tell, from his hortative tone, that it was The Dame on the other end: "whatever his faults may be - and I have no doubt they are legion - he is a banausic teetotaller and when he is toppled, there will be such an effusion of cannibal stinkwood, that his body will be left to rot into the forest floor! but let's not become so focussed on the bright side that we miss the essential point, which is - he doest not give a fig for Ulster, so he and those rag, tag and bobtail followers of his will happily trot along in his wake, seeing neither cannons to the right of 'em, cannons to the left of 'em, nor even cannons to the front of 'em and into the jaws of death will he ride 'em; not quite the words of the poet, but you catch the point, Ma'am, so shall we proceed accordingly? yes, Ma'am, no Ma'am, three bags full Ma'am? ab-so-bloody-lutely Ma'am, thankyou Ma'am . . . . ." and he actually blew a kiss before hanging up and turning to the others; after a few seconds, with the tension growing, Sir Wilfred clapped his hands and said: Thunderbirds are GO!"

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for today, Friday, January 18, 2019, consists of:
  • hortative
  • banausic
  • teetotaler
  • cannibal stinkwood n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7179 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: Strongly urging.
  1. (formal) Of or pertaining to technical matters; mechanical.
  2. (formal) Uncultured, unrefined, utilitarian.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 18, 2019 is:

teetotaler • \TEE-TOH-tuh-ler\  • noun

: one who practices or advocates teetotalism : one who abstains completely from alcoholic drinks


"… he is one of those fit older people who have redefined what 74 can look like. It probably helps that he is a teetotaler, a choice he made as a young man, having been disturbed by the effect that alcohol had on members of his family." — David Kamp, Vanity Fair, December 2017

"The names Rockefeller and Diego Rivera are forever intertwined thanks to the Mexican artist’s infamous mural at Rockefeller Center, which the family commissioned in 1932 and had demolished two years later—due in part to its depiction of the teetotaler John D. Rockefeller Jr. sipping a martini." — Adam Rathe, Town & Country, May 2018

Did you know?

A person who abstains from alcohol might choose tea as his or her alternative beverage, but the word teetotaler has nothing to do with tea. More likely, the "tee" that begins the word teetotal is a reduplication of the letter "t" that begins total, emphasizing that one has pledged total abstinence. In the early 1800s, tee-total and tee-totally were used to intensify total and totally, much the way we now might say, "I’m tired with a capital T." "I am now … wholly, solely, and teetotally absorbed in Wayne’s business," wrote the folklorist Parson Weems in an 1807 letter. Teetotal and teetotaler first appeared with their current meanings in 1834, eight years after the formation of the American Temperance Society.

OED Word of the Day: cannibal stinkwood, n. A timber tree of southern Africa which gives a strong odour when felled

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