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):


In the sport of sumo, as apposite as it may seem, one is not a gainpain; rather one engages in an instinctive act of physical consilience, thus enticing one's aginer into a supplicatory position.

(by The Masked Pimpernel)


Timothy Michaelmas-Daisy peeped through the curtains at the view of The Dame making her announcement to the wall of TV cameras and press photographers and reporters massed on the other side of Downing Street, while the PM's words were relayed through the TV in the Cabinet Office; Sir Wilfred Heath-Robinson and his assistant, Quentin Quibb, stood on either side of him: "why the fuck is she ending the Postcode Lottery?" asked Quentin, furiously: "we've got a Standing Order, everyone in the building takes part, she can't do that!" but Sir Wilfred pat a restraining hand on his junior's arm: "don;'t be such an aginer," he soothed, "she means something else," and Tim said: "all that about consilience, we know that when she asks for compromise, it only applies to others, she wants everyone to compromise with her!" and Sir Wilfred laughed: "did you notice lads," he said, pouring them each a generous measure of Laphroaig, "there's a very apposite wording to her resignation, a touch of gainpain in it – she's resigning as Leader of the Party, but not Prime Minister, yet! quick Quentin, play it back on the TV and we'll check; and anyway, she's promised lots of things on definite dates over the past couple of years, and they come and go and a new date is promised, so don't take down the bunting quite yet! so, you're still Secretary of State, Tim, better pop next door and offer her a hankie for those tears at the end!"

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for today, Friday, May 24, 2019, consists of:
  • gainpain
  • consilience
  • apposite
  • aginer, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7296 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. A long thick glove: gauntlet. 2. A hired soldier: mercenary.
  1. (logic) The concurrence of multiple inductions drawn from different data sets. [from mid 19th c.]
  2. The agreement, co-operation, or overlap of academic disciplines.

English philosopher and theologian William Whewell, who coined the word, was born on this day 225 years ago in 1794.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 24, 2019 is:

apposite • \AP-uh-zit\  • adjective

: highly pertinent or appropriate : apt


Before sending the final draft of his novel to his editor, Lyle searched for an apposite quotation that could serve as the book’s epigraph.

"He brings to the story a modern intelligence, a modern interest, as well as much apposite historical information. And the result is a refreshing, civilized book, a notable homage to its great original." — Frank Kermode, The New York Review of Books, 1 Dec. 2005

Did you know?

Apposite and opposite sound so much alike that you would expect them to have a common ancestor—and they do. It is the Latin verb ponere, which means "to put or place." Adding the prefix ad- to ponere led to apponere, meaning "to place near" or "to apply to," and that branch of the ponere family tree budded apposite. The word is used to describe something that applies well to or is very appropriate for something else. To get opposite, the prefix ob- was added to ponere, and that combinition matured into opponere, meaning "to place against or opposite." The related Latin verb componere, meaning "to put together," gave us compound and composite.

OED Word of the Day: aginer, n. A person who is against something; one who opposes a proposal, course of action, point of view, etc.

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