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):


So with my usual marinism
I embark today
On a task, which like veisalgia,
Is hard to brush away
To incorporate hellbender
In a simple little verse
I could be hoist with this petard
(But then, I've known much worse.)
(by OldRawgabbit)
The Quandary for today, Wednesday, May 23, 2018, consists of:
  • marinism
  • veisalgia
  • petard
  • hellbender, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 6978 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 literary style marked by extravagant imagery, elaborate metaphors, etc.
  1. (medicine) The unpleasant after-effects of the consumption of alcohol; a hangover.
The Hangover Part III, the final instalment of the Hangover series of films, was released in the United States on this day five years ago in 2013.

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

petard • \puh-TAHRD\  • noun

1 : a case containing an explosive to break down a door or gate or breach a wall

2 : a firework that explodes with a loud report


"The metal walls of the narrow corridor would scatter ricochets and shrapnel in every direction, and any intact panels of reflex armor would ignite grenades and petards in counterfire…." — John C. Wright, The Judge of Ages, 2014

"I ran back and seized a tin box which had been filled with candles. It was about the size of my busby—large enough to hold several pounds of powder. Duroc filled it while I cut off the end of a candle. When we had finished, it would have puzzled a colonel of engineers to make a better petard." — Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard, 1896

Did you know?

Aside from historical references to siege warfare, and occasional contemporary references to fireworks, petard is almost always encountered in variations of the phrase "hoist with one’s own petard," meaning "victimized or hurt by one’s own scheme." The phrase comes from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet: "For ’tis the sport to have the enginer / Hoist with his own petar." Hoist in this case is the past participle of the verb hoise, meaning "to lift or raise," and petar(d) refers to an explosive device used in siege warfare. Hamlet uses the example of the engineer (the person who sets the explosive device) being blown into the air by his own device as a metaphor for those who schemed against him being undone by their own schemes. The phrase has endured, even if its literal meaning has largely been forgotten.

OED Word of the Day: hellbender, n. An aquatic giant salamander found in parts of the central and eastern United States

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