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, May 30, 2016, consists of:
  • nitty-gritty
  • isinglass
  • cavalier
  • doughty
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 5987 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:

The essential, practical, or most important details.
  1. A form of gelatine obtained from the air bladder of the sturgeon and certain other fish, used as an adhesive and as a clarifying agent for wine and beer.
  2. A thin, transparent sheet of mica (probably from its similarity to true isinglass).

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for May 30, 2016 is:

cavalier • \kav-uh-LEER\  • adjective

1 : debonair

2 : marked by or given to offhand and often disdainful dismissal of important matters


Miranda has a cavalier attitude when it comes to spending money.

"At a certain point, however, he opened up,… though under the condition that there be no recorders or notepads. For a guy who was so careful and deliberate and micro-managed everything about his career, he became surprisingly cavalier about being quoted directly—or accurately." — Gary Graff, Billboard.com, 21 Apr. 2016

Did you know?

According to a dictionary prepared by Thomas Blount in 1656, a cavalier was "a knight or gentleman, serving on horseback, a man of arms." That meaning is true to the history of the noun, which traces back to the Late Latin word caballarius, meaning "horseman." By around 1600, it had also come to denote "a roistering, swaggering fellow." In the 1640s, English Puritans applied it disdainfully to their adversaries, the swashbuckling Royalist followers of Charles I, who sported longish hair and swords. Although some thought those cavaliers "several sorts of Malignant Men,… ready to commit all manner of Outrage and Violence," others saw them as quite suave—which may explain why cavalier can be either complimentary or a bit insulting.

doughty: steadfastly courageous and resolute; valiant.

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