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, Tuesday, January 28, 2020, consists of:
  • chrestomathy
  • caliginous
  • diligent
  • ambergris, n.
Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7580 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 volume of selected literary passages, usually by one author. 2. A selection of literary passages from a foreign language, especially one assembled for studying a language.
  1. (archaic or literary) Dark, obscure; murky.

Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for January 28, 2020 is:

diligent • \DIL-uh-junt\  • adjective

: characterized by steady, earnest, and energetic effort : painstaking


After many hours of diligent research, the students were ready to compile their results.

"Being informed and diligent is a better investing strategy than no strategy at all. And it keeps us from ’acting ridiculously’ at just the wrong time." — Nancy Tengler, USA Today, 16 Dec. 2019

Did you know?

You’re more likely to be diligent about something if you love doing it. The etymology of diligent reflects the fact that affection can lead to energetic effort. The word, which entered English in the 14th century by way of Anglo-French, descends from the Latin verb diligere, meaning "to value or esteem highly" or "to love." The Latin diligere was formed by adding the di- prefix (from dis-, "apart") to the verb legere, an ancestor of the English legend, meaning "to gather, select" or "to read." Of course, you don’t need to care for the task at hand in order to be diligent, but it certainly does help!

OED Word of the Day: ambergris, n. A wax-like substance having a brownish grey colour and a sweet earthy scent, formed as a natural secretion in the bile duct of sperm whales…

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