Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Attempts to resolve the Quandary:


Once he could speak English, a native of the valley lashed out contemptuously: "'Yosemite' is not the name of the place, it means 'the killers!', which someone happened to be yelling as they ran from the army of white men; 'Owwoni', the real name, does not mean 'deep grassy valley' as the guy plucking grass may have seemed to suggest, it means 'deep gaping mouth (of the grizzly)'; and while we are at it, we are not Indians, we are the Miwok; why, oh why, didn't the Christian God give Columbus an Annie Oakley to Delhi and spare us these mondegreens while the Spanish Raj mixed salsa's and chutney's with the real Indians?'" (by QuaQua)


I used to consider myself the biggest Hendrix fan in California, so I got an Annie Oakley for the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, I couldn't wait to see my idol, the Raj of Rock, peform "Purple Haze" live and went around town singing "'scuse me while I kiss this guy" for weeks; and even though I was totally mortified when a teller at the bank informed me contemptuously that this was a mondegreen and not the real lyric, it all worked out in the end since Hendrix really did sing the song my way on stage. (by Eli)


When my friend bragged about his ticket to the show, calling this lucky freebie an Annie Oakley, I thought he was telling me that a knee (of his) was OK, and when I asked what prompted him to give me this unsolicited orthopedic update, he responded to my mondegreen contemptuously, as if he were some panjandrum in the Raj, speaking to a supposedly inferior subject whose mother tongue was not the Queen's blessed English. (by Rudi)


"Quick, look there, Watson, at that Annie Oakley half bespawled by spindrift from the Hokusai-sastrugi, did the ticket, or pass, or whatever it is, not flutter out from the tatterdemalion lederhosen of Scholmo the feeble funambulist as he achieved his precipitate descent from the funicular? - why, it bears only the letter 'M', and surely (unless I am suffering from premature calculation) it is in the cultivated roundhand of my bitterest foe, Professor Moriarty, and so can only stand as a challenge to my famous deductive powers, constituting a veritable down-throwing of the Satanic gauntlet; so, let me see - 'M'? - could it intend my favourite fictional urchin Mowgli, the feral child raised by the jungle wolves of Kipling's Raj? - or can it be - yes it can, I have it! - the devil is playing with me most contemptuously, Watson, for it stands for none other than that curious neologism 'mondegreen', as yet unknown, and ergo undefinable save for my noetic clairvoyance; but his toying with me, Watson, is quite absurd, quite futile, for at this tipping point in my scientific sleuthdom I am (am I not?) always given to exclaiming: 'A low trick, and no time to lose', and Moriarty well knows that an arrant fool like yourself Watson always mishears that as 'A Lautrec, and no time, Toulouse' - so we must away to Paris and (I regret) to the Moulin Rouge to seek out those interdigitated vestal girlies as, beneath the windmill's arrested sails, they are compelled to kick high and cantillate 'Yes, we can-can', while the stunted dauber ogles their luscious, whitely-pulsating thighs etcetera from far below, the blackguard!" (by Bud Myte)


As the legend goes the King of Transylvania’s messenger was told to tell a visiting emissary of the Raj to stay away because of Nosferatu; but the messenger was an idiot and conveyed the mondegreen ‘stay away because there was no juice for Natu’ and the ensuing dust up was only exacerbated when a roving band of American carneys, who were there as part of a deeply flawed cultural exchange program, offered an Annie Oakley to their show to see the Doofy Natoo, carney speak for two headed Mermaid, which the King excepted, being a huge fan of the diminutive sharp-shooter, but when only the tacky ducat arrived His Majesty had the shiftless carney’s rounded up and contemptuously declared Personally Au Graten; according to the best recollections of the Tilt-o-Whirl operator. (by gumo420)


"Aw, if yer lucky, the best y'll git is a Annie Oakley", said young Billy to his little brother Jack, referring contemptuously to Mr. Pratt's habit of paying for a week's work cleaning up after the elephants (MIGHTY SYMBOLS OF THE RAJ! mighty symbols of poop, more like) with a free ticket to the sideshows, but he couldn't dampen the spirits of Jack, who sang loudly and happily all the way home his own mondegreenish version of Britney Spears' song "Circus" (in which the line "All eyes on me, in the middle of the ring, just like the circus" became "A lice on me! I'm a cinnamon ring! I like the circus!"), followed by his favorite patriotic hymn "O beautiful for spaceship guys!" (by cusheamus)


The Raj, innocent victim of a mondegreen confusing "tweedledum" for "freedom", contemptuously had the unfortunate messenger tortured and killed, unaware of the Annie Oakley for Independence in his as yet unopened missive from the King. (by tree)
The Quandary for Monday, February 01, 2010 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7754 sentences — each one a surprise — to QQ's unique and growing library. Explore other Quandaries through our word list or the calendar below. View yesterday's QQ resolutions or pick a day at random.


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