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:


Master Dokan was not prone to elegiac reminiscence and so, after spontaneously whacking his disciple Engu over the head with a rattan cane to induce enlightenment, and then noting the ensuing deadness of Engu, he simply left the zen center and wandered off into the diaphanous fog of San Fransisco, free of thought (not even bothering to mentally commemorate Engu's many years of dedicated apprenticeship) until police surrounded him in the Upper Haight, whereupon the master surrendered his ID (lay name: Joey Fink, born in Hoboken, New Jersey) along with a well-thumbed book of koan translations which he said would explain everything. (by Rudi)


Sitting on her lumpy mat, Elaine reminisced silently about the dear dead days beyond recall when she didn't have to go on these stupid meditation retreats, prompted by the group facilitator's presentation of an unusually obscure koan, the gist of which seemed to be that someone named Ryutan was wearing a diaphanous head-covering through which Joshu saw Ryutan's hair, which unaccountably caused Joshu to exclaim that Ryutan had no hair and Ryutan to observe to Joshu , "If you say you met me, you never saw me at all!" - a dispiriting, muddled little fable that caused Elaine's recollections of former times to become increasingly melancholy until they attained the status of elegy: "Alas, the sharp cliffs of the halcyon rend me!" (by cusheamus)


If a koan is thought to confuse... if reminiscing can also be muse... if the elegy grazes... if diaphanous haze is... if all this, there is much to enthuse ! (by Justinnthyme40)


Urged by an elegy about my late Professor Dingleberry, I couldn't help but reminisce about a koan he broached when I was a student; a koan, which at the time I thought flimsy and diaphanous, however, a koan which is still unanswered today: Why are we conscious of the way we think? (by Blackbird)


Her memory of him hung in the tenuous no-space of a Zen koan, that diaphanous region that lets light into the half-awake mind, and thus she could forget, momentarily, that the one her reminiscence touched was more aptly the subject of an elegy than a paean. (by Amalia)


'Ah yes, what was wisdom?' the old sage reminisced elegiacally to a questing acolyte, 'wisdom was, if I misremember incorrectly, knowing that you know not that you know not that which you know you know . . .' - here he hesitated as if momentarily confounded by his own Rumsfeldian, abstruse, and tantalising koan, at last adding mournfully ' . . . not; or indeed not, as the case may be,' by which point only a beatifically pained grin of ultimate oneness hung diaphanously in the rarefied mountain air, the rest of him having already nipped off for a quick cuppa. (by Et Seqq)


Shayana had a reminiscence of a koan, perhaps her favourite one, a koan in which a powerful landlord finding out that a spiritual master, who claimed to know where the heaven was, was living on his land, went to see him and demanded him to show him the heaven, and the spiritual master, obliging, grabbed a stick from the ground and struck the landlord’s head, but she could not remember whether or not the blow produced a change in the landlord, and whether or not some sort of a diaphanous light appeared to him as a murmuring elegy for the landlord he was before coming to see the spiritual master. (by antoniadeldebbio)
The Quandary for Thursday, September 23, 2010 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7810 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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