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:

2

 

From the omphalos of determining how to sustain life itself arises the vicious circle of poverty, especially for those who are eking out a living from the land -- subsistence farmers who are tenants, or sharecroppers, who are always beholden to both a landlord and the caprices of the weather, who have often been led to believe that having more children will provide more hands to do the work, but which also continues the cycle by creating more mouths to feed, and none can be fed without the promise of rain -- and water -- for people, livestock, and crops, so that a severe drought leaves many standing on a precipice between life and death, with the possibility of hunger, leading to starvation, versus sustenance, life – and, perhaps, bounty -- where the same morphemes pre (before), cipit/caput (head), plus a noun form derived from the verb, show the whole range of possibilities, from standing on the edge of the cliff (precipice) in great peril (precipitous) due to lack of rain (precipitation), whose coming can lead to great hope and joy, allowing people to maffick in the expectation of new life – or even prosperity.

(by wordgirl)

1

The omphalos of the misunderstanding turned out to be the term "drug trafficking": Hornquist (who has been hard of hearing since a Oaxacan Gila monster "zerbeted" his ear in '84) thought I'd said "smug mafficking," and the consonance between the morphemes maff and traff led to a vicious circle of accusations and recriminations, culminating in the corpulent Nessberry's thrusting forth his tongue and leaping onto a chandelier, which came loose from the ceiling and crashed to the floor in a welter of shattered crystal.

 

(by saintdufus)
The Quandary for Thursday, May 17, 2012 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7146 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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