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:



As second mate it fell to me to find a fix when the gimbal holding the compass began to break, and the captain pointed to a coppice on shore as a good place to find some lumber for a temporary brace; however I committed a real faux pas when speaking politely to the local landowner about using some of his wood (instead of just taking what I wanted, like a proper pirate) when I glimpsed at a shimmery reflection of his teenage child in a puddle of water on the otherwise matte stone floor of their dwelling and asked if his son could show us the way – not realizing that the youth standing beside him was his precious daughter.

(by wordgirl)


Out beyond the aspen coppice which adjoined his estate, Nelbertson had erected a magnificent observatory, consisting of a fulvous geodesic dome with spiral staircase winding along its interior wall, culminating in a resplendent argent tower at the apex; and in the midst of this tower was a large gimbal, whereon had been set the most curious astrolabe I had e'er set eyes upon: aureate in hue, it seemed wrought of veriest gold, with the same matte finish, and trimmed with nacre; and before Nelbertson could stop me, I made the faux pas of touching this marvelous instrument--whereupon a dazzling flash of silvery light suddenly burst forth, and I found myself cast abruptly into some other dimension, the most striking feature of which was the presence of three tiny little men, each clad in green garb, with shamrock hats atop their heads and buckles of silver upon their shoes, smoking corncob pipes as they reclined in diminutive rocking-chairs; and when they perceived me they sprang instantly to their feet and rushed me as one, attacking my body in three different places (the most bellicose of them made several painful swipes at my yarbles), so that it was all I could do to fend the little buggers off and leap awkwardly back through the still-flickering dimensional portal, back into the familiar milieu of Nelbertson's remarkable observatory.


(by saintdufus)


I suppose that I committed a major faux pas on a visit to Erminione’s country château when I called her luxuriant garden of exotic plants which she had amorously collected in over a decade of travels “a sad and pitiful little coppice”, and I knew when her level gaze turned matte and her speech disappeared that our friendship had no stabilizing gimbals to rescue it from its downward spiral and that it was time for me to return to the city.

(by Sami)
The Quandary for Tuesday, July 31, 2012 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7871 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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