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:


Daphne looked at herself in the full-length mirror and what did she see – an urbane old woman, looking tired and rather frayed (if not actually afraid) – the days, and nights of her youth, when, a blonde bombshell, she could cause a youthquake in any Arab Bazaar, or Hotel popular with Foreign Correspondents and visiting Historians and Archaeologists alike, from Baghdad to Prague, Bucharest to Berlin, were firmly of her past; she had excelled at University, chosen to become an archaeologist like her father, Sir Donald Dumbiedykes, and followed on camels the route of the caravanserai across the North African Deserts, lodging in wayside taverns with muleteers and smugglers, at Foreign Legion Forts and in Bedouin or Berber tents; taken the Golden Road to Samarkand, and ridden on horseback across the Russian Steppes; travelled the Trans-Siberian Railway and the Orient Express in the days before tourists and Thomas Cook eliminated the hardships, romance and travail from Travel and packaged it into a bite-sized itinerary (one page each from Baedeker for France, Germany, Austria, Italy, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, and The Holy Land - all in seven days, six nights, half-board; now, the most she could face was a day-trip to Gullane, or if feeling really adventurous, a weekend in Bearsden with her brother Daniel and his 'Happy Family' and an afternoon trailing round the Glasgow shops; earlier, Hamish had paid elaborate court to her, sworn that he had been smitten by her when they were both still at school, she at Marcia Blaine's, he at Fettes; he had loved her from afar and when their careers took different paths, followed reports of hers in both the public prints and academic journals; bought first editions of all of her published books - and read them all; and now had sworn undying fealty, all the while kissing her hands, her arms, her face, pressing his body against hers and exploring every access point to her soul, and more; oh, he was full of enthusiasm, his fingers seemed able to push half-a-dozen buttons at once, his tongue eagerly forced it's way wherever he wished; but, when push came to shove, when his manhood rose to it's full height, apparently invincible, his body let him down – he was no ardent, youthful lover, he was six months older than she and his prowess only a memory fed by too much alcohol, and wilting as soon as it was asked to perform; the whole experience felt like an oneironaut – one of those waking dreams when, like Alice Liddell, one finds the blend of past and present, reality and imagination, become a miasma, with no real clues as to what is Up and what Down, which is Here and which There, in or out; not that Daphne felt any true disappointment – the thought of him penetrating her body made her feel quite nauseous; she almost saw herself stained by her deception – she was no Mata Hari, she was a respected historian, an academic with her own standards and right now they did not bear scrutiny when she stared straight at her reflection; she already had the love of Maude, her own Dearest Maude, Maudie who adored and trusted her – and had she sought to betray that trust, all for a nugget of information promised by Hamish; it was a dangerous idea – born out of desperation to know the answer to a question that had dominated her, and informed all of her actions over the last fortnight and more; she now felt cheapened, looking as worthless as an old antimacassar, stained with brylcreem – and unmentionable bodily fluids; tomorrow was to be her Wedding Day – when she and Dearest Maude would have their union legally regularised, and spiritually blessed; the nugget she had received from Hamish certainly had its value, and it was assuredly unique, and other than Hamish, she truly believed that no other shared it's knowledge – but for the nonce it would have to be stored away in the vast warehouse of her mind, carefully catalogued and cross-indexed, and waiting to be accessed when the time was right; she locked eyes with her reflection, said “you're not really so bad looking, for an Auld Biddy – you've still got what it takes to turn some heads, but now it's time to shake a leg,” glanced across at the snoring former Dean, prostrate on the other sofa, gave a chuckle as much as to say, “well, old bean, I certainly aroused your ardour, but now I've got to Love You and Leave You,” so rising, slightly shaky, but still able to control her movements, she drew her cloak over her shoulders, paused at the door and looked back one more time, and as she left his Chambers, blew Hamish a kiss and bade him a fond farewell, with the sweet words: “Goodnight, Vienna.”

(by MissTeriWoman)


The ripples of the latest youthquake had reached her rooms, scouted by this urbane oneironaut whose powered wig required her kimono be used as an antimacassar to protect the headboard from the substituted hair and scented starch, while he channelled Rousseau, and she was Julie.

(by LexigraphicLove)
The Quandary for Monday, June 08, 2015 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7877 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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