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:


Tavish Dalwhinnie slid an early edition of the next morning's Scotsman across the table to Linkumdoddie - “page 8,” he said, sotto voce, “I think you will find it interesting, my old friend”; and, indeed it was true that their friendship, despite the banter – some of it quite vituperative, which they often displayed in public, went back decades, to a day he, John George, a student at Edinburgh University, would never forget: Christmas Day 1950, the day on which he, and Dalwhinnie – who had met each other for the first time – drove the anonymous white, and rather battered, van in which the Stone of Scone was transported from Westminster Abbey to a field in Kent where the actual 'thieves' or 'liberators' depending on one's point of view, were camped; none of the four principals knew their names, they were all from Glasgow Uni – John was introduced to them as Laurel and Tavish as Hardy by their recruiter, a History Professor; and when he turned to page 8, Linkumdoddie was instantly taken back through the past 65 years to that bitterly cold morning,  it's skies heavy with snow clouds, for in the photo-spread he saw the van, with two shadowy faces visible through the windscreen, a group of four figures in duffel coats manhandling (well, one of them was a girl, but he couldn't think of a pc term for the labour they were undertaking) a large and heavy object into the van while two others – presumably the drivers, held the doors open, and the third showed the two faces in the windscreen again as the van moved off, with the others, a group on the pavement, watching; the rest of the spread had photographs and short biographies of the four principals and a fifth who joined them at the camp-site, but nothing on the two mystery men from the van – in fact it posed that question, 'who were those two white van men?' and promised readers the answer tomorrow; Jock looked up at Tavish and noted the beaming face and the chuckle in his voice as he said “looks like we're coming out of the cold, Old Chum”; but Jock wanted to know where the photographs had come from, for he'd never seen them before, how did this, and he looked at the reporter's byline with it's now seemingly obligatory octothorpe  - #tammyshanter – how did he find them, and Tavish laughed again. “he's a lassie, Jock, Tammy Shanter; not strictly a reporter, she's in the Research Department and had been doing a bit of trawling in British Government Archives, down at Kew, and she put in a bunch of disclosure requests under FOI and one of them was for information about the Stone – and that's what came back, a chemist's folder for holiday snaps with half-a-dozen black and white prints, originals, not even copies, and guess where from, you can't, can you, well it was MI5;” and jock felt himself getting quite heated, as his mind tried to process all this nonsense – why on earth would MI5 hold documents relating to the theft of the Stone, all those years ago – but Tavish was speaking again: “you would expect their Doormen would be rather like Cerberus, burly with big hands to stick in your face, but according to Tammy, MI5's a sweet girl in her early thirties, who couldn't be more helpful - you know, if I were like you and inclined towards young ladies, lassies really, I imagine I'd take a shine to our Tammy – she even itemised all the stuff on the back of the prints, which, if you read Tammy's article, isn't quite so risible as you might think – for instance, they seem to show MI5's code-name for their informer in the Nationalist Group who stole the Stone and went on to infiltrate further, and I'll tell you for free that they named him Parlane MacFarlane,” and Jock began to feel as though he was in a Roundelay, with the refrain of Parlane MacFarlane coming up again and again after every verse, “he seems to have sent them the photos, but he didn't take them, and before you ask, you're looking rather flushed, Old Dear, are you ok,” Jock nodded and took a large sip of his whisky, “well then, the spy in the cab, and I only say that because the snaps seem to have been taken from the back of a London taxi, they show the outline of the window and someone in the Picture Library's a bit of a taxi Spotter, or something like that, and they have the initials ME,” and Jock said that he knew it and before Tavish had time to say the name himself, Jock pulled the rabbit from his hat and snapped back: Martin Elginbrod, and Tavish, quick as a flash, responded: “yes, but the Father, not the Son, eh?”

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Wednesday, July 22, 2015 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7879 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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