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:


Her scream had been cathartic – not only did it seem to bond her with the others, the fact that they had rushed from sleep to her aid, even though it might have been for their own self-protection – as a shout of 'Fire' prompts people to action; but it was as though the scream had communicated so much to them, so much that her words seemed only to hide; and so it was no real surprise when, later, after she and Ee had managed to sleep a while longer, that one other women, Umm, came and drew her from the shelf-bed, and instead of giving her a shell of water, or a hunk of roasted meat, led her through the rock passage towards a large clearing, the opening, beyond which was a blue sky and an expanse of green hillsides, rolling down towards a distant sea with some kind of basic xeriscaping – not quite like the extensive terraces on the tea plantations of India and Ceylon, quite rudimentary, but showing that someone had worked out a way to grow here, up on the hillside, with the river down below and so otherwise a lot of back-breaking work would have been necessitated to raise water up here, while the valley below looked pretty rocky and unwelcoming and, she shuddered, exposed, remembering the spears she had seen last night; and other members of the family were seated on the floor, cross-legged, or squatting, tearing off chunks with their teeth and grinning up at her, that she realised that she truly was now one of them, part of the family, and though she still wondered where they were and when someone would come looking for her – for surely her phone – if she'd had it when she was found by them in this cavern-mouth, for as she looked around she realized by its vague familiarity that this was where she had lain when she was first found by them, it would have still been giving off a traceable signal to the network, so that it could only be a matter of time – but after the scream it didn't seem to matter when, or even if, she would be found and reclaimed by her 'real' life, her 'former' life, her 'past'; and she knew that these people, old and young, men, women, children had accepted her for herself, with no pre-conditions, asking nothing of her but simply accepting her as the person who now sat where Umm indicated, between Ee and the space where Umm herself now sat; behind the men who seemed to take priority, and she wondered what the 'pecking-order' was and whether she was ranked as one of the women, or one of the children, or as a guest, not really part of the Group – are they a Tribe, or a new Clan, she wondered, maybe they're trying to get back to a simpler life – an extreme form of The Good Life, until the men stopped talking and Ugg got to his feet and, holding out his hand towards her, indicated that she should join him; taking her hand in his, Ugg led her over to the mouth of the Cavern and pointed out various features of the view – as if saying that this swathe of countryside belonged to the family; she almost giggled for it seemed so much like a prospective suitor in one of Jane Austen's novels, demonstrating his wealth and possessions, his Estate, though she couldn't imagine herself in such a setting and Ugg was as far from Mr D'Arcy as you could get, with his nut-brown, weathered face and body, his lank and matted hair, his brown and crooked teeth, but as he suddenly turned and looked up (for though he was possibly the tallest in the family, Bernie herself was a good head taller than him) she saw in his eyes, with a clarity that she had never experienced before, that this was what passed for a proposal within the group, and also understood that he was giving her a unique offer – of something that he would normally just take as his right, as Leader of the Pack, and that she, a woman, had no right to refuse; it was not in fact a request, simply a statement; 'this is mine, as you are mine,' but she also saw that he was extending to her a courtesy that none of the other women would have been given – not the right to decline, but the right to accept what she could not refuse, for she also knew in that instant that refusal was not an option here, in this family, in this cavern, wherever they were, that being shirty would not be accepted; her sexuality, the fact that she was Lesbian with no interest in or desire for sex with men was simply something which did not exist – or, if it did exist, was separate from what was; what women did in their own privacy, while the men were away, was their own business, but while the men are here, they rule, and Ugg rules over all; she suddenly felt very scared, alone and vulnerable – something was wrong, seriously wrong; this was no play-acting, no group of friends or colleagues living out the past like the three who do all those Farm programmes on TV (Mediaeval Farm, Victorian Farm, Wartime Farm) no, this was real; but impossible; impossibly real, or really impossible; and she thought of the Outlander books she had read so avidly – could she have slipped through some kind of wormhole in the net of time and space, found herself in a past long gone, and if so, could she ever go back to her own time, or was she stuck her, and she like some sort of thwarted Paul Pry (make that Polly Pry) with so many questions, none of which could ever be answered, none of which mattered, because here she was, is and will be; and suddenly, momentarily re-living the slam to her body which had made her collapse and feeling her blood pump away, she felt so utterly bereft and abandoned, and something brought her attention back to Ugg, he was speaking to her, speaking softly and, somehow, she didn't know how, she understood his words though the language was beyond her comprehension and it was her brain which instantly translated like the interpreters do at the UN and in her head she heard Ugg say, though the words in English didn't match the sounds his lips formed, and as she heard, she felt herself surrender to the inevitable: “you mine, you belong me, here, you stay, live here now, you called,” and she realised that no-one had asked that before, or if they had she hadn't understood: “Bernie,” she replied; “Bare-knee,” he asked, looking amused, “no, Ber-ni,” she tried to pronounce better for his ears, “BEAR,” he stated, and grinned, “Bear Woman, that you now,” and he introduced her by that name to the others, who all laughed and clapped and cheered; just like we do, she thought, and amended to, just like we will do, sometime, and a couple of the women heaved a great clay pitcher to the middle of the floor and she realised that this was something made – either by them or acquired by them from another, and using crude wooden bowls, shaped by hand and probably sharpened stones, one of them began scooping out liquid and passing the bowls out and she soon had one in her hand and sniffed, and tasted with the tip of her tongue and then drank – for it was grog all right, god knows how strong it is, but who cares, she actually laughed and her laughter was met by smiles and grins, and she knew that she had been accepted by all.

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Tuesday, August 25, 2015 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7880 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.


We don't archive definitions. You can find the definitions on their respective sites by following the links above.

Quadrivial Quandary (QQ) is owned and operated by Rudi Seitz.
Sentences submitted to QQ are the property of their authors. See our page on Copyright Information for details.
Dictionary definitions are the property of their respective sources, presented here via public RSS feeds or otherwise with permission.
All other material is copyright 2015 by Rudi Seitz, all rights reserved.
Use of this site is governed by our terms of service.
Contact: rudi at quadrivialquandary dot com.