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:


“First, then, Master Thomas,” said Tavish, his eyes holding Thomas Learmonth's in a steady gaze, “I must ak you if you know of Sir Parlane MacFarlane, a noble of the Scottish Court?” and the girls were surprised by Thomas' sharp intake of breath, and the strange hiss-like quality of his voice when he replied, “Master Tavish, I am not so hidebound as you may think me, but, even so, that name belongs to a man who is an abomination to The Lord and good society – though I am no Courtier myself, nor even truly pious, even I have heard of his reputation as a serial seducer who has fathered many bastards into the families of nearly every noble house in the country; how he has kept his head on his shoulders, I profess I am ignorant, save that he must have Royal Favours which protect him even unto the Kirk and the Courts of Law, but pray, what has he to do with this story of your own times?” and Tavish raised his hands as if to indicate surrender: “the story, so far as I can gather,” he said, turning to Bernie and Tammy as he spoke, “most of which I have gathered from your dear Aunts, Daphne and Maude, who are also cousins of mine, and who have cut through the farrago of lies, intrigues and misconceptions regarding him; Sir Parlane MacFarlane was an incorrigible libertine and he, and his Man, Dominic Doubleday – a direct ancestor of that Duncan Doubleday whose head you caved in, Tammy, if you will forgive the pun – were the first members of a kind of Secret Society, not connected with Witchcraft, or Satanism, nor indeed any brand of Religion, but with pleasures of the Flesh; it is true that MacFarlane specialised in the systematic seduction of noblewomen in his time, which was, is, I'm a little unsure of which tense we should use here, in this place, the same time as that of our friend master Thomas here; while Doubleday applied himself to the servant-girls of those same noblewomen; and Doubleday, whose own wife Marie was the regular bed-warmer for Sir Parlane on those nights he was at home – rather than Lady MacFarlane who was billeted in a small room among the servants' quarters, and preferred the company of her own sex anyway - had no interest in mature women, preferring his girls to be pre-pubescent and losing interest in them once they first menstruated, was part of a secret cabal which formed in the shadow of Sir Parlane, himself it's first President, and all the members, most of whom were dedicated to the same pursuits as Doubleday and which MacPherson himself had no disdain of wore that particular design of ring: I understand that there were only 12 made to the drawing of an Edinburgh Lawyer, Martin Elginbrod, a founding member of the circle, and his descendants have been in control of it right down to our own time – and Doubleday's off-spring, in Law if not necessarily by Blood have been involved ever since the start, too; there have been many prominent persons involved down through the centuries – it pre-dates the Masons and other secret societies and it's own secrets are very difficult to prise out into the open and no prosecutions of the Members have ever been successful, largely because of the eminence of many of them: these people have run Scotland for generations and have been used to having their own way, they see themselves as above the Law and it is hard to argue against that, when you know who they are; Kings, Moderators, Supreme Court Judges, Politicians, Captains of Industry, the leading Landowners, Cultural Icons – one way or another, they have always owned or managed this land and been able to crush anyone who has tried to act against them; I've been investigating them for thirty years and still don't have enough evidence which would be admissible in Court, even with Lord Justice Linkumdoddie on my side; but The Major and I have been getting very close, until Pherson, my twin brother – the bad apple in the Dalwhinnie basket – gave me a most deadly valediction, when he shot me outside the Borders General Hospital and I woke up here,” and he stopped, and seemed to be looking for a glass of Whisky to wet his whistle, but it hadn't been invented yet! and he glanced at Thomas, apologetically: “I may be telling this tale antispinward, Master Thomas; to the girls I am speaking of the Past, while to you it is the future, and I apologise for telling it 'erse furrit,' which I presume you understand,” and Thomas laughed, “och, aye, backside for'ard, it may be, Master Tavish, but clear enough for all that!”

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Saturday, December 19, 2015 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7811 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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