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:


“But what on Earth does that mean, Aunt Maude?” asked DCI Brevity and she smiled enigmatically and looked straight at Thomas before replying: “I do believe Master Thomas of Ercildoune has the solution at his tongue-tip!” and Thomas laughed and grinned broadly at Maude, “you are, Madam, if I may say so, exceedingly like my wife, both in aspect and humour – she is a Lyttleton too, I suppose you know, and I am used to this whimsicality; yes, I have indeed been a somnolent popinjay, and oft have I blown my own trumpet in the kitchen garden while the women labour and indeed in dry weather they do water the cabbages as you suggest; but as to the Time Difference, I cannot guess, although in what you call 'The Other Place' the sun travels from West to East, and indeed, I wonder if Miss Patience has ever noticed that the world as we view it from the Hillside, is reversed?” and the girl looked startled: “no, I never did, are you sure” and Thomas said, “did the river flow from East to West? Left to Right?” and she blushed to her roots: “I do not know, I confess I never paid any attention to it,” and Thomas continued: “and the shape of the land, did it not seem different to you?” and, her colour receding, she said more confidently, “oh, yes, but surely it was a very long, long, time ago, when men painted themselves blue and fought sabre-toothed tigers and elephants and trees take a long time to grow and of course everything looked different, there were no houses, Thomas, no houses, we just lived in a Cavern, how different can that be, how would I tell if anything else was the same or different, the whole world was upside-down and your trenchant tone which seems to condemn me for my ignorance hurts!” there was a silence, and then she continued: “how can the time be different? well, if Thomas is right – and I have no reason to doubt him, nor to jeopardise the camaraderie between us which is all I have to hold on to, but if it is true that the World, or our part of it, was back to front, why should not time be different? you say that we, who have been there for years, are no older now than when we were snatched from our lives, and while your relatives disappeared here just matter of days ago, in 'The Other Place' they have been with us for a matter of weeks or months; oh, a day or a month makes no odds, but then it sounds like a dream – for a dream can be as fantastical as the mind of the dreamer can make it, or maybe a nightmare, and maybe that is what I am living, a nightmare in which I can never wake, and real as you may seem, you are all conjured up by a brain nearly drowned because a foolish girl ventured out across the swollen river, practically forced the ferryman to take me, no, be honest, I did force him, paid him double-fare and told him that if he did not carry out his licensed duty I would report him to my father and have him dismissed for Dereliction of Duty – but I know his wife, she is a sweet natured woman and they have three adorable babes, I would never have reported him, and now I cannot, for perhaps I am still drowning, I have no other evidence by which to judge: are you real, I have read something of Descartes' work on solipsism in one of my father's florilegium, and also Bishop Berkeley – I'm no dunce, so I ask again: can you prove you are real and not the figments of a drowning girl's mind, please, I beg of you, for I fear I am either drowning still or going mad and this is my punishment for my selfishness and cruel words and that will never see my home and my family again!” which was when Isa's telephone rang and she took a quick call, mouthing the name 'Moonbeam' to her listeners; her eyes widened in surprise and she looked from face to face, before saying: “preliminary Tox Screening shows significant traces of arsenious poisoning in both of you, Thomas and Patience; you have been slowly poisoned with arsenic, not enough to kill, but certainly enough to confuse and disturb your judgement; Professor Moonbeam wants to conduct further tests and also ask you about your general health – we don't yet know if it was from a natural source, the water, soil, or plants, or rather, deliberately, from the food which was left in The Cairn!”

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Thursday, March 03, 2016 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.


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.