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:


Gertie sat on the train and dozed: she had no memory of how she came to be here, no references to her past or her present; she remembered reading a book, a novel, by Brigid Brophy: In Transit, it was called, about a traveller in an airport who had no recollection of an identity, of name, of gender – am I a man or a woman, wondered the traveller who, looking down at the clothes which were gender-neutral, felt unreal; there would be mirrors in the toilets, Men's and Women's, but which could be safely entered if you don't know which you are? oh, but at least she knew her own gender, for she was dressed in a slightly strange but feminine style – not what she would normally wear, feeling and looking down at them, out of date, or perhaps fashionable in an earlier age; and Palestrina had spoken her name, so she knew she was identifiably Gertie; but as to why and how – they were, for now, unknowable, unless Palestrina could explain more fully – Adolf Hitler, the name rang a faint bell, but her memory prior to waking up on the train was shady, confused, ungraspable – but, again for now, Palestrina sat quietly reading a book, not concerned about the world outside her own little bubble of contentment, while Gertie fidgeted and fizzed, jactitating with worry and wonder – she kept surreptitiously checking her watch: it was still running backwards – and with a sudden thought about Alice Through the Looking Glass she glanced around, but no, there was nothing in print that she could use to check, and a complete absence of mirrors, so she closed her eyes and let the rocking of the train seduce her into sleep again and the next time she opened them it had become night and passengers were preparing to go to bed; catching Palestrina's eye, Gertie hissed: “how far is it to Berlin, I thought we'd have been there by now,” and Pal hissed back: “so we should, sweetie, and the German's are reputed to have made travelling an Art Form, they haven't given out any information, only that 'due to unforeseen delays, the result of sabotage by enemies of the Reich' the train will now be arriving in Berlin at 8.12am', God, their love of minutiae, while showing complete disregard for the passengers comfort and safety, has to be experienced to be believed!” so Gertie asked, simply, feeling quite wretched at her own helplessness: “so, where do we sleep?” and Pal indicated the upper bunk, “that shall be our little nest, and tomorrow we shall bloom again, like remontant roses” and gave a tinkling laugh, which reminded Gertie of her dear cousin Teri, and she wondered, bleakly, if she would ever see her family again! and behind the panel, snug in his own little nest, Herr Marrowsky smiled to himself and almost inaudibly muttered: “very interestinct – meine sharkbait – vee haff vays off taking you malk, leiblings, und not all off zem nonderfully vice!” and he cackled softly and murmured:

You may think I am not real,

That my face is burned vermeil,

As I hound you from Pillar to Post,

In the country or on the coast,

Like a crackerjack I can terrify,

Like Doctor Jekyll, transmogrify,

But when you hear me whistle my tune,

Then you will know your end is soon!”

and he lit another cigarette and put his ear to the thin partition, the better to hear the two mysterious young women and he smiled: “pretty, yes, interestink, yes, but stupid!”

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Monday, June 27, 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.


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