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:


"Ground Control to Major Tav . . . . . Ground Control to Major Tav," the voice echoed tinnilly, as if it were being spoken inside an empty soup can, and Tavish pulled the string tight, as he unwrapped his cloak, or what was left of it, and put the gourd to his mouth; "Major Tav to Ground Control," he replied, and waited; now that he and the group were in Edinburgh, safely - or relatively safely - installed in one of the rooms on the fifth floor of a tenement which led off the High Street and down towards The Cowgate, rented off Mistress Machrahanish - or Bunty, as she kept asking Tavish to call her, - for a penny down, he was finding it increasingly difficult to instil any discipline; ever since Griselda of Longformacus had disappeared - whether into past or future, Tavish knew not - her sister, Sister Evadne Eglantyne, had been sunk in a depression, and though Bernie and Tammy (his own daughter) had done their best to try to keep her spirits up, the nun was sinking fast and Tavish was despairing fast; even Lolly and Wullie, the kitchen boy they had found tagging along behind them when they fled Albany Palace in the melee following the 'mysterious' death by Gunpowder Plot of the Duke of Albany, both of an age and similar in personality, had seemed listless and disinterested here - they haunted the close and scavenged for food which kept the party's bodies alive, but they were fast becoming known and identifiable street urchins which would soon bring them to someone's attentions. whoremaster of Sergeant-at-Arms. the outcome might well be the same; luckily, Harry Magog, the giant under-jailer at the Heart of Midlothian prison, had a soft spot for them and was managing to keep a watchful eye on the pair; Tavish had, however, managed to identify and trace several members of The Ring of Gold which, despite the disappearance - believed murdered by person or persons unknown - of Sir Parlane MacFarlane and his manservant Dominic Doubleday, had managed to remain active: it was now apparently run by the Lawyer Elginbrod, and included Lord Umpherston and the Maister o Kilquhenny, and now that these three were in his sights, Tavish had a sense of purpose about him, and after the declaration by the Court of Sasines that the Baronet could justifiably be declared legally dead, on account of his seeming disappearance from the 'face of the Earth' after his last-known sighting in Melrose Abbey, Elginbrod had announced that his Last Will and Testament would be read in the White Hart Inn on the 18th of March; that day came around and Tavish, in the guise of a Capuchin Monk, joined the throng of creditors and nosey, who packed the room, while Lady MacFarlane, accompanied by her visibly pregnant maidservant, Jeannie - Doubleday's wife - sat demurely at the front table, opposite Martin Elginbrod, much vaunting in starched white neckerchief and dead black gown, his lawyer's cap set tight upon his thin skull: "I, Martin Elginbrod, Writer to the Signet, appointed executor of Sir Parlane MacFarlane now adjudged deceased, and formerly of this Town, will open and read the Last Will and Testament of the said baronet and confirm the disposition of his worldly goods: "I. Sir Parlane MacFarlane, baronet, of MacFarlane House in the High Street of Edinburgh, together with property and lands known as MacFarlane Castle and Estate on the Isle of Skye, do hereby and herein dispose of my worldly goods and chattels in the following wise: 1) to my wife, Lady Margaret MacFarlane , or Branxton, my Third Best Bed, and my accumulated debts and 2) to Marie Doubleday, wife of my faithful Valet and manservant, Dominic Doubleday, the remainder of my Estate in totality of Lands, Buildings and contents therein and thereunder, and the income of such to her and her descendants, in perpetuity, this day and witnessed by Martin Elginbrod WS and Archibald, Maister o Kilquhenny!" the silence was palpable and hung heavy in the room until Elginbrod broke it by banging with his gavel on the table three times to pronounce the proceedings over, when the room erupted, the import of the words having eventually sunk in: "third best bed an his debts?" asked one gnarly tradesman of his servant, "aye, maister, aw the debts!" "run an fetch the bailiffs, lad, he owes me se'nty-fouwer poond, oo'll tak the bed if needs must!" anyway, it was just after that when Tavish received the first communication from Sam in a quite a while - he supposed that wherever Griselda had gone, whenever as well, she must have stretched the Moth Hole and that was what accounted for the long silence, despite his making a regular twice-a-day tin-can-and-string equivalent of a call to Home. and he hadn't really been thinking of Home at that moment, his thoughts were on the two women who, he had observed furtively, walked back to MacFarlane House arm in arm, each silent with her thoughts, and what thoughts must they be? treachery, rape, betrayal, murder? certainly, Tavish thought, they must be at that level of emotional angst, and to go back under the same roof, for the present, at least, until some practical arrangements could be made: to leave his Wife a bed and all his debts, seemed, to Tavish, like sticking a knife between her ribs; it would surely to condemn her to that part of The Heart which house the Debtors' Prison; unless a friend, relative or benefactor came up with the sums due, a person could literally rot away in there until death released them from their bond - of course it would depend how sizeable a sum were the baronet's debts, and it was with his thoughts on that line and a growing appetence to gain admission to the House and discover the reality behind their demeanour that he heard the call-sign and pulled the string taught, replied and waited: "Tavish, we think we have some information about one group of Time-Travellers who were in Milan around 1497 and involved in the deaths of two Scottisch rapists and murderers, named Sir Ptarmigan MacFarlane and his valet Damien Doubleday - there is a record in the papers of the then Duke of Milan, of Knighthoods awarded to one Piero Boo of Edambruge, and another, Laszlo Licinic of Bucharest and Ludmilla Lermontova followed these references and found that MacFarlane and Doubleday had been suspected of the rape and murder of a young actor in a Theatre Company, whose members she has found included Peter Lorre, Leslie Howard, Roxy Davidova, Geli Raubal, Unity Mitford and Uncle Tom Cobley, whoever he is! oh and a German lad named Wolfgang Muller, who seems to be the only other non-Milanese in the Company," and he paused: "Roxy," gasped Tavish, "she was there?" and Sam continued: "it certainly seems that her name was listed, and after the Knighthoods were awarded the Theatre Company was given the name of 'The Duke of Milan's Players' and the patronage included regular salaries paid to the entire company, not only performers, but stage hands, wardrobe mistresses and dressers, quite a bundle for the times!" and Tavish interrupted, "and this was to do with MacFarlane and Doubleday?" and Sam laughed, "yes, it seems that they were traced to an inn some twenty or thirty leagues north of Milan, Boo, in disguise entered the inn and discovered them, having murdered seven people and beheaded them, they tried to escape, leaving two children insensible but still alive, and Licinic managed to kill them outside by some sort of derring-do, involving a table, a broomstick and several platters, quite a feat apparently, but the Duke was so impressed and gratified by the bravery and dedication of the two in dealing with the murderers of one of his own citizens that he wanted to reward them, and everyone in their Company, and did you get those other names: Lesley Howard, Geli Raubal and Unity Mitford! it's incredible, of course, but well documented, and Ludmilla is working through documents from 1597 forward to try find out what became of them all!"

(by MissTeriWoman)


She withdrew furtively behind the gnarled oak, resisting an appetenceto stay in the open and challenge his vaunting attitude—better to hide herself now and devise a more cunning way of bringing him down in the future.

(by umbraticus)
The Quandary for Saturday, March 18, 2017 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7814 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.