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:


And that was how Mhairi Macleod (the cover name of Sadie Glenfinnan) and Betty Singer (cook/housekeeper in the Glasgow home of Martin Elginbrod) became friends; it was soon clear to Mhairi that Betty was a desperately unhappy woman, still grieving for her husband and son and despite working in a house occupied several days a week by her employer, with a couple of other live-in servants and at present a resident guest, feeling lonely and in need of a confidant; well, if that's what she wants, thought Mhairi, that's what I am happy to be: "you know," she said, with the Highland lilt her Grannie had retained all her life, despite living many years in Glasgow and now in Queens, "I've always felt that a woman can really only be herself with another woman – men just don't cut the mustard; oh we might need them for some things," managing to colour up at what, by some, would be regarded as a 'suggestive' remark, "they don't really understand us, do you know what I mean?" and Betty laughed, giving her new friend a knowing look: "I'm with you there hen," she said; "I suppose most of us want a husband, don't we? but it's true enough that they never seem able to sense what we're thinking, or be able to anticipate us; Mr Elginbrod says women share a sense of esoterica," and, her voice lowered, she whispered, "I thought he meant erotica, you know, about S.E.X. but it just means something like a common language of shared secrets and knowledge and emotions, and I do think that is very true, men can't seem to understand things as we do, but if we want children, well there's not much alternative, is there?" and it was Mhairi's turn to laugh, "I'm so glad we've met, Betty, for my sister Lorna's so busy with her family – she's got twin boys, just three, and her husband's a Doctor at the Southern," (hopefully, that hospital being on the South side of the river, was one Betty would never have had occasion to visit) "so she's wrapped up in them; oh, don't get me wrong, we've always been quite close, but I've seen it when friends get married, their focus shifts, and while you might still be friends, it's different." and Betty understood, "and then if you lose your family as I have," she said, "and thousands of other women, too, you find you've really lost touch with the friends you had before you married, and the ones whose husbands came home, well, I think they secretly feel guilty, they seem afraid to meet your eye, oh, they rallied round when Simon was killed and then Andrew's ship went down, but that only lasts so long; they have their own families to look after – but the nightmares started after that, and I still have them – though I can never remember what's in them, only that when I wake I'm shivering and bathed in perspiration, and I mentioned them once to Mr Elginbrod, and he said dreams are a place where our memories become miscible and rhemetic," and Mhairi, puzzled, asked: "rheumatic?" and Betty laughed, "that's what I asked too, no, it's to do with there being an underlying theme but all mixed up - I think that Sigismund Fraud had something to do with it: can I ask, Mhairi, are you not wed yourself?" and Mhairi shook her head: "my fiancée was in the RAF, a navigator in Bomber Command and then one night his plane didn't come back from a run over Germany; oh, I hoped for a long time that he might be a POW but after the war ended I got confirmation that he and the rest of the crew had died when they were shot down, near the Channel on their way back; he's buried in France and I'd like to go over and see his grave, but I don't know when I'll be able to afford it," and she gave herself a shiver, and the cloud which had come over her face was shaken away, and then she asked: "so your employer, Betty, Mr Elginbrod, is he a good man?" and Betty’s eyes seemed to darken suddenly: "well, hen, I don't know if you would ever say he was a 'good' man, but he's a good enough employer, pays us fairly, we've got good conditions, comfortable staff accommodation, and the work is never as arduous as it would be if he had a family there, but his family's in Edinburgh and though they occasionally come over for a week, at Easter and in the Summer, and before Christmas, that's the most they're ever here – he's got two boys, both called Martin, which people find strange, and a wee girl, Martina, but that's just the family tradition ever since, oh well, forever really; his wife Glenda, used to be a model, you know, for clothes, her photo was always in the magazines, but she's a quiet body and she's good enough with us; but some of Mr Elginbrod's friends, well, least said, soonest mended," but it was said archly, and told Mhairi that Betty kent plenty, had lots to tell, but that would have to wait till they knew each other better, then she glanced at her watch and cried: "oh! will you look at the time? it's been lovely to meet you Betty, but I must get back to give Lorna a hand – can we meet again, this is the first proper conversation I've had with anyone since I got here!" and Betty confirmed that she felt just the same, said that she was usually in the Tea-room every morning at about the same time, and would be delighted to meet with Mhairi, and with a slight embrace and a peck, the two women parted outside, and walked off in different directions; after about twenty paces, Mhairi looked back, and she had judged it just right, for she caught Betty doing the same, both gave a little wave and were then lost to each other on the busy pavement!

(by MissTeriWoman)


In the language of nightmares the thematic and the rhematic are quite miscible: it is difficult to say whether the esoterica of the mind are the topic or the focus of any given dream. (by umbraticus)
The Quandary for Friday, March 24, 2017 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

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