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:


Which was how it came to be that, this afternoon, I was sitting in A & E at the Borders general Hospital, less than half a mile from my Auntie Cristo's house ('Antichrist' as the locals referred to her) with my cousin WPC Isa Urquhart, while a young doctor asked the patient for his full name: "James Butler Hickok," he said in a strangely English accent, tinged with what we now think of as American, and gave his date of birth: "May 27th, 1837, in Homer. Illinois," and when – as in most cases of head trauma or elderly, possibly senile, patients – he asked for today's date, Hickok paused and considered, then said: "August 2nd, 1876," without knowing that 141 years had elapsed since then; the young doctor, fortunately, wasn't so unaware as to ask for the name of the Prime Minister, instead enquired as to the name of the American President, and Hickok reflected, showing that he was thinking about it, before replying: "Ulysses S Grant, and I even voted for him, I mean, Hell, he was a good General during the War, weren't he? dunno where the country'd be at iffen we didn't have leaders like him; don't know who I'll be voting for this year, though, but they do say once a Republican, always a Republican, so I'll just wait to see if they nominate another Soldier," and the doctor said we'd be seen soon; a nurse had already clean up the wound on the back of Hickok's head and he'd had an MRI although no-one had told us the results; but just then a familiar face appeared in the small room, where Hickok lay on a trolley while Isa and I had the chairs beside it; Dr Ned Farquharson was Australian, but after nearly twenty years in the Borders and most of them spent living in Melrose, and playing Rugby at the Greenyards regularly, though no longer in the First XV, his accent had mellowed; he grinned and shook hands with the patient, before saying, in his usual nudge-nudge, palsy-walsy style: "you are a very lucky man, Mr Hickok, you have a thick skull and it seems likely that the gun misfired, or the bullet was faulty. . . . ." at which Hickok laughed, "oh yessir, plenty o them! only way to be sure is to buy from someone you trust, iffen you cain't make em yourself" but the doctor continued: "your scalp has been burned and there's a nasty split which needs a few stitches, and there are signs of quite severe concussion, but if Miss Somerville here is amenable, once we've cleaned and sewn up the wound, we'll discharge you into her care, you need someone to keep an eye on you for the next 24/48 hours, and if you find yourself falling over, slipping into unconsciousness, or experiencing double-vision, either come back here or go to your GP," and Hickok looked at me in puzzlement, "what's a jeepee?" he asked, "it's okay," I assured him. "that's our family doctor, well, either Dr Cameron or Dr Finlay," and Ned beamed: "well, you will be in good hands and I'm sure Miss Somerville's Auntie May and Aunty Crist will keep you fed and watered," at which Hickok spluttered: "no Bourbon?" and was told that he would need to abstain from alcohol for the 48-hour period, but "the water here is excellent, locals call it 'Cooncil Juice', if it comes from the tap, but you can buy bottled water in the Co-op," and Hickok's silence told me I'd be facing a barrage of questions once he was discharged! but then he turned and whispered to me, "what's with the Antichrist? you ain't Satanists, is ya?" and I laughed, "no. nothing chthonic about our house, it's just they way Dr Ned pronounces her name, he's Australian," and after the cleaning and stitching had been done and he had been given painkillers to see him through after the local anaesthetic had worn off, we drove back; Hickok had never asked about the car or all the others in the Hospital car park, but I was sure the questions would come thick and fast over the next few hours; and I was surprised to see that Sam Smiles and Jasmine Juniper-Green were waiting for us on our return, but Sam was quick to take command, welcoming 'Wild Bill' and assuring him that his reputation had preceded him, which made the former lawman preen slightly, and when Sam said that he and Jasmine were from the Security Service, Hickok asked if that meant they were Officers of the Peace, like himself, and offered to help them in any way he could, "once I get my piece back!" and I assured him that it was safe in the 'Gun Room' which sounded more important than it was – a cupboard under the stairs where Auntie May's old shotgun was kept along with the slings that I, Jasmine, Isa, Gertie and the others had all used as children until they were confiscated after Old Grouser Grant's greenhouse windows had been smashed when we were using them to get conkers from his Chestnut tree which overhung our aunts' garden; they had never been returned and the elastic must be shrivelled by now, but it had been a learning experience for us – don't shit on your own doorstep and if you are up to mischief, wear a disguise or at least a balaclava; at last Sam explained that he and Jasmine had some questions for 'Wild Bill' if he felt up to answering them, and in return they would try to explain how he had come to turn up here and now, although I think he was still a bit woozy and probably hadn't really understood that he had travelled through time or place – and that he may have thought he has just been taken to another town and been unconscious for a day or two, when he suddenly debunked that theory by standing up and declaring: "I don't believe in Fairies or Heaven and Hell, but I sure as darndest know that somethin real spooky has happened to me, I don't know What or Why or How or Where, but I ain't so dumb as to think this ain't the most intriguing Mystery and if you Sir," he held his hand out to Sam, who took and shook it warmly, "are willin to tell me plain and straight what you know, or think you know, I'll be grateful for the respect of one Officer to another, and I'm damned if I ain't gonna throw in with you to solve this most curious puzzle!" and blow me, if we didn't all stand up and applaud him and pat him on the back and he didn't give my aunts fond embraces and promises that he would take off his boots when he went to bed; "and no spurs in the house," Auntie May reminded him and he actually coloured, pulled his forelock and bowed his head in acknowledgement of this new House Rule!

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Sunday, August 06, 2017 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7870 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.