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:

1

Quartermaster Sergeant Tom Mix offered Bernie Cohen a Lucky Strike and waved his hands over the map of Milngavie, on which the five-house cluster of Children's Homes owned and run by The Good Shepherds' Society were clearly marked and Bernie was struck by the aciniform shape they made, with small lanes running between their back gardens, so that access from one to the other would take less than a minute that way, whereas going by the streets on which they stood, it would take maybe 15 or twenty minutes to go round them all; on the table were five pouches, each containing three listening devices which could be easily hidden in each property, plus another specially made to be inserted into the hand-piece of the telephone: "they will all transmit for up to a mile, and are close enough so that only one listening-post will be needed, if you can get hold of a small van, I'll kit it out within a couple of hours; me and Corporal Fassenfelt will do the installations – five minutes in each house, including access . . . . ." and Bernie interrupted: "how will you get in? we have no way of getting a key . . . . ." and Tom laughed: "you don't need to know the how, just leave it up to Freddy, there isn't the lock made that he can't open inside a minute – heck, most it takes him as long as it would with a key, but these will be no problem, the joints ain't no worleys but they ain't bank vaults either, just plain old domestic stuff that even a baby could pick, he did a walk around yesterday and did a trial on one, just unlocked it and relocked it, while I was tying a shoe-lace!" and Bernie's face reddened – he knew that this was crossing a line, that following and watching the targets, the Uncles and Aunts who managed the Cluster, was probably borderline, but actually picking locks and entering the houses was committing a criminal offence, even though nothing would be removed, no actual thefts committed, but if they were discovered and the story came out he would be out of the Law Society and probably looking at a custodial sentence; the two Americans were servicemen and would be handed over to their own forces for whatever legal procedure they might face, and from what he knew of Tom, that would be minimal, while he, Bernie, would lose his career and get a criminal record which would follow him around for life – he knew he was becoming paranoid and neurotic, but the weight of what he and his friends had got themselves involved in was quite debilitating at times: "what if neighbours see you? there are plenty of people who sit behind their net curtains and watch the world go by – these are quiet residential streets so, even on Sunday mornings there won't be a lot of foot traffic," and Tom waved the anxiety away: "we've got papers that identify us as descended from Scottish immigrants and we're trying to trace our roots, so we'll be knocking on the neighbouring doors for each house, either side and opposite, we want people to see us, we got nuthin to hide, and we'll be goin in through the back door of each house and the gardens provide plenty of screening, a person would have to be in the garden to see us opening the door and going in; as soon as the door is opened, Freddy will be standing in full view from across the street, smoking a cigarette and having a conversation with me, just out of sight, except I'll be inside planting the devices, five minutes tops, and out again before he finishes, then we just stroll off to the next address, but what we do need from you, is eyes on the ground that morning, to make sure everyone goes on Church parade – we don't want any sickies stayin home, can you fix that?" and Bernie nodded, Tam, Boabie, himself, Manny and Solly could each keep an eye on one house and they had walkie-talkies care of Tom so contact would be no problem, and he'd get the boys to trail behind the House kids and parents, to make sure that if anyone turned back they could pass on the word; Tom looked into Bernie's eyes: "don't worry, pal, we've done this before! it'll be like a sleigh-ride in Central Park!"

(by MissTeriWoman)
The Quandary for Thursday, December 28, 2017 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7149 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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