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:



A Shylock and Gnomes Mystery

by Donna Summer

Part 2

Police Inspector Epiphany Estrange glanced up from the report he was reading on a curious case involving sérac cheese mixed with rat poison and saw Sergeant Clitheroe standing in front of the desk, or peering over the edge of it; Estrange knew that Clitheroe must have made the minimum height of 5'10" when he first became a constable, but over the years, either due to poor posture, weight gain or simply shrinking, he seemed positively tiny, miniscule even, a dwarf alongside P.C. 49 Archibald Berkeley-Willoughby who towered over him; Berkeley-Willoughby had been a Balliol man, a Rowing Blue, destined for the Church or Law but something mysterious had derailed his career – though Estrange had not been able to discover what it was – and he had joined the Force; his name was too much of a mouthful for Clitheroe, so he simply referred to him as 49: "it's this thing about the Rabbi's daughter, Sir," he said, before Estrange cut him off short: "murder is hardly a 'thing' Sergeant, please don't let me hear that expression again in here!" and the sergeant grinned, "no problem, Sir, this 'murder' as you say, if indeed 'murder' it was!" and the inspector stared at the man: "do you doubt that it was murder, Sergeant?" and the sergeant raised his small hands: "who, Sir? me. Sir? no, Sir! never, Sir! it's just that 49 here's just back from the Morgue and there's something that don't quite add up, Sir, if you see what I mean," and he nudged the constable, who took off his helmet and spoke directly to the Inspector: "well, Sir, the Coroner's just been examining the body and it rather seems as though it could have been one of those tragic accidents, a pure fluke, a one-in-a-million, sort of thing, Sir," and Estrange took off his reading glasses to examine the younger man more closely: "in what particular way is that, 49?" and the constable's face flushed: "well, Sir, there's a possibility that she stumbled and fell down an open manhole into the sewer, Sir, and her necklace caught on something – there's lots of dashed flotsam and jetsam in those sewers, Sir, old mangles, bed frames, fol de rols and gosh only knows what, Sir, - and that's possibly what strangled her, Sir, and then her body fell down further and landed on something. sort of, maybe a coat stand, or a saw horse or suchlike, with her legs splayed and that was what caused the injuries that looked like she'd been raped, Sir, is what the Coroner seems to be inclined towards, so it would be Death by Misadventure, Sir, jolly well open and shut, as it were," and Estrange's face reddened as a wave of anger swept through his body: these East End Coppers were either imbeciles like Clitheroe or Stage Door Johnnies like 49 and his like, with their Oxbridge Drawl and their 'jolly well' and 'fol de rols' they knew nothing of life, nothing of the grime and poverty and sordid debauchery that went on here, he knew it was even worse than Southwark, his previous posting, and that was a den of iniquity if ever there was one, had been since Henry VIII's time, and no amount of Police manpower could adapt it, bring it up to the expected standard of a 19th Century way of living, but the East End, with thousands huddled together in jerry-built tenements, and a pub on every corner, ladling out beer and gin and twenty prostitutes to a street according to the latest report from the Moral Hygiene Committee on his desk, was something else, well, he'd show them: "right, 49, you and 48, Constable Humphrey Fothergill-Fanshawe, will accompany Sergeant Clitheroe to the manhole where you think the girl tripped, or slipped, and fell into the sewer and you will survey it from underground down to the point at which her body was discovered, make detailed drawings of everything you find down there, I understand about a half-mile south-west, just before it meets the Fleet, is that correct Sergeant?" and Clitheroe smacked his lips, he wouldn't stand near the two Toffs when they emerged from that particular sewer! –

(by MissTeriWoman)


We were planning on salvaging flotsam, but we made landfall on the glacier and intended to rest and recuperate, but a shifting sérac caught us by surprise and nearly ended our journey. Then Jimmy had an epiphany of sorts and decided to adapt the skiff as a shelter until we could summon help.

(by OldRawgabbit)
The Quandary for Tuesday, January 16, 2018 consisted of: Challenge: use all four words together in one illustrative sentence.

Since September 2009, word lovers have offered 7809 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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