Quadrivial Quandary:  Logophiles, Rejoice!  Each day we give you four unusual words.  Can you fit them all in one illustrative sentence?

Quandary Resolutions by MissTeriWoman

  • #8381 submitted 02/20/2020: jape, womannap, judgment, bae, n.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

    Episode 11

    Previously: the shock of the murder not being a murder - yet, although it could still turn out to be so, if the victim didn't survive - seemed to have confused DI Enn Crusted, but the plucky DS Olive Major has risen to the occasion and taken control: read on. . . . .

    "Hey, Olive, bae," said Jenny Jones, the first paramedic, to DS Major, on entering the room, then stopped dead in her tracks as the scene of apparent carnage presented itself; "this somekinda jape," asked her mate, Lou Lewis, peering over the first one's shoulder, before reaching a definitive judgement: "bloody murder!" then shook herself as DI Crusted's head appeared from behind the sofa: "is he dead too?" she asked, whistling an appreciation of the enormity of the crime, "was it a womannap gone wrong?" but Olive now took control of the situation: "this woman is alive, but you'd better hurry, she's got some serious wounds, as for DI Crusted, he was the first on the scene and it hit him pretty hard, probably still suffering from shock," and the two uniformed women snapped into action mode, quickly assessing the injuries of the woman who was still sprawled on the sofa, finding a good heartbeat, inserting a cannula into the vein on the back of her hand and an oxygen mask to her face; they had a folding stretcher and soon had her strapped onto it and ready for the descent of the stairs, which was when the Police back-up arrived and two constables were deputed to help the paramedics with their cargo, while another, after donning a pair of gloves, made a cup of strong tea for the DI who, with the help of Major, sat in an armchair opposite the sofa sipping it, as Major briefed a uniformed Sergeant and asked her to trace the owner and possible tenant of the flat, as well as check on the identity of the belligerent brute who had almost killed Crusted and then chased herself through the mean streets; the Sergeant was able to report that the trussed and still unconscious attacker had been collected by a pick-up truck and transported to the Station, where he was under lock and key, after having been assessed by a Police Surgeon who guessed that his state had been caused by an unfortunately severe trauma to his testicles – he'll live, was the consensus but his future fun might be rather compromised: "shame," said DS Major, deadpan, and she could have been referring to the first part, or the second; which was when Enn Crusted, revived by the tea, suddenly got to his feet and walked over to a door in the far corner of the room: "do we know what's in here?" he asked, over his shoulder, and Olive Major told him she hadn't had a chance to check: "well, Marj, let's take a butchers," and turning the knob, opened it and stepped inside, with her hot on his heels.

    What lies Beyond? Are they making a Big Mistake? Will they Live to Tell The Tale? Will All be Revealed in Episode 12? Who Knows? Who Cares?????

  • #8380 submitted 02/19/2020: fanfaronade, rainmaker, eradicate, bastle house, n.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

    Episode 10

    Hitherto: we left the short, stocky, swarthy and surprisingly hirsute Olive Green Major staring in horror at the condition of her Boss, Enn Crusted, when she found him behind a blood-encrusted chaise longue on which a butchered woman's rather dead body lay oozing, read on – if you dare:

    "Enneas, can you hear me?" she spoke in a deeply compassionate, rather manly voice, resonate with baritone notes behind the natural soprano, Crusted groaned and his voice, dripping with an outpouring of saliva, made her heart ache and she quickly found a Rennies tablet in her handbag and popped it into her mouth, listening all the time to his scratchy wheeze: "it's The Rainmaker," whimpered Crusted, as Olive leaned over and touched his shoulder, gently, and he blew a raspberry, like a fanfaronade on a trumpet, then muttered: "this is his bastle house, more like an abattoirs!" he shuddered: "it's where he eradicates them, all of them," and he looked up at the Sergeant for the first time since she had entered the room: "Marj!" he cried, "what are you doing here, it's not safe, he could come back!" and then out of the corner of her eye, Major caught a faint movement, barely the flutter of a butterfly's wing, but she turned and looked closely, then pulled out her phone again and pressed 999: "send an ambulance to End of Time Street, blues and twos all the way, I've got a woman, badly injured but still alive!" and she saw that Crusted had heard, his face suffused with relief, his lips twitching like little dancing worms, while his eyebrows seemed to be two caterpillars doing a mazurka and his eyes were crossed like searchlight beams scanning the night sky for enemy bombers; which was when a shadow burst into the room and seemed to leap on them! quick as a flash, Major threw a glance over her shoulder, saw it bounce off something round and shiny, darted another which seemed to be absorbed by something dark and heavy, she turned and shot a double-barrelled stare which stopped the man in his tracks and the light in his eyes was extinguished; he dropped to the floor, jerked in the death-spasm of a ham actor, rolled about, knocking over a standard lamp, a small escritoire with a Queen Anne chair that Olive rather liked to look of and as the dying man crawled towards the door, she stepped over him and took a closer look at the chair; yes, it really was very nice indeed and with her jeweller's eye-piece she examined the joints and decided then and there that she would have it, it would go well in her little flat above Harry Ramsden's; now, in the distance, above the death rattle of the intruder, she could hear the fast-approaching emergency service vehicles, lit a cigarette and sauntered out to the landing, stepping carefully over the crying man; the moon was gone, the sky was inky, in the distance she could see the high-rise blocks, many windows bright, many others not and wondered why one should be lit and that next to it dark, these were the sort of reflections which came to her at times of crisis and, she supposed, showed that she was not just a Plod, a Copper, Pig, Filth, Rozzer, any of the other epithets applied to her profession, she was at heart, a romantic philosopher, a poet from another, perhaps rustic, sunnier, certainly less-industrialized time and place, transported to this modern inner-city district rife with violence, squalor, exploitation, crime, greed, drugs and sex for sale on every street corner, while hard-working parents struggled to support their children, give them a decent education and the moral compass to help them avoid the pot-holes and pit-falls around which they would have to walk to and from school, church, college, a Saturday job in Tesco or Asda, and the nearest Macs or Spoons with their mates: "fuck it," she thought, "Love Potion Number 9? it's a mug's game!" and waved down to the ambulance which had just pulled up at the bottom of the stairs: "this way, lads," she called to the paramedics, "hope you've got some Vic's, there's a bit of a stink up here."

    Is the woman whose body they found really alive, or dead, or does it just look like one or the other? how did Olive Major manage to do whatever she did to the new attacker, or was he just a casual passer-by who walked into the wrong place at the wrong time? these are just some of the questions which may not be answered in the next, inexplicable, episode of this x-rated tale, so don't miss Part 11 coming soon to a Screen near You.

  • #8379 submitted 02/17/2020: faff, hobbyist, probity, ice bolt, n.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

    Episode 9

    Well, fancy that! when we left End of Time Street, poor Olive Major was pinned beneath the incredible bulk of the Prime Suspect and could barely breathe but. . . . .renowned for her probity, we can be excused for expecting something outstanding from her in such a dire position, so, read on:

    With her brain working like a computer, DS Major didn't waste any time faffing about, she assessed her situation with the intensity of a hobbyist whose interests include Archery, Athletics, Boxing, Cycling, Chess and Draughts, Escapology, Fencing, Football – wait a bit, Escapology! how fortunate – she calculated the total weight under which she was pinned, braced her arms and legs, focussed her mind like an ice bolt on her sole objective, felt the cold steel in her determination and quickly heaved, twisted, turned and flung the thing like a sandbag, so that he rolled and tumbled across thee street, finishing up like a sack of spuds, leaning drunkenly against a wall; in a flash, Olive was on her feet, found a length of heavy duty chain and a massive padlock lying discarded just a few feet away and in no time had the unconscious villain trussed up like a chicken; she made a quick call to the Station and informed the Desk Sergeant that a lorry with lifting gear might be required to collect him rather than the usual wheel-barrow used for D&Is (Drunk and Incapable) on Friday and Saturday nights, then dashed on, towards the building where she had last seen her boss, DI Crusted, hanging about like a left-over Christmas Tree bauble – from the street she could see no sign of him, so dashed up the stairs, five steps at a time, until she reached to top landing – the door still hung askew after being barged open by the monster she had left chained and awaiting collection, cautiously, Olive pushed it aside and stepped slowly into the room; immediately she saw the viciously slashed and hacked corpse of a young woman sprawled on an ancient and blood-soaked sofa, but there was no apparent sign of Crusted; Olive pulled her back-up burner phone from her pocket and tapped a few keys, then waited; and after several seconds, she heard the DI's phone ringing, over to the left, and she quickly moved round the sofa but stopped short when she saw him, and the dreadful state of him!

    OMG! what on earth has happened to our Hero and how will our Heroine deal with this unexpected turn of events? find out in the next chilling episode, Love Potion Number 9!

  • #8378 submitted 02/16/2020: cummingtonite, deglutition, stipulate, crimp, v.4

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

    Episode 8

    Previously – Detective Sergeant Olive Major sat in Betty's Buns, oblivious to the disembodied voice of Detective Inspector Enn Crusted issuing from all over the floor, beseeching her speedy return to what was now a Murder Scene; read on:

    as she deglutited her jam doughnut, the DS came to a surprisingly quick decision, stipulated to herself that there would be absolutely no cummingtonite if she had any hand in the matter, and with a cheery wave to Betty, set off to retrace her steps, crimping over the crisp fresh snow that had fallen from the leaden sky, until she turned a corner and found herself, face to belly with the gigantic figure of the man mountain who had chased her earlier, but before he could spot her, she swung her bag, containing a set of grass bowls still damp from her morning game with Sergeant Lucy Lane before they started work, a weight-training kettle, a brick, her purse with warrant card, debit card, two credit cards, several five and ten pound notes, her car keys and house key, a possibly Ming vase she had spotted in a junk shop, her boxing gloves, vest, shorts and boots, a football and her kit for Bethnal Green Bombshells – the women police officers' team representing the local Nick – a travel iron, hair straightener, her running gear, three library books she had planned to return today – but that now seemed a forlorn hope – the packed lunch she hadn't had time to open, never mind eat, a six-pack of cat food cans - apparently As Good As It Looks although Olive had never thought it looked particularly good and had no intention of trying to find out - for her two Moggies, Bubble and Squeak, her police radio and a spare burner she carried just in case anything happened to her personal mobile: "fuck!" she thought, "why didn't I think of that, when I dropped my phone in Betty's Buns and it smashed on the floor?" and brought it slamming into the unbelievable hulk's crown jewels with a force that actually knocked him out cold as soon as the severe pain shot instantly through his body and short-cut his brain, and he crashed to the pavement and lay motionless; unfortunately, Olive was now pinned under his enormously heavy body and could hardly breath, let alone cry for help!

    will she get out of that unfortunate predicament before the dead-weight on top of her recovers consciousness and realises that she is the police woman he had chased earlier and was responsible for the severe injury to his private parts? only by reading episode 9 of this tantalising tale, almost unbelievable in it's horrendousness, yet quite possibly absolutely true, when you think about it, can you find out.

  • #8377 submitted 02/15/2020: cummingtonite, meet cute, vinaceous, mug, v.1

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street Episode 7

    The story so far: Detective Sergeant Olive Major is in a proper Quadrivial Quandary; should she act like the meet cute girl in a cheesy rom-com and rush to be in the arms of her imperilled boss, Detective Inspector Enn Crusted, or live up to the image of her flaming vinaceous locks and disappear into the night, Madam Mystery to a T, or perhaps under cover of the mug – that mizzle which kept all but the most haunted from the mean streets – slink back to the lonely spot where she had left Crusted hanging by the thread of a ludicrous narrative, establish exactly what was happening, and then dial 999 and under the cloak of anonymity, report the possible murder of her friend, mentor and pub quiz partner, but, on the other hand, should she just have a toasted tea-cake with her coffee? read on:

    indecisively, she stared at the pieces of her shattered, scattered phone, the memory of the DI's scream still ringing in her ears, then, with incredulity drawn to the extreme she heard his voice, somehow the elements of the instrument still seemed capable of transmitting, although words, sometimes merely syllables, seemed to come from different places – under a chair, over by the door, in the curious puddle outside the door of the Gents (a misnomer surely) or beneath the serving-hatch, from where Betty, the proprietor of Betty's Buns, watched with a dreamy expression on her otherwise placid face; and the gist of those disparate sounds was: "for...pity's...sake...help...me...I...'ve...found...the...body...of...a...woo...man...horr...ibly...mur...durr...d...blood...ev...ry...where...we...need...four...en...sicks...back...up...door...too...door...cord...on...round...nay...bor...hood...can...you...hear...me...Marj...where...are...you...when...your...knee...dead...the...perp...et...trai...or...might...be...cumm...ing...too...night...two...dis...pose...of...her...MARJ!" the last sound, a petulant squawk of the name by which he inexplicably and invariably addressed her, decided her: "Betty, can I have one of your jam doughnuts, please?"

    the story will continue to confuse, puzzle, distress and depress the many fans who have found the Mysterious Adventures of Crusted and Major a source of unease and perplexity for over a hundred years, but what indeed will happen next? will anyone respond to DI Crusted's heartfelt plea, or will it remain scattered and forgotten on the dirty floor of Betty's Buns while DS Major suffers the pangs of indigestion? the only way to discover what passes here for the truth is to get hold of Episode 8.

  • #8375 submitted 02/14/2020: cummingtonite, love interest, Cupid, literose, adj.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street Episode 6

    Previously: Detective Inspector Enn Crusted was left dangling by one hand from a bannister forty feet above certain death, abandoned by his Sergeant, Olive Major, who had fled in terror from the gigantic Brute who had so casually pitched her Boss to his doom, she now sat in a small café, uncertain as to what to do next; Read on:

    Meanwhile, by dint of his years of Callisthenics, Judo, Gymnastics and Escapology, it took Crusted but a moment to perform a back-somersault and land nimbly on the other side of the bannister; he glanced around, his laser-eyes satisfying him that his attacker was gone - he felt he really had to hand it to his quick-witted assistant who had shown great pluck by distracting the Fiend and drawing him away, indeed, he would recommend her for a gallantry medal when this case was solved - slowly, Crusted pushed open the green door and entered the Beast's lair, his nose crinkling at the acrid aroma of cummingtonite, his torch picking out the Monster's gallery of Page 3 Girls that were the obvious stimulation for his handiwork, and the DI wondered if he was a kind of King Kong searching for his own Fay Wray, but "pah!"pseudo-psychological musings were not for this Man of Action and he thought again of DS Major – perhaps Cupid's arrow had struck him, for he now felt something different from his usual disdain, was Marj becoming a love-interest for him? she was perhaps a little too literate, something of a literose, in fact, but don't opposites attract, like magnetic poles? or Czechs and Poles? or Noughts and Crosses? without noticing the dead body sprawled on a blood-soaked sofa, he sat down heavily on it's arm – the sofa's, not the corpse's – and took out his phone, quickly entering the Sergeant's number: "DS Olive Major," she said, "is that you, Guv?" her normally husky voice now breathless but also sounding relieved to receive a call from the DI's phone, although she was dreading to hear a strange voice, perhaps someone who had found him impaled on the spiked railings far beneath where she had left him hanging about: "Marj, it's me, DS Crusted," it was his voice, her heart skipped a beat and hopped about on the table, "I want to thank you for saving my life, how about dinner tonight at that narrow-boat, the Italian restaurant in Little Venice, remember? what's it called, Borgia's? the one where we nabbed that murderous chef who poisoned all those diners? it seems his sister Lucrezia's taken it over, got it back in business, so, as it's thanks to us that she's been able to inherit it, we could maybe call in a favour? what do you say?" and he glanced to his left, saw the staring, sightless eyes, the near severed neck and the blood-drenched frock and his scream so frightened Major that she dropped her phone and saw it smash to smithereens on the floor! what should she do now? well, really, she should hurry back to see if the Giant had returned and was trying to batter him to death, or summon back-up and wait till they had secured the crime-scene, or alternatively, she could finish her coffee and perhaps have another; put yourself in her shoes – what would YOU do in such a delicate situation? answers on the back of a stamp to QQ, but to find out what really happened next, wait for Episode 7 of this Ghastly Tale.

  • #8374 submitted 02/12/2020: cockloft, living fossil, resile, letterato, n.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street Episode 4

    The story so far: after giving vent to her latest Limerick – a form of therapy the Force's resident psychologist had recommended to DS Major, recognising her as a fellow letterato, a kindred spirit – DI Crusted gave her a curious look, almost of pity, but pity tainted by scorn, but he did not resile from her, rather he stepped closer; no read on:

    "Hey oop, lass," he grunted, in a Yorkshire kind of way, although he was no Northerner, indeed was no Southerner, Easterner or even Westerner, having been born in the Midlands and was inordinately proud of his Black Country roots: "let's tak a peep in that cockloft, 'appen therr might be a livin' fossil 'oled oop in therr," and he pointed to an outside stair that led up a crumbling, sooty, rain-streaked gable to a small door just under the eves and, leading the way, he placed his feet carefully on each slippery stone-flagged tread as he cautiously climbed, his torch pointing just ahead of his feet and conscious of Major being close behind; when he reached the platform off which the door led, Crusted waited for Major to join him and then gave the door a shave and a haircut, followed after a beat, by two bits, much to the Sergeant's disapproval: "there are rules," she muttered, "regarding the Official Police Knock, and that certainly doesn't conform to any of them!" by the Inspector didn't give a fig for rules, didn't give tuppence, couldn't give a monkeys, couldn't care less, in fact, decided Major, Detective Inspector Enn Crusted is an Anarchist, and wondered if she should denounce him to Special Branch, but knew that was unlikely, for despite everything, the constant friction, antipathy and mutual loathing, she knew, deep in her heart of hearts, that she loved him, and that he loved her – for a Detective Sergeant she had no understanding of other people; suddenly there was a crash, the sound of smashing glass, the door flew open – outward – knocking Crusted off his feet and pitching him over the railings, but he just managed to grab a hold of one of the uprights, although he was left dangling over a forty-foot drop as through the doorway came a hulking brute, wielding a crowbar threateningly at the Sergeant, who was teetering on the edge of the platform, trying to decide whether to disarm the monster first, then save her Inspector and – putative – lover, or save him before tackling the man mountain, and in the end she took the most pragmatic course, which was down the stairs three at a time, as fast as her little legs could carry her so that she was six yards ahead when she reached the road and twenty when she turned the corner and she didn't stop for breath until she was sure that there was no sound of his pounding feet coming after her; she found a little café still open, ordered a coffee – a latte – and a cream doughnut and when these had been placed on the table before her, took out her phone and dialled the Inspector's number, just to check that he was okay.

    Is this the behaviour of a love-lorn woman, or a psychopath? find out in the next trilling episode, coming soon to a computer near you!

  • #8373 submitted 02/11/2020: titular, radium, obloquy, French cut, n. and adj.

    There once was a titular King,

    Gave his Queen an old Radium Ring,

    Obloquy she heaped,

    On that worm as he creeped,

    Up the French Cut to buy her some Bling!

  • #8372 submitted 02/10/2020: interdigitate, body camera, debonair, religieuse, n.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

    Episode 4

    Previously, a strangely familiar voice had halted Detective Inspector Crusted and Detective Sergeant Major in their tracks; read on: "Quick, Marj," snapped the suave, handsome, debonair, some might also say 'dapper' Inspector and at the command "interdigitate," the pair locked themselves together with a swish like the sound of two hands clasping, as in the old Zen Buddhist kōan thingy, "body camera on?" he barked softly, and the Sergeant replied, "yes, affirmative, Guv," and that was when she appeared, before their very eyes, out of the foul, filthy, freezing, fog, and as silent as the grave. . . . .a religieuse, smoking a cigarette and looking like: "bloody Sister Nora from Notting Hill!" said Crusted, "hey, Nora, what are you doing here? we busted you for soliciting at St Paul's, chased you out of Westminster Abbey for propositioning the Dean, then St Martin-in-the-fields for unlawful acts with Choir Boys, and now. . . . ." which was when the street lights went out and they heard a blood-curdling scream just ahead, where Nora the Naughty Nun had been trolling for business;

    does Nora know anything the Detectives don't? or is she just leading them up the graveyard path? will the scream take them nearer, or further from their goal? or is the ball already on the slates for Old Scotland Yard's finest? discover the truth if you dare, in Episode 5 of this pea-souper of a tale – a bowl of green vomit hides many a secret!

  • #8371 submitted 02/09/2020: calash, gassy, expunge, Zeuxis, n.

    The Quest for Answers in End of Time Street

    Episode 3

    The Story So Far: the famous quartet, known internationally as The Fearless Four, Ralph Waldo Enderby, Edgar Allan Ponsonby, Olivia Wendell Howsyourfather and James Fenimore Drooper, together with their dog, Dierdre, were last seen entering the Boneyard of Messrs Scilly, Willy and Quilly, by appointment Knackers to HM The Queen of Heligoland, on the corner of Waltzing Way and Backwater Junction, just minutes before a terrible explosion rent the air for £30 a night excluding Breakfast, and have never been seen again; now, 75 years later, Detective Inspector Enn Crusted and Detective Sergeant Olive Major, of Old Scotland Yard are closing in on the dreadful secret hidden beneath the slime and grime of this grisly crime scene! will the daring detective duo solve this centuries-old mystery expunge the fiendish villains? will the burnt bones in a prehistoric sandwich take them closer to their quarry or by ambulance to St George's A&E with food poisoning? is Dierdre the Missing Link in the chain that leads from St Prendergast's ghastly and grisly grimace down through the centuries to Yesterday's Edinburgh Evening News Special on Infamous Scotch Pies and their Gristly Contents – if you have a delicate stomach and an irritable bowel, be warned: This Story Will Cause you Distress, but if you wish to further your knowledge of Espionage, see our latest in the series: Macramé Master-Spies and learn how Double Cross Stitch Fooled The Nasties, with a special supplement on Double Knitting and it's application in the Cool War Era: Read on. . . . .

    suddenly, in the Stygian gloom of the New Moon, where they stood stock-still, like waxworks in a painting of Madame Tussaud's by Zeuxis, Detective Sergeant Major's telephone burped, loudly, like a gassy fart, but not too loudly, yet in the utter silence it sounded like a foghorn, and as Major wrestled with it, the howling gale tore it from her flailing fingers and sent it skittering across the cobbles like a calash bonnet caught in a gust of putrid wind, while an unearthly voice boomed out from it, in a strange, rather eerie, yet vaguely familiar voice: "ye are Doomed, Doomed, Thrice Doooooooomed!" to find out what happened next don't miss Episode 4 of this terrifyingly inane tale of squalor, depravity and utter nonsense.

  • #8370 submitted 02/08/2020: calash, pipe, lenticular, mauvais quart d'heure, n.

    At which very moment, in Berlin some 25 years later according to some – who prefer their Time to be linear, the fools! - a lenticular focussed the morning sun at a point above the road, along which the cavalcade was imminent, but first to be blinded were two motorcycle outriders, who never saw the two American Majors, J Alfred Prufrock and Holly Martins, deftly pull the piano wire into place, strung from lamp-posts on opposite pavements; it was just at the correct height – or wrong, depending on who you were – to decapitate the pair instantly, by which time the driver of the black, open-top Mercedes was next to be blinded and, immediately afterwards, the two passengers – Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler and Prince Alexander of Yugoslavia – at which point everyone in the vicinity, with the exceptions of the Americans, the Bulgarian, Vlado Chernozemsky, and their co-conspiritors who were all fitted with excellent ear-plugs, as deafened when the massive pipe-bomb, placed previously in the sewer under the middle of the road, exploded with a massive


    at which point Chernozemsky himself, dressed incongruously in a black ball-gown, complete with a calash bonnet and veil, was catapulted into the air where, suspended by two strong rubberised ropes attached to the roofs of the buildings on either side, sprayed the car – and, of course, it's occupants – with bullets from his sub-machine-gun! he gave the thumbs up as the interior foot-well of the car was filled with the blood of his targets; he slashed the ropes and dropped immediately into the rear seat of the Daimler, driven by Prince Hubertus of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha which had only slowed for a second to receive it's passenger; everyone else piled in, several stood on the running-boards and even Uncle Hans Steckrübe clung to the trunk as Hubertus drove wildly through Berlin to where the Pink Pussy Wagon was parked in Unter Den Linden; once everyone was safely inside, Palestrina MacFarlane and Gertie Mountcastle in the cab drove hell-for-leather and even above thre roar of the engine, could hear the celebration party behind them: "a toast," said Prufrock, "to all who ride to safety in the Pink Van, l'haim, what a mauvais quart d'heure we have achieved today, thanks to Vlado and his Stink-Bomb and of course, yourselves!" there was a rousing cheer and even Pal and Gertie in the cab took a sip of Laphraoigh and drove on, to Freedom and Victory!

  • #8337 submitted 02/07/2020: calash, finesse, infantilize, o, n.5

    Once Grigor was safely restored to the sleeping compartment he shared with Old Rumpole, joiner, cabinet-maker and in charge of constructing scenery and, often, props, furnished with a large glass of schnapps, his face paler than when, puffing and panting, he had been hauled aboard the moving train, Jakob asked him what the Horseman had meant by referring to the date 1452, and Grigor laughed, "that's a long time ago, Boss, a bit before my time, to tell the truth, I think he was mixing up a date and a time, you know, eight minutes to three in the afternoon," but Jakob recognised a finesse when he heard one and not wanting to appear to be infantilizing Grigor, merely nodded and left him in the care of the Pinkus sisters, Pearl fanning him with her calash bonnet, while Pola had created an o of pillows, enfolding the old man's tired body in a feathery hug.

  • #8336 submitted 02/06/2020: saber-rattling, koha, canard, summa rerum, n.

    The station was at Schaanwald in Liechtenstein, and rather than the Swiss Army waiting for them at the Customs Post just before the village itself, it was a group of four armed men on horseback, sabre-rattling while their leader waved a piece of very official-looking paper at them, then, when he had the attention of all the passengers, plus the entire crew of the train, he read in a fiery sort of voice: "we, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, are sent at the Command of The Creator, to Apprehend and Conduct one Grigor Haffinch to the Presence of The Creator to answer Serious Charges, viz. That he did represent himself as The Anti-Christ on Tuesday the 7th of March 1452 AD and conjoin with and support three Fallen Angels, to wit: Lucifer Lucianus, Basil Beelzebub and Nigel Gnome in their failed attempt to overthrow The Creator and set themselves up as a Ruling Troika over the Entirety of Creation. . . . ." but Grigor, who had appeared at a carriage doorway, yelled out: "it's a canard, a pack of lies, I don't know these people he's talking about, they're trying to frame me, poor, honest old Grigor, the Doorman, what use would I be to Angels? tell me that, you Windbag!" but the spokesman merely stood higher on his stirrups and in an icily steady voice, merely said: "this Warrant is issued summa rerum and in the interests of the Public Good, will be complied with immediately!" which was when all Hell broke loose – Grigor threw a saucepan he must have seized from the galley and it hit the spokesman on the head, knocking him out cold and sending him to the platform, then Grigor dived across the carriage and jumped out of the door on the other side, while the three horsemen still mounted seemed unsure as to whether they ought to attend to their unconscious leader, or chase after Grigor, which was when Pola Pinkus cried out: "you dirty, rotten swine, picking on poor, defenceless Grigor, well – you know what a koha is? a reciprocated gift, well you might not thank me for it, but here's what I'm giving you in return for frightening that poor old man!" and in rapid succession, three well aimed eggs hit the other riders on their faces and in sheer shock and probably disbelief, they too fell off their horses and with a roar of triumph, the entire company of Cabaret Voltaire, together with the train's crew and staff, were off the train and on them and in no time, they were all four trussed up like chickens in the Guard's Van, their horses set loose and the train moved off, picking up Grigor barely half a mile after passing through Schaanwald.

  • #8335 submitted 02/05/2020: cavalcade, who would have thunk it, ancillary, hipparchy, n.

    "What's that outside?" exclaimed Tristan Tzara, astonished, pointing,

    "the Seventh Cavalry?" asked Lionel Bart, bemused, rolling his eyes,

    "it's Alexander's Ragtime Band," drawled Irving Berlin, rolling his eyes knowingly,

    "it's a hipparchy," trilled Hildegard von Bingen, waving gaily, flirtatiously,

    "an ancillary division of the Swiss Army," suggested Pierre the waiter, confidently, setting down more drinks,

    "but why?" enquired Gilbert, the other waiter, carrying in a tray of schnitzel, and shaking his head in disbelief,

    "to welcome us to Switzerland," Kermit Hackensack assured them, proprietorially, while tapping the side of his nose, conspiratorially, as if he had paid for it, like the train, and perhaps he had,

    "it's a Cavalcade!" said Paula Heidler-Wolff, to her brother Dada, having just entered the Dining Car, arm in arm,

    "it's got nothing to do with me, I hope," muttered Grigor Haffinch, the Doorman, slinking past, on his way to the caboose for a smoke,

    and they were all wrong, but who woulda thunk it?

  • #8334 submitted 02/04/2020: bezoar, cachexia, scumble, paralogism, n.

    "And that, Tristan, laddie, is why you ain't a songwriter – four words, four syllables too many, sometimes you gotta scumble a bit, you shoulda stopped with 'stuck in the middle with you' which is a nice line, it's gonna be a hit one of these days," said Issy, "and if I ever use it, I'll pay you a royalty," and Lionel added: "you should've become an accountant, Issy," but his friend waved the insult away, saying: "my momma wanted to be able to introduce me to her friends as 'my son the Doctor,' but I couldn't stand the idea of being surrounded by sick people, people with diseases, or the dying, or even already dead; I didn't want to become intimately acquainted with bed-sores or bezoars, cachexia or proctopexia, fibroids or hemorrhoids, to be forever poking around in the body's orifices and sticking my nose in where it definitely didn't want to go; do you get that Tristan?" and, thus unexpectedly addressed, the youngest occupant of the table blushed and said: "to be honest, Issy, I think there's a paralogism in there somewhere, but I'm damned if I can work out just where it is!" and Lionel laughed, and shouted: "fetch some nurses, we've got to operate immediately, or he's a goner!" and Issy cried out: "who you callin' a gonef? you can't say I'm not honest, just because I didn't have a chance to steal one of your songs!" and turning to Tzara, said triumphantly: "now that, my boy, would be a paralogism!"

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