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

  • #7894 submitted 04/27/2019: zoilus, recrudescence, logy, scribblemania, n.

    It should go without saying that A Putsch in Time was an instant hit with the patrons of Mimsy Whimsy's; no zoilus in the house to pour cold water or sneer, no place for the recrudescence which bemoans, laments, or disdains a product of the Zeitgeist here; oh no, the men and women who had sat with rapt attention may have been left rather logy by the climax – which was quite unexpected and extremely daring, but nonetheless leapt to their feet to give a standing ovation and, when it was realised that the author of the book was in their midst, and an absolute stunner! well, you can imagine . . . . . so there is no need to indulge in scribblemania here; suffice it to say that Mr Sheehy-Skeffington was swept away by an overabundance of sudden, instant, admirers and that was the last poor Savile Rowe saw of him and it was Mimsy himself who spotted the Assistant Editor of QQ, his absolutely favourite satirical journal and one which he read avidly from cover to cover, filing away sundry bon mots for his own future use, and came over to commiserate and cheer up: "dear Mr Rowe," the voice was huskier than expected from the delicate features and dainty figure, but it had an intensity which in itself stirred Savile, who returned the gaze and smiled back; "what cam I do," murmured Mimsy, "to cheer you up, you are a dear friend and it distresses me to see you looking so glum – forget the boy, he may be an Adonis now, but remember what happened to Narcissus, recall the proud words of Ozymandius, and who remembers Sylvester MacGillycuddy?" and in puzzlement, Savile asked? "who?" at which Mimsy snapped his fingers, summoning a bottle of the House's finest real Champagne and, as he poured it, he smiled back at the Assistant Editor and breathed, sotto voce: "exactly!"

  • #7893 submitted 04/26/2019: zoilus, prozymite, putsch, sprucify, v.

    But what to do next? that is often the first thought of a young man, and in our present times, young woman, on leaving University and entering what might be termed The Real World; well, in Mimsy Whimsey's case, the problem was solved when his Grandfather, the Duke of Mansionhouse died peacefully and, the old prozymite probably hoping to curry favour with his God by his beneficences, among his many bequests was one of £5,000 to Mimsy; what a windfall! and he knew just what he wanted to do with a packet like that: for £250 he purchased the leasehold of an old Music Hall in the East End of London, Tottie Taylor's Travaganza, renamed it Mimsy Whimsey's Whirligig and set about establishing it as a truly Avant Garde venue for music, dance, and all of the arts which interested him; instead of rows of seats facing a stage, with an orchestra pit and a programme of comedians, singers, and the usual Music Hall turns, Mimsy Whimsey's was rather like a night-club of the 1920's and 30's: a scattering of tables, a well-stocked bar, dance-floor and a podium where a small orchestra or band could be grouped, and from where torch-singers would sing the kind of songs that stoked the fires of passion and encouraged an explosion of emotions; oh, such was the stuff of Mimsy Whimsey's, where the audience – predominantly men, but occasionally women whose inclinations, quite legal, but nevertheless, practised with the same discretion as the men's – felt themselves free to express themselves openly; in fact, the presence of such women was what gave the place an air of decadent respectability – in the event of a police raid, the pairings on the dance floor took on an air of acceptable heterosexuality, although raids were uncommon, for the bribes ensured that; but don't, for goodness sake, get the impression that this is a high-class brothel, or, to use the common vernacular, knocking shop! only a zoilus would suggest such a thing, for it is dedicated not to sex, but art, and occasionally the art of sex, but particularly the most modern musicians, composers, librettists, dancers and poets, painters and puppeteers fought to present their work here, and the patrons expected the entertainment to be of the very highest standards; Mimsy himself attended every evening and, naturally, was the principal choreographer – not of the ballets performed on the dance-floor, nor was he a composer or song-writer; Mimsy choreographed the interactions of the audience - he it was who introduced Sebastian Smooth to Robbie Rough, Professor Gilbert Greybeard from Cambridge to young Printer's Devil 'Arry 'Iggins of 'Arringay - and he was an Artist in the Science of Human Attraction; of course, Mimsy still had his Court, his entourage of admirers, and at the age of twenty-seven, still as flamboyantly dressed; cross-dressers benefited from Mimsy's interests, feeling themselves positively encouraged to be as extravagant or demure as they pleased - in this particular area there was no limit, beyond the capability and wit of the participant, flair was encouraged, hesitancy salved, an ability to pass praised, for it was at Mimsy's that Sir Quentin Benedict met Charlotte Bell, whom he courted with an old-fashioned sense of decorum and married just three months later - benefiting from a forged birth certificate for the Lady! – and when Savile Rowe, Assistant Editor of QQ signed himself in as a Member, with Adonis Sheehy-Skeffington as his Guest, they found the dance-floor quite sprucified and bedecked with bouquets of flowers in preparation for a short operetta to be performed by members of the D'Oyly Carte Company, accompanied by a number of players from the London Philharmonic Orchestra, dressed, for some reason which, may become obvious, as Roman Senators in their Purple; it was with some astonishment that Savile and, particularly, Adonis caught sight of a colourful poster announcing the World Première of A Putsch in Time, by the outstanding young Irish composer, Brendan Browne and librettist, Adonis Sheehy-Skeffington! confusion, understanding, appreciation, exhilaration, delectation, swept across the young man's face: "the ould bugger, Brendan, must've sent it over, oh the rogue, the rascal, the divil hisself!" and Savile called to a passing waiter for a bottle of champagne and, finding a table for two, pressed Adonis into a chair and gave him a cigar: "well, my dear, now we really do have something to celebrate – your success is assured and," raising his glass towards the young men, "may this be a Night to Remember!"

  • #7892 submitted 04/25/2019: apollo, chur, nonpareil, skinkle, v.

    Now, if you haven't heard of Mimsy Whimsey's, don't apologise to me for the gaps in your education, just pin back your lugholes, focus your wandering peepers, and I'll begin: Mimsy was born Montague Whimsey, the bastard son of the bastard son of one or other of the Duke of Mansionhouse's legitimate brood; although his mother worked Below Stairs the old Duke had rather a penchant for his and his children's illegitimate offspring and they – I think six or seven of them at that particular timewere given free reign about the Palace, The Place as the family called it, although now it has been given to the Lord Mayor of London as his official residence and is known as the Mansion House and even has it's very own own station in the London Underground, on the District and Circle Lines; well, Mimsy, as he became known at Oxford, was something of an Apollo and soon attracted quite a following, being the undoubted nonpareil among the undergraduates, with his striking, rather feminine looks, his golden hair which, it is said, had never been cut in his life and was, therefore, a mass of curls falling well over his shoulders, and, of course, his dress which, at a time when men were tending to dress in sober, formal, dark and drab garments, were quite stunning: he had acquired a taste for scarlet, cobalt blue, dazzling green, vivid yellow, and for contrast, deep indigo and violet, in silks and satins, somewhat in the style of Elizabethan courtiers and dandies, so, of course, as he skinkled, he was noticed; not, it must be conceded, always approved of, particularly by his Teachers, who tended to frown when they caught sight of Mimsy, strolling hand in hand with The Honourable This, or Sir That, or the Marquis of the Other when the luxuriantly bewhiskered face of the Professor of Greek, Cuthbert Cuttance, would grunt: "deplorable, chur! – utterly butterly disgusting, chur, chur!" and the tonsured Professor of Religious Studies, the Right Reverend Smedley Bede would smirk: "one wonders what the world is coming to, chur, there was never anything so openly, brazenly depraved in our day, chur, chur!" and the Greek would invite the Religious to his rooms for a cup of Darjeeling and perhaps a little game of Blind Man's Buff!

  • #7891 submitted 04/24/2019: fortean, loath, writhe, cheery-bye, int.

    "cheery-bye," cried Savile Rowe, as he and Adonis Sheehy-Skeffington linked arms and made towards the door, "we're off to Mimsy Whimsey's to listen to some Fortean Fusion, it's a Nouvelle Musique Concrete ensemble, don'tcha know!" and with a patter of feet they were gone, as Barnaby Rudge turned to Theresa and Dirk: "loath a I am to speak behind people's backs, you understand," he whispered, "but the thought of grown men writhing to that kind of Musique gives me the heeby-jeebies, but what can one expect from Aesthetes, eh? of course, I blame Walter Pater, he encourages that sort of behaviour, and of course, Posing is all in Vogue now, no more Dashing White Sergeants or Gay Gordons for them, ah, those were the days, when men were Men and women were Ladies, but that's all gone, such a shame but never mind me, Miss Somerville, Mr Doubleday, you don't want to listen to the mawkishness of an old man, go off, have fun, and make a start on that series, it could be a new direction for QQ - no more Quietly Quaint, light a powder-keg and toss it into the literary milieu, see what floats to the surface, I'll stop here a bit, Waitress, come fill my glass, I have room for six Scotches more! TTFN, my dears, I'll see you when I see you, if you don't see me first, tarrarranoo," as Teri and Dirk leave and the door swings shut behind them.

  • #7890 submitted 04/23/2019: croesus, Gramarye, inexorable, decisory, adj.

    Which, in short, is how it came about that Messrs Barnaby Rudge and Savile Rowe, the illustrious Editor and Assistant Editor respectively, of the popular literary, satirical, political and artistic journal, QQ, found themselves joined at their lunch table by Miss Theresa Somerville and her young Irish companion, Mister Adonis Sheehy-Skeffington, the avant-garde librettist from Dungannon, in Ireland, of whom they had already heard so much, for, it may be a truism, but that doesn't make it any less true, that news from the smaller of the two larger British Isles travels faster to London on Gramarye, than from Belfast to Cork, or Tipperary to Dublin, "and such is life," sighed Mr Rowe, fastidiously adjusting his monocle, the better to examine this young Adonis who took the chair opposite him and more than lived up to his name and reputation; which was when Dirk Doubleday appeared and pulled out the chair beside Theresa: "why, Mr Doubleday," said Barnaby, "how did you . . . . ?" but Dirk simply smiled: "it was Miss Siddons," he said, "she intimated to me that she had met you, Miss Somerville, and told me you might be lunching with Mr Rudge and Mr Rowe here, so I thought this would be a good chance to sample the Dopiaza I've heard so much about and tell you about the idea I had for a series of articles on Universal Suffrage, which I believe you may be interested in," and Theresa agreed that if it also argued particularly for Female Suffrage it could certainly appeal to QQ's growing female readership and she would be delighted to work with Dirk on some articles; "we can interview John Stuart Mill and Henry Fawcett," she said, "and I know some of the women in the Kensington Society and I'm sure they would be more than happy to be involved," which Dirk agreed would be extremely useful, "although they are pretty much all middle-class, and single, and, it must be admitted, comfortably off, at the very least, and it would help if we can find working-class, married women, mothers even, and get their views – have you met Karl Marx, the German philosopher? both he and Friederich Engels are willing to meet us," and Theresa realized that he had not been simply thinking about the project, he had already made contact with some good sources, and there was something quite inexorable about Mr Doubleday, which belied his non de plume of a Gentleman's Gentleman, "although I'm not sure how many revolutionary ideas our esteemed editors will be willing to make space for; and Theresa had a sudden thought, so turning to Barnaby she asked him: "am I correct in thinking, Mr Rudge, that you were at university with William Morris?" and he confirmed her belief, "yes, of course, we were contemporaries at Oxford and both joined the Birmingham Set," so she went on: "do you think he would be interested in discussing Mr Doubleday's idea for a series of articles on Universal Suffrage?" and after a few moments thought, Barnaby agreed, adding: "though, he might want to focus on the largely disenfranchised Proletariat, because as a Communist he wants to encourage working people, both women and men, to be participants in Society and especially Government – what is that phrase from President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address? 'of the People, by the People, for the People' - now that is the kind of Campaign that QQ could provide an excellent platform for; and forgive me if I sound like an opportunistic proprietor, but it would also be an ideal means for us to increase and widen our readership, I have often thought that we are perhaps in a niche, one that we share with Punch but in any direct competition, I am afraid that we lose, and one way of improving our commercial viability would be to champion causes which have a wider appeal, to both men and women and cut across the different Class boundaries; the Penny Dreadfuls sell mostly to young Working-Class men, there are any number of romantic publications aimed at young, Working and Middle-Class, women, but not a lot that attracts everyone, across the Classes and ages and to men and women alike; if we take up the cause of Universal Suffrage, looking at the different constituencies – Working and Middle-Class Men, and also Women, because of their different needs and ambitions – we might just hit on something! look, I can't give you a blank cheque, but if you can put together a proposal, find contributors, and a range of themes – educational opportunities, welfare, suffrage, parliamentary reform, including the House of Lords, and employment – that would turn QQ into a real campaigning paper, not just an amusement to while away a dreary journey, or a rainy afternoon, we might even give Punch a run for it's money, and Mark Lemon a bloody nose – he's always cocking a snook at us, as if we are poor relations – and this might just be the time for me to draw on my connection to Hablot Browne, my wife is a cousin to his wife, and a few covers by Phiz would certainly not do us any harm, though we mustn't let our enthusiasm run away with us, none of us are going to be as rich as Croesus, but I'm sure we all deserve to earn a fair remuneration for our work," and then he turned to Adonis, saying: "and perhaps, Mr Sheehy-Skeffington, you would be interested in contributing an Anthem to accompany some of these articles? how about one 'For The Common Man' or maybe 'On the Rights of Women' and perhaps 'We're All God's Children'? now, please don't worry that I'm trying to give you the Titles, or the content, I wouldn't dream of it, I'm an Editor, not an Author! but it would be wonderful if, should any particular group decide to march on Parliament, and chain itself to the railings, Heaven Forfend, it had it's own Marching Song and the words were printed in QQ! don't you agree?" and addressed in such decisory terms, what else could Adonis do but nod his assent, although he had not the faintest idea what the Editor was talking about, his attention and conversation having been focussed entirely on Mr Rowe, whose own attention and his conversation, had likewise been given entirely to the handsome young Irishman, who more than anyone, quite lived up to his name, for this was truly a case of lust at first sight for the pair of them!

  • #7889 submitted 04/22/2019: adonis, agrology, intoxicate, dopiaza, n.

    Time blurs and bends, days merge, fold and stretch: is this Tuesday or Saturday, Monday already? was yesterday the day before, between or tomorrow? is the year 1066, 34, 1793 or 1868? outside the Irish/Parthian/Indian restaurant, the only one of it's kind in Dungannon, or indeed, the whole of Ireland, snow is lightly falling, while in London a dense fog has descended, a true pea-souper! as we step out of the place where Napper Tandy is already established as the best customer MacFarlane and Doubleday will ever have, and they consider the implications, but let us leave them, for the nonce, to their contemplation of the consequences which their sale may have for the History of the Future, as we take that slight shuffle to the left which results in us being sucked up by the Pneumatic Tube and deposited in another time and place where, as though it were just an inch or two behind us, the echo of MacFarlane's voice can still be heard, ordering a round of the finest Irish Malt with which to seal the bargain, while around us there is a hustle and bustle as voices emerge from the fog, before their owners catch up with them; two young women hurry along and bump into us, women whom you may not recognise, but I know them intimately, Fanny and Stella, and we apologise for standing stupidly in their way and move aside to let them pass, with their parasols, flashing eyes and twinkling feet, and like ghosts in the night we make our way to the corner house, one which doubles as the home and the surgery of Dr Edward Jekyll, and a light in the window tells us that he is in residence, along with his sister, who is also his nurse, and a former patient who has become their ward: young Miss Gracie Long or the erstwhile Lady Griselda of Longformacus, have you heard of her? "no, should I?" well, if you had been paying attention to this journal you certainly would, but no matter, my young Adonis – you have spent too long on your studies in agrology, it's time you got out into the real world, look, do you see that figure in a doorway, with a pale face and dark hair? but the fog thickens and when it clears she is gone, but not before I realise that I have seen her before, the brunette in The Pink Police Gazette! and we quicken our pace and soon overtake her and I call her name: Sadie! Sadie Siddons! she stops on the edge of the kerb and turns, wary, but when she sees me she exclaims: "wy, if it ain't Miss Theresa Somerville, my word! Bless my Soul! where you bin? wot yer bin a-doin of? that frend o yours, Dirk Doubleday? 'im wot used ter be in the employ of Sir P, 'e's bin askin fer yer, sez 'e's got some ideas fer that QQ yer both writes fer, even the Editor and 'is Assistant came by – mind, they wis both a bit intoxicated, so I didn't let them in, but they sed iffen yer wis ter show yer face, would yer do them the honour – that wis wot they sed, the honour - o dinin wiv them at that new place next ter the Argyle Rooms, some sort o forrin place it is, an Mr Rudge, 'e sez ter tell yer they duz a lovely Dopiaza, wotevva that is, don't sound like pie an mash ter me, but each ter their own, sez I, but oo's yer frend 'ere? – is yer lookin fer bizness, ducks?" but before she can embarrass you, I wheel us away, thanking Sadie for her information and promising to catch up with her soon, and lead you through the network of lanes and side streets which will take us to Regent Street and the Argyle Rooms!

  • #7888 submitted 04/19/2019: pandect, Bronx cheer, ecstatic, throw-stick, n.

    Introductions were made, Napper Tandy joined the others at the table, an Indian waiter, complete with turban, took their order and did not flinch when Tandy asked him for a footbath, explaining to the rest: "me boots are too tight, which is no great hardship when on a horse, but it's a fair walk here from the place I was dropped at, and I'm not overly impressed with the state of yer roads hereabouts; an sure as sure, it wouldna take an assiduous bibliolater to find instructions on how the Roman's made their good toads, fit fer an army to march twenty or thirty miles a day, an them jist in their caligae – it's a well-known fact that Saint Isidore of Seville described them, so look it up and Bingo! another string fer yer bows, gentlemen; now, let me fist explain the problem: we have a growing number of people, committed to the cause, but we need to train them, kit them out – including their feet, perhaps even, particularly their feet – and supply them with effective weapons; now, those marvellous rifles you sold to the Fleets are excellent, but the rubber bullets won't pass muster! consider our adversary – not just the British Empire, which grows like some kind of geomalism, spreading it's tentacles far and wide across the globe, right round the globe, with it's beating heart and grasping mind in London Town! what effect will rubber bullets have, gentlemen? they'll bounce right off, for the Empire has a shield, right around itself, which is impenetrable, unless or brave bhoys have proper ammunition – look, listen, for I have been to Woolwich Arsenal, not yesterday, not tomorrow, but at about the same time as you two!" and he looked at MacFarlane and Doubleday: "indeed, I have spoken with your supplier, in the same public house, but please don't doubt him, he is loyal to yourselves, and not just for the money, and won't deal with me – not directly; he will deal only with you; so, there it is, you know our needs, for rifles and ammunition, and I have an idea of your terms, from little things yer maun said, and din't say, so – can we conclude this amicably?" and there was a deathly silence around the table under the glare of Napper Tandy!

  • #7887 submitted 04/17/2019: florilegium, implacable, gullible, quattrocento, n. and adj.

    "Well," said Alec, sitting back in his chair, arms folded across his chest and puffing on his pipe, every bit the academic lecturing his idiotic students: "obviously, this isn't my Period, I'm more au fait with Ancient Rome and, indeed, long before that, but isn't there some fundamental principle in conducting Time Travel, about not introducing modern technology into earlier times, when it might cause untold damage and affect the entire course of History?" this last word clearly spoken in Italics; and after a rather baffled pause – about three heartbeats – it was Danny who responded: "if ye're thinkin o Star Trek, Alec, ye kin have another think, there isn't one Historical Narrative, running like an unbroken thread from the Creation right through to The End! that's not how The Creator, well, Created the Universe – it's a whole lot more complicated than that; I've seen a florilegium where there are umpteen different courses for Human History arising out of one single decision, it's fascinating stuff, even if ye're no a Quantum Physicist it still make interesting reading, and that's just from the point when Man first walked on centre stage, even before then, there were lots of Parallel Universes – excuse me, I shouldn't say were, I really mean are: they are happening all around us, simultaneously; forget Past, Present and Future! see, right here, right now, there's probably a dinosaur sitting on top of us, or at least, on this very spot; and in 1993 Two Los Angeles police officers are convicted in a federal court of violating Rodney King's civil rights!" a statement that fell on two pairs of deaf ears as Alec and Connor looked on, perhaps wondering if their host was actually insane; and it was Danny who spoke next: "look, we don't think you are gullible, so we're not trying to trick you, but you have just experienced Time Travel yourselves, including a shift from Melrose in Scotland to Dungannon in Ireland – so don't set your faces implacably against what Paddy's saying; we didn't create the Universes, we've just been fortunate enough to discover how we can make use of a tiny flaw, using the Worm Holes to travel around in and between them, and nothing that happens here will affect life back in yours, well, at least I don't think it will!" and Paddy chipped in: "look, we had a bad experience over in the Quattrocento, entirely of our own making, I must concede – and in Roman Britain, and other times and places too, I won't bore you with the details right now, but suffice it to say that our whole raison d'etre here has been to try to dampen things down between the two communities, to see what can be done as an alternative to the History of Ireland that we've seen before, with lots of bloodshed and Civil Wars and, of course, brutality from the English; so we are politically on the side of The United Irishmen, but if we provide them with the weapons they want, all Hell will break loose; you're absolutely right, Alec, there is a great danger in introducing modern weapons to a previous era, like giving Napoleon the Atomic Bomb, or Genghis Khan Gatling Guns; things have just rolled along of their own momentum, and now Napper Tandy has actually seen some of the rifles, has heard about the rubber bullets and, while the guys in the Fleets accepted our story, that that is all the ammunition there is, Tandy isn't swallowing it; he knows – maybe he really does know – that real bullets are manufactured somewhere and that with the combination of Lee-Enfields and the ammunition that goes with them, his army won't just be the usual Croppy Boys the English can route! and, talk of the Devil, here he is, just coming through the door!" and he rose from his chair and waved the newcomer over.

  • #7886 submitted 04/14/2019: bareboned, pang, veritable, acronical, adj.

    "Look, you," said Delilah Pew to the rather bareboned person sitting beside her, "don't I know you though? you ain't the Reverend Morgan, are you? Reverend Kevin Morgan from Jerusalem Tabernacle in Ponty? my Mam goes to your Chapel, says you got a lovely preaching voice, she's always had a soft spot for Preachers, a very soft spot!" but Morgan, or Kev the Rev as the local kids had called him, put a finger to his lips, to ask Delilah to shush: "they know me here as Zadok, the veritable High Priest, on account of I'm in the Sanhedrin, along with Halo Jones and Larry Parry, d'ye remember them?" and Delilah pulled a face: "me Mam would, she and old Halo was palsy-walsy behind me Dad's back; she told me, when she found out she was expectin me, old Halo thought he's got a Hole in One! but it was me Dad, mind him – Obadiah Pew? if you close one eye and looks sideways at me, ignoring everything below me shoulders, I'm told there's quite a likeness, see?" but when Zadok looked at her like that, he couldn't see anything above her shoulders, so mesmerised was he by the gyrations below them! which was when Sam's Son, Tom, came back in: "Reverend Morgan!" he exclaimed, "or Uncle Kevin, which do you prefer? it's been a few years since I've seen you – I like your robes, is it for a Fancy Dress?" at which Zadok looked hurt: "it's my Robe of Office," he said petulantly, "as the High Priest, don't you know, and less of the 'Uncle' that was just what your Ma said to call me, for a joke, like," and Sam's Son asked: "are there a lot of Ponty people here? it seems everyone I meet comes from home," and Kevin/Zadok agreed: "oh aye, Bach, I think someone sold a lot of Time-shares round the doors and Ponty Pilot, mind him? a one-armed, one-eyed, one-man travel agency, with one holiday destination and one plane, brought out a load of folk from Ponty and another load from Llareggub and then he went tits-up, sold the plane for scrap and he joined the Foreign Legion, talks his way into a deal with the Romans and next thing he's appointed as Governor Plenipotentiary – which means he collects the rents and pays the soldiers, which is why he's only got about a dozen, they was up on the hill watching the match between the Israelites and the Philistines, oh, wotta fine scrap that was! it's a shame you missed it, boyyo, we won the first round, then the second, they came back in the third and fourth so the fifth was the decider but the sun was getting low so it would be an acronical one, long shadows and poor light, so Old King Saul, he says to the Philistines: 'ok, we'll give you a fair chance, our Champion against yours, winner takes all,' and he nominates wee Davy Jones, from Ponty – isn't he your third cousin twice removed? - just to show we wasn't gonna pull a fast one, and they puts up a big fat slob who could hardly walk, nor talk, always shovin pies into his gob, and he comes rollin down the hill and Davy – who prefers skill over brute strength, biffs him one on the bonce with a ball-bearing from his sling and Goliath gives a great almighty groan, falls down and creates an earthquake and a tsunami, and goes out like a light! and that was it, three to two, we won – best war I've seen since Gaffer Gilbert fought Trotter Thomas for the Conkers Crown of Ponty, seven years ago! which reminds me, if you happen to see Ponty Pilot, remind him that our claim for compensation is going to be called in the High Court on Monday and he'd better be there!" and Tom felt a sudden pang of conscience, for it was because of his Da recalling a loan he'd made to Ponty Pilot that all the holidaymakers had been stranded here for seven years and the loan money had been needed to buy Tom a van to transport him and his band and all their instruments and speakers and gear from gig to gig, but after their first gig the rest of the band sacked him as their singer and hired a bloke from Rhyll who had his own van so they didn't even need Tom to be their driver and in a fit of pique he'd parked the van on the sands at low tide and when he went back for it it was gone, with all his song-sheets so he couldn't even sing for his supper on the long walk home.

  • #7885 submitted 04/13/2019: bareboned, Department of Redundancy Department, cubit, sprunking, n.

    So, while they wait for the Convocation of the Clergy to commence, which is a bit like waiting for a letter of appointment from Boring and Idleness and District District Council's Department of Redundancy Department (Staffing and Humane Resources, Employment and Management Services [including Waged and Salaried Divisions, Pensions and Superannuation Administration] and Administration) {Office Hours Mondays (except on the First Monday of Each Month) Tuesdays and Wednesdays (early closing on Wednesdays) Thursdays and Fridays (Mornings only) 8am-9am, 10am-11am, 11.30am-12.30pm, 2pm-3pm, 4pm-4.30pm after which Telephone Answering Service only until 6pm {except in months ending in ember, when it will be until 5.30pm} calls may be recorded for Training Purposes and/or Entertainment at the Staff (including Ancillary Staff - except those on Temporary or 0 Hours Contracts) Christmas Festivities and Party, which is going through quite a boom at this time of austerity, budget cuts, and Brexit in the air, so let us leave the curry shop by the door into the Beer Garden, turn to your left, which is my right, and take two cubits East and three south and, taking advantage of your newly discovered barebone skinniness, especially when viewed from the side, step through the curtain into the heat and dust which always seems to hang heavy in this Land of Milk and Honey and sit you down beside Rebecca Pew for a minute and make yourself at home while I pop into the Ladies; "oh," said Rebecca, her eyes opening wide, to show off her irises, in all their radiance, "it's yourself!" and giving that little sprunking bringing together of her forearms tight into her body and digging in with her elbows which brought her already noteworthy bosoms to even greater prominence and causing each to shimmy like a restrained water balloon, and both in perfect symmetry as if they were contestants in some kind of synchronised sporting event, and she gave her little tinkling laugh which went up and down the scales simultaneously – and don't raise your eyes, I bet you can't laugh like that!

  • #7884 submitted 04/12/2019: bareboned, spraddle, thole, dowfart, n. and adj.

    And, mindful of the two Bishops sweating over their hot curries on that hot afternoon, Alec leaned over the table and said: "you were going to tell us, when Connor here had his funny turn, about the guns and how you justify selling armaments to the different Fleets and how you weren't bringing Death and Destruction into this place, yes?" and Paddy and Danny glanced at each other and lowered their voices, not that the Bishops could have heard them anyway, over their wheezes and sharp intakes of breath; "well," said Paddy: "it was like this – first, I created a little Space/Time loop and took an ass and cart from here to Woolwich Arsenal in 1930, where I'd already made the acquaintance of an Irishman who worked there – in the transport department – and he supplied me with ten crates of Lee-Enfields, £20 cash in hand and no questions asked, and I brought them back here, 20 rifles in each, equals 200 rifles; I did that fifty times in a week, which brought us ten thousand rifles, while only 200 left Woolwich, I got the same crates every time; what a wheeze! 200 bought and paid for and we got ten thousand! but, and here's the best part, half a million rounds of rubber bullets arrived here, but only ten thousand left Woolwich – now ain't that a perfect wheeze; no-body's going to get killed by rubber bullets, unless they're really unlucky, and the Fleets are armed with rifles which aren't going to be around for over a hundred years! no spare parts, no machine-tools to make spare parts, and ammunition that might raise a bruise but ain't gonna kill nobody!" and he sat back in his chair and laughed till the tears ran down his face and Alec and Connor stared at him with the amazement of chickens who'd just got their heads chopped off! the gall, the ingenuity of his scheme, it was quite uncommon and staggering in it's execution: "but how," asked Alec: "did you not bump into yourself in all that whizzing about in your pneumatic tubes?" and Paddy grinned smugly: "if Einstein and Stephen Hawking were here, they'd explain it better than me, but it was all to do with the elliptical flow of the Continuum, or at least that was what they agreed over a jug of punch one rowdy night in The Holy Ground and I proved it! oh, boy. that was some night we had, wasn't it Danny?" and Danny wiped the sweat from his brow: "aye, until they sang that rude song and got us all chucked out; I never realised what a fine, clear, singing voice old Ein had until then; but the landlord wasn't having it, not him: what was it he roared? 'I don't give two farts for who your friends are, or whatever Noble Prizes they might have won, this is a Republican House, you know the House Rules: No Religion, No Politics, No Aristocracy and No Pornography, and that was us, out on our arses in the rain, Paddy and me and old Ein and Stevie! that was a bit of a dampener, but at least we had found out how to do it in theory, and it worked a treat!" at which Paddy agreed heartily: "we paid my contact £20 and sold the goods for £20,000 – what a profit margin!" and he slapped his thigh like a Principal Boy and signalled to the waiter for four more drinks; and after they'd arrived, great foaming tankards, Paddy leaned in close, his tone suddenly serious: "but here's our problem, lads – someone's lips have been flapping, I think it was that Mcgonagall fella, fancies himself as a poet, but it's sheer doggerel if ye ask me, onyway, the United Irishmen have got wind of it and asked us to supply them with 20,000 rifles and two million rounds of real ammunition for their rising, I mean Bejasus, they'd wipe out the British Army here in two days and that would bring in a fuckin Desert Storm, we'd be set back years and so would their own cause, you know what England's like – they've lost America but they won't fuckn lose Ireland, fer Chrissake! they'd use the British Navy to transport the entire population to Australia and replace them with the unemployed of Birmingham and Bathgate, Bognor Regis and Bermondsey – can you imagine Ireland without any Irish? we can thole a lot of hard times, but we canna thole that! it would just be a Little Blighty by the Sea! and that's the last thing we want, but Napper Tandy's been putting the squeeze on us and we need someone educated, untainted and authoritative to address them, Alec, you see where I'm going with this?" but before Alec had a chance to reply, the doors were swept open and a covey of obese, bareboned, sprightly, spraddle-gaited, grave and giggling rather elderly men bustled, staggered, traipsed, wandered and meandered in: "ye Gods!" cried Danny: "they must be having their Convocation here – see – bald Bishop Burton from Londonderry, Bishop Monkton from Galway, that dowfart, and Bishop Itchington from Tipperary, Bishop Sutton from Cork, Bishop Snympton from Thurles, he's a nincompoop, Bishop Frome from Wexford, and even ould Bishop Wilton from Macgillycuddy Reeks, talk about Rotten and Pocket Boroughs, there's only Wilton and his Housekeeper within 20 miles of the Cathedral, if ye can call it one – it's a thatched cottage with one bedroom and an altar on the mantelpiece, but she's a right goer, is Mary MacDelaine, and that's Gospel from one who's received the host in her bed and yer maun himself standin at the head of it, in his vestments, cryin "Hail Mary, Hail Mary!" while she shouts: "Punish me Lord, for I have sinned – oh! oh! deeper, Jasus, plunge it deeper, you wit de red hot poker!" and he sat back, his face crimson with the memory, "mind I was a young jackanapes at the time, up for anything, and up anything too in them days, but I'm older and wiser now and lay off the mad women altogether!"

  • #7883 submitted 04/11/2019: Jell-O, flabbergast, despot, baby face, n.

    "Achilles is quite the despot in the kitchen," said Paddy and Danny laughed: "he used to be the Baby-Face in a touring boxing show, big farm-hands would pay 6d to take him on, with the promise of a 5/- purse if they lasted a round! but they never did – and when they went down they were flabbergasted to find their legs were like Jell-O, hahahaha! but he's married and settled down here, and his food is legendary – like those two priests over there," he said in a quiet voice, drawing attention to two elderly clerics mowing in to huge bowls of curry, sweat dripping from their florid faces: "the one on the left with a face like a baboon's arse is Bishop Auckland from Belfast and the other with a face like mashed spuds is Bishop Briggs from Dublin – they must be going to visit Bishop Stortford up in Londonderry; it's not often you see two bishops out of their sees, at the same time," said Paddy, "I wouldna be surprised if they're havin a convocation – or an orgy, with them fellas ye can never tell!"

  • #7882 submitted 04/10/2019: bonehead, deem, Parthian, exosolar, adj.

    Connor felt distinctly stretched, although he didn't know that this was one of the many possible side-effects of his recent passage through the Worm Hole, or Pneumatic Tube, in the Space/Time Continuum: time seemed to have slowed down so that the next few minutes felt like days, his heartbeats sounding like a succession of widely spaced booms from a Lambeg Drum, his blood thickly sliding through his veins and arteries like oil, the faces of his companions in the courtyard moving in slow-motion, like the single frames of a movie, each seeming to be replaced after a long delay by another which looked the same, differences barely distinguishable; the sounds of their voices so deep they were like gravel dropping down a well, each plop reaching his eardrums a long time after it had been produced in the depths of the well; his breathing was so slow as to be non-existent, when he blinked, it was like a long night's sleep, and when his eyes opened, nothing had changed; he still sat here in this courtyard, feeling like a bonehead, when suddenly with a zzzzzippppp and a flurry of movement and the sounds of three voices being jammed together and he had caught up with the conversation – no-one seemed aware of his time-lag except himself, and he heard Doubleday asking if they liked Indians? "we've got a nice wee restaurant in the town, well, when I say 'Indian' the chef is actually an Irish-Parthian-Indian, name of Achilles Guru Khrishnan Murphy, does a great line in Curries – ever had Irish Stew Vindaloo?" and Connor found his head shaking along with Alec's, though he had no idea what Doubleday was blethering about, but thought it best to pretend, then MacFarlane said he would deem it an honour if the two would dine with him and Danny, and Alec said that he would love it, he hadn't had real Indian food since he had been in Kashmir in 1933 which caused great laughter and Danny quipped, "well, I hope you told them you had your first in Dungannon in 1793!" and even Connor was able to laugh at that, but Alec looked closely at him and asked if he was feeling well, and Connor replied: "to be truthful, no, not really: something's wrong, everything seems to slow down and then speed up like Charlie Chaplin, it's making me a bit dizzy," and Paddy said: "it's the Tube, sometimes it does that – like a deep sea diver getting the bends; you can feel fine for a day or so and them everything goes skew-wiff, it's because travelling backwards in time goes in a reverse spiral and the particular one from Melrose to here is also exosolar – it loops round the Milky Way and then swoops back and around itself: if you keep your eyes open, sometimes you can see yourself before or after the loop, and sometimes I've even bumped into myself, it's no wonder if you feel a bit space-sick!" so he produced a bottle of the Special Potcheen and poured a generous measure for Connor who knocked it back and gave himself a shake: "oh, that's lovely stuff, best I've ever tasted!"

  • #7881 submitted 04/07/2019: pelf, chivvy, sashay, dun, v.3

    Paddy MacFarlane got to his feet and sashayed around the courtyard as he spoke: "you may have heard of the Fleets," he said: "they were large gangs, small armies even, either largely Protestant or Catholic, but also geographical, and in some cases a Protestant Fleet was led by a Catholic – Andy Byrne was one Catholic leader of a Protestant Fleet, Willy Donaldson a Protestant leader of a Catholic Fleet – and they operated a kind of Protection Racket, like the Kray Twins in London – oh, you won't have heard of them, they'll come later! anyway, supplying them with armaments was a major part of our business, where most of our pelf came from; but that began to taper off a few years ago, then The Peep o' Day Boys grew out of the Protestant Fleets and The Defenders out of the Catholic ones, and things began to pick up again; both sides chivvy each other, night raids, that sort of thing – you might call it minor skirmishes, but it keeps the demand for weaponry coming, until now!" and it was Alec who asked: "why now? what's happened?" and Danny answered: "a group of young Protestant Radicals who see that the entire population is suppressed in the interest of the British Crown and Government – they are all pawns in the British Game: it costs nothing to the British if both sides take pot-shots at each other, in effect, they police themselves, and the involvement of the British Army is minimal. a few guards for the Lord Lieutenant, or Viceroy, George Nugent-Temple-Grenville, Marquess of Buckingham, who, between these four walls (and the ears doubtless pressed to the door) is worse than useless – he not only accepts bribes, but actually solicits them! but that is by the by; what's more important is that these young Radicals, not a few of whom are Lawyers, have formed an organisation called The Society of United Irishmen which is non-sectarian and aims to bring the two communities together, it duns into people's heads that all citizens are equal, regardless of Religion or Origin! hot stuff, eh? fighting words, yes? and if they succeed in uniting all Irishmen, what do you think will happen?" and Connor jumped to his feet: "we will gain Independence from Britain, and be a Nation Once Again!" and Danny laughed: "you've been reading Robert Emmet, eh?" but Paddy pushed him down into his chair: "what will happen is the English Army will return and that's the last thing we want to happen! it's bad for trade and industry and commerce – and it drains England of resources and diminishes her ability to fight wars abroad," which was when Alec spoke quietly: "and would cut hard into your armaments business, Mr MacFarlane?" and MacFarlane laughed bitterly: "aye, well, that too – but although the gun-running may be the most lucrative part of our business, it isn't the be-all and end-all of it, we trade all sorts of necessary things across the whole of Ireland, not just Ulster – we bring 20th Century know-how into what is, essentially, a Medieval society, and we fund medical projects, we run a network of Village Schools, Soup Kitchens and Food Banks, and . . . . ." but he was cut off by Alec, who said: "you're arms smugglers, gun-runners, making profits out of death and destruction!" and MacFarlane protested: "it's not all bad, man! that's what we want to talk to you two about – we know how you got here, we've been able to go backwards and forwards in Time and sideways in Space, by what are called Worm-Holes in the Space/Time Continuum, but we like to think of as Pneumatic Tubes like in the London Underground Map: they are a kind of Network, with umpteen destinations, some are unpredictable and others are as steady as a rock; so, if you want to be able to get back to where and when you came from, pin back your lug-holes and listen, without butting in or abusing your hosts, in other words: Behave Yersels!"

  • #7880 submitted 04/06/2019: pelf, wieldy, moiety, entremet, n.

    The walk through the centre of Dungannon was an eye-opener to Connor O'Hare, who'd spent almost all of his life in Glasgow, apart from summer holidays Doon the Watter: it seemed more like a village, but MacFarlane told him a little of it's history, particularly the Plantations, when Presbyterian Scottish settlers were encouraged to migrate from their homeland to take up lands confiscated by the English Crown, in which way they had become the majority population in the Province of Ulster: "they whelmed the place, swarming like rats, getting the most fertile land for their farms and leaving rocky hilltops or bogs for the native population," and Connor suddenly understood the origin of the derogatory term, Bog Irish, he had heard as a schoolboy, usually directed at Catholics, then realised that MacFarlane was still talking: "and they received pelf – money grants – not available to the Catholics, and here we are!" it was a long low building of timber and cob, with a thatched roof, and although it was surely old, it gleamed in the morning sun, for it had recently been painted – or re-painted – the walls a startling white, window shutters a sunny golden yellow, and the two doors that Connor could see were a vivid green, and above the doors in a deep sky blue, the name – The Fountain! in a flowing script: "let's away in and see if they are arrived already," and MacFarlane led the way into a sizeable room, again freshly whitewashed and with sawdust scattered on the stone flags; they passed through this to a smaller room, lined with bookshelves from floor to ceiling on all four walls – even above the doors; MacFarlane opened the second door and indicated that Connor should go first – a narrow corridor, with three right turns took them to a door which, Connor realised, must be in the middle of the place, and he opened it, as directed and found himself in a small square space which was really a courtyard, with no roof, barely furnished with a square table and four chairs: on two of them sat Alec and the other man from last night, Danny Doubleday: "do sit, Mr O'Hare, Paddy and I have a few questions for you, and Connor's eyes met Alec's, which gave nothing away; when Connor and Paddy were seated, Doubleday produced two pipes and a tobacco pouch, while Paddy put two other pipes on the table: "take yer fill, gentlemen," said Danny, and each man filled his pipe, then Danny took a tinderbox from his pocket, struck and lit his own pipe, before handing the box to Alec, who did the same, and when all four pipes were producing clouds of grey smoke, it was Paddy who said: "you'd better tell us where you come from and why you are here – and don't try to sell us any brummagem, remember, we saw you arrive out of nowhere and forget all that shite about an ass and cart! we know exactly how you came here, because we came the same way! so no flim-flam, or Danny here will have to do something rather noisy!" at which point Danny took two large flint-lock pistols from his pockets, twirled them on his forefingers in an impressively wieldy way and pointed them directly at the two new arrivals' heads: "they aren't very accurate, but at this range I cannot miss!" which as it turned out, was a bluff charge, for, a few seconds later, he returned the pistols to his pockets, the door opened, and a young woman entered carrying a tray, with a large slab of fruit cake, already cut into slices, and a whiskey bottle – unlabelled – and four tumblers, all of which she set on the table, then, with a quick curtsey, she left and closed the door behind herself; then Danny said: "okay, I'll start the ball rolling – you dress like you're from the mid 20th century, you told me, Alec, that you both met at an archaeological dig at Trimontium Roman Camp near Melrose, so that suggests to us that your journey here began on or in – or thereabouts, which makes no odds – the Eildon Hills; am I getting warm?" his eyes flicked from Alec to Connor and back again: "your faces tell me I'm hot! and that's good to know, because it means you have no history here, no known identities, and you are from the two local moieties – the indigenous Irish Catholics and the transplanted Scotch Protestants," and he turned to Paddy, saying: "it's like the forerunner of the US of A, in't it just? sweep the Redskins into reservations to make way for the Settlers, whether farmers or ranchers, and keep shrinking the reservations till there's no Injins left, and the Nazis followed that same pattern, but with modern technology – what goes around comes around," and his eyes returned to Alec and Connor: "of course the Romans were good at it too, divide and rule, you create a binary choice, Good vs Evil, because you can't have Roast Beef without it's essential entremet, which is?" and Connor said it: "Yorkshire Pudding!" and Danny: "Fish?" and Connor: "and Chips!" and Danny turned gleefully to Paddy: "he's gottit, by George, he's gottit!"

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