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

Quandary Resolutions by TheMagicalExplodingUnicorns

  • #8095 submitted 09/05/2019: esemplastic, ascesis, adscititious, demonym, n.

    Big Brother demonstrated a degree of single-minded austerity almost on the level of the ascesis of a religious devotee and a certain esemplastic talent in his project of gathering the influences of Leninism and Stalinism into the new national political religion of English Socialism, or Ingsoc, where--among other things--the Londoners, Liverpudlians, Mancunians, Glaswegians, Brooklynites, Memphians, and other demonyms were now blended by the dominance of the Party into Oceanians.

  • #8086 submitted 08/27/2019: ecce, as ever trod shoe-leather, desuetude, Nowheresville, n.

    The Grimsley Hoarbottom Advertising Agency's best days were in its past, for it had gone from being the most in-demand agency before World War II to being Nowheresville, falling into such a state of desuetude that the big clients no longer even recognized the firm's name, but all that changed when Archer Straightarrow was introduced to the company by old Mr. Grimsley, who announced: "Ecce! Before you stands the greatest ad-man ever to tread shoe leather."

  • #8084 submitted 08/26/2019: ere, doldrums, wangle, spruik, v.

    Captain Finlay's 1920s expedition to collect bird specimens across the South Atlantic was handicapped by the decision to buy an old-fashioned three-masted schooner for their vessel, the lack of an engine meaning they were often at the mercy of the weather, and never more so than when they were becalmed for weeks in the doldrums of the Sargasso Sea, but ere the crew had even reached their main African stopover at Dakar, Finlay had wangled a contract to lecture on the Chautauqua circuit when he returned to the US, so that every unpleasant adventure became merely grist for his mill or, more specifically, anecdotes to spruik during his lectures, which were very popular.

  • #8083 submitted 08/25/2019: aladdinize, or bust, kludge, billywitch, n.

    Madison was working hard at resolving the computer difficulties that had kept her from placing her order for the tickets to Coachella, and eventually she discovered that the billywitch that had been knocking against the screen in the dark room the previous evening had worked its way down into the computer casing; she installed a kludge that she hoped would keep things going long enough for her to place her order, but eventually realized that it would take a true feat of aladdinizing to fix the thing, and that she would have to find another way to order the tickets before she could put that "California or Bust" sign on her car.

  • #8081 submitted 08/24/2019: aladdinize, bandura, sporadic, lactivist, n.

    It was 1927 and Caspar Milquetoast realized that as a modern person he couldn't hope for a genie to aladdinize him into a palatial environment, but when he won the lottery he was happy to buy with money what he had not been able to acquire through magic, and so he purchased companionship and entertainment in large quantities, including a French cook, a Japanese housekeeper, a refugee from the White Russian army who plucked the strings of his bandura during dinner, and Romany dancers for afters, and Caspar also made sure he had the latest and best of everything, including making sporadic forays into cutting edge science and technology, although his wife frustrated his dream of an utterly hygienic nursery presided over by a nanny who boiled everything from binkies to baby bottles; Mrs. Milquetoast simply declared herself a committed lactivist and evicted the nanny.

  • #7938 submitted 06/18/2019: Midas-eared, meet one's Waterloo, boilerplate, ice age, n.

    After having hiked difficult mountain trails all over the world, I told my friends I was ready for a winter hike across the Alps, but I can't believe I was so Midas-eared as to think that, because the snowy landscape stretched out all around me like a treacherous new ice age, where each new obstacle was cloaked in snow or ice and after a number of near misses, I finally met my Waterloo when a snow bridge collapsed beneath me, dumping me into a crevasse, and if the narrow space hadn't been filled with boilerplate, I probably would have plummeted to my death, instead of merely breaking my leg on the pebbly-textured snow plug.

  • #7935 submitted 06/15/2019: Achilles' heel, lion's share, recidivism, tarzy, n.

    From the time he was an innocent-looking gap-toothed lad swinging on the tarzy out over the Wolf River, taking the lion's share of turns away from the other kids, Tritt Thrombus's sociopathy was on full display, but when he was grown his real Achilles' heel turned out to be his habit of losing his temper after a few too many at the local bar, leading to arrests for felonious assault until--after it became plain that he was a hopeless case whose recidivism would keep him on the merry-go-round in and out of prison--he was given a twenty-year stretch and his fellow bar-flies celebrated with sighs of relief and several rounds of rot-gut.

  • #7915 submitted 06/01/2019: shoehorn, oxishly, nectar, padkos, n.

    Caspar Milquetoast rolled his eyes as his mother insisted he include a shoehorn in the knapsack he was packing for his hiking trip, because since boyhood he had always so oxishly trod down the heels of his shoes as he was putting them on (something he was unlikely to do to his hiking boots), but he bore with her silently because the homemade broth and brownies she added to his padkos in the inner compartment were nectar and ambrosia to him.

  • #7912 submitted 05/30/2019: vamp, BANANA, disbursement, ailurophobia, n.

    Gillian Sparkworthy, who suffered from a severe form of ailurophobia, was horrified to learn that a cat shelter was to be built next door to her house, but no attempt to change the mind of the official in charge of choosing the site worked, neither reasoning with him nor vamping him nor bribing him nor even threatening him, because--he said--he was tired of BANANAs like her who wanted things built in someone else's neighborhood, and so he requested the city to proceed with the disbursement of funds necessary to buy the property.

  • #7854 submitted 03/14/2019: gamification, Einsteinian, animadversion, roxy, adj.

    In his bitter animadversion on current-day education practices, Caspar Milquetoast complained about the gamification of college classes, where everything has to be fun and relatable, from a staged murder trial for Oedipus to calculus formulas presented as puzzles, all apparently for the benefit of less than Einsteinian students, and although Professor Milquetoast's own lecture techniques were so set in habit that they put even him to sleep, it was hard to disagree that these cute and tricky stunts would age badly and soon become as roxy as an old banana, and without necessarily any particular benefit to students beyond temporary entertainment.

  • #7844 submitted 03/07/2019: petrichor, nervous, Mirandize, cwtch, v.

    As Gareth Checkflyte emerged from his lodging into the darkening skies of the afternoon, his nervous progress down the street was affected by his conviction that both the mob and the cops were on his trail, so that he glanced fearfully side to side, crept cautiously past parked vans and dim alleys, and cast hasty glances back over his shoulder, but as a light shower of rain began to fall, the petrichor rising from the moistened earth struck his nostrils so pleasingly that he began to relax and to enjoy strolling along the avenue and onto the bridge, watching the lovers too absorbed in their idle embraces to mind the rain, but when he was grabbed from behind Gareth realized he wasn't being cwtched affectionately, but seized by the strong arm of the law: finding himself being Mirandized, he recalled that he could only afford a lawyer if he used some of his unlawfully acquired stash and that, in fact, he was very happy to remain silent, thank you very much.

  • #7819 submitted 02/16/2019: appose, deglutition, gibbous, EGOT n.

    Although I have admired Audrey Hepburn's beauty, talent, and fashion sense for more than 50 years, it is a bit of a surprise to find her among the very few EGOT winners, especially when her work is apposed to that of other worthies in the industry: when it is considered that her Oscar and Tony came at the beginning of her stardom, when almost everyone was bewitched by her fawn-like beauty and charm, and that in her 60s--although her slenderness by then suggested someone unfamiliar with the act of deglutition--her lovely elegance remained unimpaired, and her humanitarian work and dignified grace had made her so universally beloved that she was awarded her Emmy and Grammy posthumously, it is tempting to wonder if she would have won so much acclaim for her talent had some bad fairy gifted her at adolescence with gibbous shoulders or a pot belly.

  • #7784 submitted 02/14/2019: appurtenance, love interest, heartstring, pathetic, adj. and adv.

    The movie WALL-E is about many things, but it has some of the appurtenances of a romance, with robot-protagonist WALL-E meeting and falling in love with the enigmatic stranger EVE, also a robot, and doing everything that "he" can to be with "her," after their "meet-cute" and his interest in her show that she is meant to be his love interest (her interest in him being more inscrutable), and I guess it is a measure of our susceptibility to the pathetic fallacy that the prospect of this robot couple being separated tugs at the heartstrings and their reunion makes us sigh with pleasure.

  • #7782 submitted 02/12/2019: sodalist, living fossil, teem, hand-wringing, n. and adj.

    It is usually the case that an organization will be teeming with run-of-the-mill sodalists who follow innovations willingly, but there are always those members who are as much living fossils as the coelacanth and who engage in an orgy of hand-wringing over the slightest change in procedure.

  • #7780 submitted 02/11/2019: bloodnoun, boffin, bardolater, cannoli n.

    We are all knowledgeable about some things and not others, e.g., the story of the boffin who knew nothing about Shakespeare and the bardolator who knew nothing about technological innovation, forced to share a cabin during an academic team-building event, and while the boffin despised the bardolator's tendency to speak in quotations from Shakespeare and the bardolator despised the boffin's geeky tendency to take things apart and explain how they worked, they had an epiphany the night they agreed that cannoli, with its delicious crispy exterior and sweet cream filling, was the favorite dessert of both--and a further epiphany later that same night when they realized that neither of them knew what the ghastly creature outside was that was crying "BLOODNOUN! BLOODNOUN! BLOODNOUN!" until the English teacher in the cabin next door shouted "Yes! Blood is a noun! What do you want from us?!" and they heard her biologist roommate reply, "Relax! It's just a bloodnoun bullfrog."

Displaying Post 1 - 15 of 83 in total

Quadrivial Quandary (QQ) is owned and operated by Rudi Seitz.
Sentences submitted to QQ are the property of their authors. See our page on Copyright Information for details.
Dictionary definitions are the property of their respective sources, presented here via public RSS feeds or otherwise with permission.
All other material is copyright 2015 by Rudi Seitz, all rights reserved.
Use of this site is governed by our terms of service.
Contact: rudi at quadrivialquandary dot com.