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

Quandary Resolutions by cusheamus

  • #2441 submitted 02/24/2011: lacuna, dystrophy, snaffle, hypnagogic

    What with so many files having been snaffled up by the Medicare investigator, there was a sizable lacuna in the medical records (the cabinet containing most of the paperwork from 1995-1999 was completely empty, for instance), so Dr. Brower couldn't tell for sure when Mrs. Whitman's nightmarish hypnagogic hallucinations first began, but at least he was able to identify the point at which they were no longer confined to nighttime sleep but generalized to afternoon naps and even to short snoozes on public transportation, so that by 2005 the poor woman was wasting away from lack of restful sleep, dystrophy apparent in all her limbs.

  • #2436 submitted 02/23/2011: fomes, accidentally on purpose, edacious, nimbus

    The rain stopped, the nimbus clouds parted, and the sun shone down on the dry and the damp alike, the latter including Stan Fanucci, who had accidentally-on-purpose allowed the rain to extinguish the campfire, hoping thereby to persuade his wife curtail their trip, not knowing what she knew, namely, that the Fomes fomentarius growing on the side of the very beech tree he was leaning against was commonly called "tinder fungus" because of its usefulness in firestarting: it gives even the least edacious fire an appetite, whether or not the fuel is damp.

  • #2428 submitted 02/22/2011: eidos, idiolect, congenial, bailiwick

    When Dr. Webb explains the difference between emotional community (ethos) and cognitive community (eidos) she speaks with authority because her bailiwick is cultural anthropology, but of more immediate importance is that her manner of communicating these ideas is very congenial to her young students in that it is comparatively free of jargon, not couched in the impenetrable idiolect of many scholars.

  • #2414 submitted 02/19/2011: pastness, brouhaha, cabbage, lucubration

    When her stroll brought her unexpectedly to Earlsfort Terrace, Diana was drenched in pastness, recalling not simply the outline of her days at the Alexandra School but all the emotions associated with them, reliving completely, for instance, the time when they were scrounging extra blankets from the staff linen closet and Miss Crampion appeared in the hallway just as Anne cabbaged the old suitcase tucked away under the bottom shelf, the ensuing hilarious brouhaha when it was discovered to be full of (banned) Harlequin romances belonging to the Geometry teacher, and the long hours of penitential lucubration getting the extra Latin and Scripture homework done.

  • #2409 submitted 02/18/2011: fluke, gravlax, mayhem, libation

    "It's only salmon, sugar, salt, pepper, and dill", said Simon modestly, "not at all difficult", as we breakfasted on his sublime gravlax, preparatory to mounting up, pouring a little of the stirrup cup out on the ground as a libation to Diana the Huntress, and heading out with the dogs to wreak some mayhem amongst the local foxes (if, by some unimaginable fluke, there were still any left anywhere in the county who hadn't long ago relocated to more salubrious parts).

  • #2392 submitted 02/15/2011: pip, sherpa, brummagem, uxorious

    He were excessively fond and foolish, the uxorious old bastard, when it came to his new young wife, who give us all the pip, such a piece of brummagem, fine enough to look at but useless as a chocolate teapot, us thinking he'd a been better off making an honest woman of the Sherpa followed him home from the Himmerlayers of Nipple.

  • #2380 submitted 02/13/2011: pasticcio, to death, harbinger, buss

    "I Love You to Death", an entertaining pasticcio of comedy, crime, and music (with Tracey Ullman, Joan Plowright, River Phoenix, William Hurt, and Keanu Reeves as the bumbling harbingers of death and Kevin Kline as their oblivious target) reminds us of Herrick's lines: "Kissing and bussing differ both in this:/We buss our wantons, but our wives we kiss".

  • #2369 submitted 02/11/2011: reticent, lozenge, unctuous, imbroglio

    After sucking on the scopolamine lozenge for ten minutes, Mudd, usually very reticent when it came to discussing his criminal past, became unstoppably talkative and Officer Phillips learned, among many other things, that the scars on Mudd's hands and face were the result of an imbroglio between the prison guards and the residents of Cell Block 4 in 1983, a notorious incident that turned out to have been precipitated when one of the guards slipped on a bar of soap, still unctuous from the shower, that Mudd himself had thrown into the hallway.

  • #2364 submitted 02/10/2011: valetudinarian, antÅ“ci, torpedo, daedal

    Six year old Tony, a veritable Daedalus of youthful inventiveness, escaped the claustrophobic, valetudinarian fug of his great grandmother's South Philadelphia row house and spent the afternoon in the backyard, working on a scheme to drill through the earth using his great grandmother's immersion blender and her classic torpedo-shaped Shaeffer fountain pen with its nice sharp nib, undaunted by the fact that he would emerge in the Indian Ocean off the coast of southwestern Australia and that his only autoeci would be fish, hoping in fact that enough of the water from the ocean would drain through into the backyard to distract his great grandmother from the loss of her tools.

  • #2349 submitted 02/07/2011: dyspeptic, discursion, interminable, desideratum

    Being of a naturally dyspeptic disposition - Eeyore-ish, we used to call her when we were children - it wasn't much of a stretch for her to tip right over the edge into despair when it seemed as though we had all forgotten her birthday, stating flatly that she found life interminable and unbearable, and insisting that her only desideratum was to depart this vale of tears, wailing in her mother tongue, "As-sanawatu tawilatun!" ("the years are long!"), which had the effect of distracting her enough that she was prompted to embark on a long discursion through the injustices inherent in Arabic grammar, particularly the sexism in some uses of the feminine singular.

  • #2340 submitted 02/05/2011: chartist, at the feet of, earwig, abscond

    Apparently, the chartist philosophy, learned at the feet of the previous generation of financial analysts, is "history repeats itself" or, to put it another way, after enough patient earwigging of insider traders there will once again be enough money to make worthwhile the trouble of absconding to a country with no extradition treaty.

  • #2334 submitted 02/04/2011: verdigris, score off, salvo, effluvium

    Detective Abernathy and his trusty sidekick, Sergeant Canoli, crouched atop a pile of refuse at the town dump, their noses awash in effluvia, their ankles in apple peelings, stoically combing though the garbage in search of the murder weapon and scoring off various possibilities from the list provided by the coroner until Sergeant Canoli stepped backwards heavily onto a garbage bag and, amidst a salvo of somebody's leftover spaghetti, there shot out the large, bronze crucifix stolen last week from St. Catherine's, its verdigris-encrusted surface showing blue-green amidst a shower of meatballs, tufts of the victim's hair still adhering to one of the arms.

  • #2323 submitted 02/02/2011: helot, valediction, linchpin, elide

    Before he left for the front, their master assembled the helots for a valedictory address in which he praised them for their hard work and loyalty, especially his invaluable steward, Johann, whom he described as the linchpin of the entire estate, indispensable for over thirty years (eliding over a period of a couple of years - after Johann's young wife died unexpectedly - when he was drunk most of the time and relied heavily on the other slaves to perform his duties).

  • #2314 submitted 02/01/2011: milliner, narwhal, lucid, ambisinister

    Madame Arnauld achieved her dream of becoming a milliner with her own shop on the Rue Monge, but unfortunately the poor woman was not very lucid when it came to recognizing her own limitations in the making of ladies' hats: she was ambisinister, as inept with one hand as with the other, and was also far too easily distracted from her work, the combination of which weaknesses resulted in a constant stream of small disasters, the most infamous instance being the time she tried to attach a gilded narwhal horn to the crown of one of her creations and somehow managed to cement it firmly to her own knee.

  • #2311 submitted 01/31/2011: gasconade, caltrop, hoodlum, thimblerig

    The vile thimbleriggers had strewn the road with caltrops so when the police car came after them its tires were punctured and the car skidded off the embankment, leaving the officers injured and the hoodlums to escape unmolested to their hideout in the hills, where they spent the afternoon divvying up the swag, to the accompaniment of much tipsy, laughing braggadocio and gasconade before continuing on to the Canadian border under cover of darkness.

Displaying Post 16 - 30 of 397 in total

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