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

  • #2203 submitted 01/09/2011: spoilsman, neither fish, flesh, nor good red herring, rapscallion, byzantine

    A week before the mayoral election, a spoilsman wannabe (hoping for a contract for all the city parks) donated in his candidate's name a shipping container full of playground equipment to the Linwood Avenue Park where Angela now stood among the other parents supervising the play of their rapscalliony offspring, watching her little son - dressed in combat boots, a pale pink feather boa, and a fez - careening around and through, over and under, up and down the byzantine conglomeration of play structures, causing her to observe sadly, "Poor soul, he's neither fish nor fowl nor good red herring."

  • #2192 submitted 01/06/2011: sylvan, circumbendibus, aureate, chatoyant

    Taking a relaxed route circumbendibus through a wooded section of Wailuku River State Park, Ric enjoyed the aureate late afternoon sun and the breeze stirring the long leaves of the acacia koa which looked so undistinguished growing in its native sylvan environment and yet, felled, milled, and finished, was arguably the most desirable wood on earth to a cabinetmaker, with its unrivaled degree of chatoyancy ("like a cat's eye", the way it ripples in the changing light) and amazing range of colors.

  • #2187 submitted 01/05/2011: primrose path, judder, proselytize, prevaricate

    Lydia, only child of a pair of proselytizing televangelists, abandoned the putatively straight and narrow way of her parents, opting instead for the primrose path to Hollywood, down which she took her dazzling smile, her dimples and her very large, bouncy bosom to an agent (who ever afterwards affectionately referred to her as "Juddering Udders") to whom she prevaricated on the subject of her age, strongly suggesting that she was nineteen when, in fact, she was only fifteen.

  • #2176 submitted 01/03/2011: dendroid, judder, concrete, descry

    Scully thought he descried, in the distance through the flailing trees, a great dendroid cell phone tower, its branches juddering in the gale, already partly torn loose from its concrete foundation.

  • #2167 submitted 01/01/2011: horology, vociferation, grandee, plenipotentiary

    We took our colonial-era grandfather clock to the clinic at the School of Horology (operated by the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors) for repair and restoration and were delighted to discover a grandee of clockmakers, Tompion Rittenhouse, on the campus at the time of our visit, having condescended to teach a course on "Cuckoo and Torsion Pendulum Clocks", but when we sent a message to him, he merely sent out a proxy, a plenipotentiary envoy, in the form of an officious graduate student who told us with escalating vociferation that the great man could on no account be disturbed.

  • #2163 submitted 12/31/2010: charivari, ancillary, meld, Hogmanay

    Mrs. Davis, ordered once again to do the washing up, was fed up with being the cook's ancilla and clashed the pots and pans together in a one-woman shivaree, melding the racket with a loud, discordant song that began, "It's Hogmanay Night, the town's in a steer, the rubbing and scrubbing before the New Year, and what the hell am I doing here?!"

  • #2147 submitted 12/28/2010: impugn, fiddle, galumph, gambrinus

    Dick and Jane Brewer, founders of the very successful Galumphing Elephant microbrewery, named their children Augustina, Nichola, Luke, and Gambrina in honor of the various patron saints of beer-making, and homeschooled them not only to protect them from the tiresome impugnations of the local teetotalers, but also because they distrusted the military industrial model of education, believing that "As ye fiddle around, so shall ye find" and "Puttering, tinkering, and dabbling make perfect", two mottoes that had served them well in producing a long series of excellent ales.

  • #2139 submitted 12/26/2010: mazarine, supernal, embarrass, powwow

    At the age of eight, Catherine was very embarrassed in front of her friends when we called her "Ole Blueberries" (because of her large, striking mazarine eyes, like the supernal blue of the late evening heavens), so we convened a family powwow and solemnly agreed to call her only "Catherine" from then on, at least in public.

  • #2136 submitted 12/25/2010: mazarine, chiliasm, nosegay, eleemosynary

    The first stars showing in the mazarine sky, after a delightful nosegay of a flowery spring afternoon, is enough to make the most hardened cynic a chiliast and fill the most selfish miser with eleemosynary warmth.

  • #2132 submitted 12/24/2010: frowsty, unobtrusively, invincible, chaffer

    Mrs. McGinnis and Mrs. Rafferty were at the yard sale chaffering over a small pile of frowsty old blankets (which Mrs. McGinnis wanted for her dogs and Mrs. Rafferty wanted to muffle the clanging pipes in her cellar), when young Johnny sidled unobtrusively between them and managed to make off undetected with three, his dream of making a fort using blankets and the living room furniture on the cusp of being fully realized and elements of his nom de guerre whirling through his mind: Invulnerable, Unconquerable, Invincible, and (if only he could be certain how to pronounce it) Doughty.

  • #2125 submitted 12/22/2010: divagate, altruistic, numinous, lagniappe

    'Twas the season for lagniappe, so retired Senator Billy Bob Dupont's secretary was busy tucking fifty-dollar bills into envelopes for the various service providers and delivery persons who together constituted the support system for his large, rambling estate, Divagating Acres, hoping the recipients would think of him as altruistic rather than manipulative, to which end she included a Christmas photo of the Senator and his family, expensively dressed and smiling their media-savvy smiles - spectacular, inscrutable and numinously refined.

  • #2117 submitted 12/19/2010: Gongorism, contiguous, welter, Nth

    The fantastical new church, the quintessence of bad taste by any classical standard, was unfortunately contiguous to the ruins of a spare, elegant early medieval abbey, the closeness of the two structures exaggerating the church's architectural Gongorism to the nth degree and forcing the visitor to see it as a welter of obscurity, extravagance, over-refinement, and a complete violation of the accepted principles of architecture and even logic.

  • #2110 submitted 12/17/2010: ontology, don't look a gift horse in the mouth, philately, horripilate

    Andrew Jerome had never understood the lure of philately - his attitude toward postage stamps was purely utilitarian - but, not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, he did not refuse his Uncle Ralph's gift of the two hundred stamp albums which, when he finally looked through them after his uncle's death, turned out not only to beg the ontological question, "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?", but also to demonstrate that his late uncle's manifestly insane system of ordering his collection made the hair on Andrew's arms stand up and gave him goosebumps, a horripilation he had heretofore imagined confined to cats.

  • #2102 submitted 12/15/2010: tautology, pensive, quincunx, boondocks

    Luke lived out in the hinterlands in a boondocks-appropriate dwelling made of rough-cut logs with the bark still on, but at the time our story commences he was not, in fact, settin' out on the stoop in his ovahauls gnawing on a piece of raw turnip, but rather gazing pensively at a chessboard set up on the kitchen table, wondering what to do about the quincunx before him, at the center of which was his king's bishop (his wife's three pawns and queen's rook facing him from four corners), and musing tautologically about the added bonus of planning ahead.

  • #2091 submitted 12/12/2010: aguish, ideogram, gulosity, gallivant

    There was an unfamiliar ideogram on the gatepost which nevertheless had an unpleasantly aquish look to it (something a little colder and harsher than "trespassers will be prosecuted, that is), so Toby inferred that gallivanting light-heartedly around the grounds would not be a good idea and, instead, returned to the village inn where he could indulge his gulosities (for food, drink, and friendly female company) without fear of offending anyone.

Displaying Post 46 - 60 of 397 in total

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