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Name lookup timeouts

I'm running MiNTnet 0.70 to connect to the campus SLIP service and so
far have had no problems with it except for some strangeness with name
resolution.  Sometimes, with no pattern I can discern, a name lookup a
la gethostname() will time out and fail.  This wouldn't be suspicious
in itself, except that:

- Submitting the same query to the same nameserver from a different
  machine consistently succeeds.

- Judging from the modem lights, the nameserver is in fact sending an
  answer.  When the name lookup times out and resends, the RD light
  flashes almost immediately after the SD light, and it's a little too
  long IMO to be just an ack.

The problem seems to have to do with whether the local nameserver has to
recursively query a higher-level nameserver; local names seem to always
succeed, and remote names sometimes succeed, but will sometimes fail the
very next time, depending on (I speculate) whether that name happens to
be in the local nameserver's cache.

This problem effects every program that does any name lookup --- ftp,
telnet, chimera, you name it.  Has anyone else experienced this?  Am I
doing something wrong?