Crucial to fostering a realistic understanding of the potential boons—and perils—of the new drug will be a concerted effort to _______ the specific contexts and symptoms that render its use appropriate.
A realistic understanding of the “boons and perils,” or advantages and disadvantages, of the new drug requires that people know when they should and should not use it. In other words, the “contexts and symptoms” that are appropriate for taking the drug should be delineated or stipulated, both of which mean “described” or “specified.”
Robert Gottlieb, who otherwise found much to admire in John Steinbeck, argued that he was politically _________, offering an adolescent disaffection in place of settled judgment.
Otherwise suggests that Gottlieb did not find Steinbeck’s political views admirable. “Adolescent disaffection” suggests that he found Steinbeck’s views in some sense immature, so look for negative words that mean something like “immature.” Naïve and callow are the best options. Perspicacious and keen both suggest insight, nearly opposite of what we’ve anticipated. Contemptible is negative, but with no suggestion of immaturity — make sure to use the clues provided without adding your own ideas. (Note that naïve is sometimes written with two dots over the “i,” as in the original French, and sometimes without.)
Two months after the first shots of the American Revolution were fired, the British offered a pardon to any rebels willing to lay down arms, excepting only Samuel Adams and John Hancock, whose offenses the commanding British officer considered too _________ to forgive.
First, you read that in the view of the commanding British officer, Adams and Hancock had committed “offenses,” so you might anticipate a word like of ensive. Second, they were the only rebels whom he would not pardon or forgive, so he considered their behavior “unpardonable, unforgivable.” If you put these all together we’ll get something like “unforgivably offensive.” Both flagitious and heinous match this meaning. Boorish means something like “crude,” but is much too weak a word to fit this sentence.
The defendant impressed the jurors as _________; they did not believe that a woman of her education and experience could possibly be as naïve as she acted.
You want a word that means “not as naïve as one pretends.” Disingenuous mean precisely that, and one meaning of artful is “deceptive.” This sentence is difficult because the word impressed is used to refer to making an impression in a negative way. Finally, culpable means “guilty” and is an attractive trap, but goes further than the clues in the sentence allow you. The clues clearly indicate that you need words that mean “not naïve.”
Many Enlightenment philosophers viewed Machiavelli’s book as a satire meant to expose and caricature the _________ claims to power of the very figures Machiavelli pretended to endorse.
If Machiavelli only “pretended” to endorse the claims to power, and if they were subject to exposure and caricature, they must have been not only illegitimate but ridiculous. None of the answers suggests ridiculousness, but two answers — specious and spurious — mean the claims are false. While not synonyms, both words describe claims that are superficially attractive, but in fact false.
Sometimes _________ comes at a price; research suggests that among first-generation Chinese Americans, those who embrace the traditional Confucian values of their homeland are more likely to succeed academically than are those who do not.
The structure of this sentence demands a little extra attention. It is those who do not embrace the values of their homeland who do worse academically, so it is they who pay the price. What comes at a price, then, is embracing the culture of the new home. You want words that name the process of becoming part of a new land and culture.
The long history of such _________ Western religious traditions as Kaballah and theosophy suggest that it is wrong to associate mysticism only with the East.
Whatever else Kaballah and theosophy are, they are Western religious traditions, and they must be mystical themselves if they suggest that it is wrong to associate mysticism only with the East. So you want words that mean something like “mystical.” Esoteric and arcane are the only good answers.
Though most technology used in the manufacture of bicycles is either decades old or adapted from other industries, the advent of carbon fiber frames brought with it genuine _________.
Though tells you that the advent of carbon fiber brought something opposite to “old” or “adapted” technology. You’re looking for words that describe something new or original.
The director of the musical admitted that while he was very good with characterization, scenery, lighting, and music, choreography was not at all his __________.
Strong suit, forte.
The word while tells you that you’re going to take the opposite of something — in this case, the fact that the director is “very good” at a lot of stuff. However, the phrase “not at all” will twist you back in the opposite direction, so you need a word for the blank that means something like “strength.” Strong suit and forte both fit perfectly. Hobby and pastime are a pair, but they don’t work here, as this is clearly the director’s job. Similarly, weakness and deficiency are a pair, but the opposite of what you want.
Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine, has always been a huge ___________ of the philosophy that all information “wants to be free”; interesting, then, that his latest book retailed for $29.99, and Wired still charges for subscriptions.
The second half of this sentence (after the semicolon) tells you that Chris Anderson charges money for his products, and is introduced by an ironic “interesting.” This makes it likely that he supports the idea of information being free. Champion and proponent both imply support (detractor and critic are a pair with the opposite meaning of what you want).