The ___________ of the new smartphone may lead one to think that the manufacturer must be raking in the cash, but so little profit is made on each unit that sales of the phone barely affect the bottom line.
This is a tough sentence, because it seems to be about money. But while cost could work if it had a pair word, expenditure means only “an amount of money spent,” so it can’t work here. You need something else for the blank that would lead you to think the company would make a lot of money. If it can’t be the cost of each unit, it has to be the number of units sold. Ubiquity and omnipresence fit this meaning. Construction and aesthetics are not enough of a pair, and they don’t inherently explain why the company would be raking in cash.
The famous bank robber John Dillinger would never have been captured but for the _________ of Ana Cumpna , a friend of his who had been hiding him in the brothel that she owned.
The most important word in this sentence is the word friend, implying that Ana Cumpna betrayed Dillinger. Nosiness and meddling are a reasonable pair, but they don’t fit with the fact that Ana Cum na was Dillinger’s friend. Only perfidy and treachery correctly fit the sentence.
The remark was intended as something of a __________, even if it sounded anodyne on the surface.
The words even if signal a change in the meaning of the sentence, so you need a word for the blank that is the opposite of anodyne, which can mean “alleviating pain,” but here means “not likely to provoke offense.” Compliment and panegyric both have positive connotations, so they can’t work here. Only slight and gibe have the required negativity.
To avoid a lengthy prison term, the convicted financier signed a binding document delineating the millions in fines and restitution that she must pay, and another legal memorandum in which she ________ her former role and financial interest in the hedge fund she had founded.
Since the hedge fund founder is doing something to avoid a long prison term, and because of the clue “former role,” you know that she “gave up” that role. Abjured and forwent both work here. Be precise — reneged means “to break a promise.” A leader can be deposed, but you don’t depose a role. The hedge fund founder may be being censured (probably worse), but it doesn’t make sense for her to censure (disapprove of, reprimand) her role.
Perhaps understandably because of the carnage caused by the terrorist attack, the mayor could not help but _________ over the terrible decisions to be made, even though his subordinates on the scene passionately implored him to act immediately, one going so far as to quote David Farragut: “Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.”
Given the pivot phrase “even though,” the answers must oppose “act immediately” and the Farragut quote. Divagate is a trap — it means “to wander or digress,” especially in speech, and so doesn’t quite work here. Weep and wail are a pair, but are not justified by the clues in the sentence.
The presidential candidate, known not only for the deeply reasoned content of his prepared speeches but also for the fiery brilliance of his delivery, badly miscalculated his ability to perform equally successfully when delivering __________ answers to unexpected queries form the media.
“Badly miscalculated” indicates that there are two opposing parts of the sentence: the candidate’s “prepared speeches” are good, but some other type of answers are bad. You need two words that mean “improvised” or “off-the-cuff.” Note that lubricious and disingenuous form a pair relating to dishonesty that is unrelated to the clues and might be a trap (if you insert your own, negative ideas about politicians). Premeditated is the opposite of what you want.
Most people erroneously believe that the horror of biological warfare was a new and terrible invention of the late 20th century; however, 18th century British generals, with the blessings of their pastors, won a war with American Indians threatening colonial settlements by gifting them the blankets used by smallpox patients, causing a disease outbreak that virtually exterminated the _________ population.
The answers must describe the American Indian population discussed in the sentence. Native may be obvious; indigenous means the same thing. Note that smallpox could be a pandemic, but that word does not belong in the blank.
The player’s exploits both on the field and in the finest night clubs around the world earned him many __________ from his legions of staunch admires — so many, in fact, that his given name was all but forgotten.
The spin of this sentence is positive — “staunch admirers” — and you learn that the player’s given name was all but forgotten (the expression “all but” means something like “99%”). So, you need two words like nickname. Misnomers and aliases are types of names, but false ones. Neologism is off because it emphasizes “new,” as in a “brand new word,” rather than a “nickname.”
Although they were already late for the formal reception, the couple continued to __________ because they preferred to lounge about and bask in each other’s company.
Given the clue that they were already late, delay would be a good focus. The incorrect pair, lurk and skulk, have a negative, furtive connotation — they are related to hanging around for some bad reason. Did the couple embrace? You don’t know. Avoid choices that make literal sense but cannot be justified by the clues.
The doctor’s unapproved “health juice” first won him fortune, but then, after several deaths, infamy as a __________.
A quack is a “fraudulent doctor” and a shyster is a “con man” (in medicine or any field), so both work here. Sap and dupe are synonyms (suckers, people who have been tricked) that describe the people who fell for the doctor’s potion, not the doctor and his reputation.