In a place rife with both poverty and crime, some cautioned the young student that to _________ about with his fancy phone and designer clothing was only to invite trouble.
You need two words that mean “to walk around in a showing-off sort of way.” Both gallivant and traipse indicate this kind of carefree walking. Sprint is a trap answer — you certainly don’t have any sense that the student was running very fast.
The children’s attempt at a Mother’s Day brunch was _________;soggy French toast, lukewarm coffee, and a syrup fight in the kitchen that would inevitably end up being cleaned up by the very recipient of the brunch.
The children’s attempt at a Mothers Day brunch went pretty badly — so badly that it actually made more work for Mom. What a joke! Correct choices risible and farcical both mean “laughable.” The word farcical is more negative, but these two words are the only choices that fit. Note that the brunch was not satirical because it was not making fun of a pre-existing work of art, situation, etc.
The man looked much older than his 70 years, his _________ frame looking as though it had endured at least 40 years in the desert; although the casting director had initially pictured a more physically robust Moses, the actor was, in the end, perfect for the role.
The clues here are very obvious: the man looks even older than his actual age of 70, and as though he had endured 40 years in the desert. Desiccated means “dried out,” and wizened means “old and withered.” Note trap answer arid, which means “dry” — this is a good word to describe a desert, but cannot describe a person.
While traveling to the spa’s remote location could be hectic, visitors to the spa more than made up for the stress by unwinding in a supremely _________ environment.
You need two words that are the opposite of “hectic.” You have the additional clue make up for the stress. Pacific and placid both mean peaceful.
A petty man obsessed with—but in perpetual doubt about—his own power, he surrounded himself with subordinates who could best be described as _________.
A petty man obsessed with — but in perpetual doubt about — his own power sounds pretty insecure. You have an additional clue about “subordinates.” Correct choices myrmidons and sycophants both refer to servile followers.
Aghast at the indiscretion, the politician took a symbolic vow of _________, hoping that public attention to the matter would quickly wane.
The answer revolves around understanding the clue, “aghast,” as well as the fact that the politician wants public attention to wane (reduce). Openness and transparency are an incorrect pair. While perhaps a policy of openness might have prevented the politician’s troubles in the first place, there is no indication from the sentence that giving more information would cause public interest to decrease.
Although the system’s _________ is not currently in dispute at the national level, increasing local allegations of preferential treatment are threatening to change the situation.
There are allegations of preferential treatment or unfairness at the local level, and these are threatening to spill over into criticisms that the system is unfair or partial at the national level. But you are told that the system’s fairness is not currently in dispute at that level, so you are looking for synonyms for fairness or impartiality. The correct answers are equity and probity.
While the muted colors do suggest a certain sobriety, the overall effect is undeniably _________.
In this case, sobriety means grave or serious, and you are looking for an antonym, something like happy or lively. Vivacious means “lively,” and mirthful means “full of joy.” These are correct answers. Dull and lackluster are the opposites of what you are looking for.
The etymologies of the words alpha and omega couldn’t be more different; the former is obscure—the original symbol for alpha was an ox’s head, and an ox is ‘alp in Phoenician — while the latter is ________, as omega simply means “big O.”
The etymology of “alpha” is described as “obscure,” and the word while implies that the etymology of “omega” will be “not obscure.” Both transparent and overt carry this meaning. Complicated and abstruse are the opposite of what you want, and neither erudite nor scholarly are particularly relevant to the meaning of the sentence.
Arthur Conan Doyle’s upstanding hero Sherlock Holmes engages in just as much clever deception as his nemesis, Professor Moriarty, proving that ___________ is not inherently evil.
You are told that both Sherlock Holmes and Professor Moriarty engage in “clever deception,” though one of them is “upstanding” and the other is not. You simply need a synonym for “clever deception.” Immorality and wrongdoing do not imply anything clever, and brilliance does not imply deception. Cunning and subterfuge both fit.