Endings like -ism (“belief”), -mania (“obsession”), and -phobia (“fear”) can tell you a lot about a word’s meaning. As you navigate this month’s quiz, pay close attention to the suffix of each term for helpful clues.
At your wit’s end? Turn the page for answers. 1. cryptology (krip-'tah-luh-jee) n.—A: raiding of tombs. B: series of puzzles. C: study of codes.
2. empathetic (em-puh-'theh-tik) adj.—A: showing understanding or sensitivity. B: sad. C: numb.
3. ovoid ('oh-voyd) adj.— A: egg-shaped. B: empty. C: passionate.
4. deify ('dee-uh-fiy) v.—A: treat as a god. B: bring back to life. C: disregard.
5. perspicacious (puhr-spuh'kay-shuhs) adj.—A: finicky. B: of acute mental vision. C: fortunate or lucky.
6. indigenous (in-'dih-juh-nuhs) adj.—A: poor. B: native. C: mixed.
7. herbicide ('er-buh-siyd) n.—
A: greenhouse. B: skin lotion. C: agent used to inhibit or kill plant growth.
8. pachyderm ('pa-kih-duhrm) n.—A: elephant. B: jellyfish. C: butterfly.
9. Kafkaesque (kahf-kuh-'esk) adj.—A: nightmarishly complex. B: gigantic. C: left-wing.
10. atrophy ('a-truh-fee) v.— A: waste away. B: win a prize. C: speak out against.
11. knavish ('nay-vish) adj.— A: sticky. B: sharply honed. C: deceitful or dishonest.
12. legalese (lee-guh-'leez) n.— A: passage of laws. B: strict rules. C: legal language.
13. patriarch ('pay-tree-ark) n.— A: Roman vault. B: father figure. C: homeland.
14. obsolescent (ob-soh-'leh-sent) adj.—A: teenage. B: quite fat. C: going out of use.
15. solarium (soh-'lar-ee-uhm) n.—A: sunroom. B: private nook. C: answer to a problem.