Weekend Word Riddles 1.7.6
on Earth and in the heavens. How many of these
hybrids do you recognize?
1. jovial (adj.) - A: merry. B: laid-back. C: pleasingly
plump. D: ruddy.
2. pedigree (n.) - A: study of children. B: diploma.
C: ancestral line. D: stamp of approval.
3. homogeneous (adj.) - A: relating to humans. B: similar.
C: melancholy. D: cheerful and upbeat.
4. sleuth (n.) - A: timidity. B: detective. C: carelessness.
D: opening in a dam.
5. aftermath (n.) - A: result. B: critique. C: concise
summary. D: type of appendix.
6. cocksure (adj.) - A: cynical. B: angry. C: insensitive
and uncaring. D: overly confident.
7. nausea (n.) - A: despair. B: uncertainty. C: sickness in
the stomach. D: indifference.
8. canard (n.) - A: ominous warning. B: malicious rumor.
C: humorous proverb. D: small bucket.
9. ruminate (v.) - A: to become nostalgic. B: wander about.
C: ponder. D: search for.
10. cordial (adj.) - A: happy. B: perceptive. C: friendly.
11. reek (v.) - A: to throw into disorder. B: be soaking
wet. C: take revenge. D: give off an unpleasant odor.
12. solar plexus (n.) - area of the A: abdomen. B: head.
C: back. D: chest.
13. germinate (v.) - A: to begin to grow. B: be relevant.
C: be creative. D: stimulate.
14. ferret (v.) - A: to search out. B: camouflage.
C: plunder. D: move quickly.
15. dog days (n.) - period of A: being carefree. B: having
youthful flings. C: misfortune. D: hot weather.
16. wheedle (v.) - A: to shout. B: coax. C: pry. D: lie to.
17. fathom (v.) - A: to understand. B: explain. C: decide.
D: reach out.
18. halcyon (adj.) - A: shimmering. B: pertaining to the air
we breathe. C: fresh and bracing. D: calm and peaceful.
19. wisp (n.) - A: brief glance. B: hush. C: speech defect.
D: something slight.
20. oval (adj.) - shaped like A: an apple. B: a banana.
C: an egg. D: a rhomboid.
From the planet Jupiter, considered by astrologers to be a
2. pedigree - C: Ancestral line; family tree. Middle French
pie de grue (crane's foot, which resembles the lines of
descent in genealogical charts).
3. homogeneous - B: Similar; alike; of the same nature; as,
Our townspeople are too homogeneous; we miss the diverse
population of the cities. Greek homogenes.
4. sleuth - B: Detective. Shortened form of sleuthhound, a
bloodhound that tracks a trail by scent. Old Norse sloth
5. aftermath - A: Result or consequence; as, The picnic had
an unfortunate aftermath; we got poison ivy. Also, grass
that grows after mowing. Old English mth (crop, harvest).
6. cocksure - D: Overly confident; absolutely certain. From
cock (rooster, notable for his confident strutting) and
7. nausea - C: A feeling of sickness in the stomach; as, He
had nausea from the rolling and pitching of the ship. Latin,
from Greek naus (ship).
8. canard - B: Malicious rumor; false report. French (duck;
hoax). From vendre un canard a moitie (to pretend to sell a
9. ruminate - C: To ponder; turn over and over in the mind;
as, The wise old man ruminated on my question. Latin
ruminare (to chew one's cud as a cow - a ruminant - does).
10. cordial - C: Friendly; warm and sincere; gracious; as,
Her cordial welcome made everyone feel at ease. Latin cor
11. reek - D: To give off an unpleasant odor; as, When
accused by a woman of smelling, the incomparable Samuel
Johnson is said to have replied, "Nay, madam. You smell.
I reek." Old English reocan.
12. solar plexus - A: Area of the abdomen having an inter-
lacing of nerves that radiate like rays of the sun. Latin
sol (sun) and plexus (braid; network).
13. germinate - A: To begin to grow or develop; as, Meetings
germinate ideas; seeds germinate into plants. Latin
germinare (to sprout).
14. ferret - A: To search or find out by persistent invest-
igation; as, to ferret out facts the way a ferret (a small
weasel-like animal) drives rabbits from burrows.
15. dog days - D: Hot, sultry weather during July and August,
so called because Sirius the Dog Star rises and sets with
16. wheedle - B: To coax; persuade by flattery; as, The
teenager wheedled use of the convertible out of his father.
Perhaps from German wedeln (to wag the tail).
17. fathom - A: To understand; get to the bottom of; as, She
couldn't fathom his motive. From fathom, a six-foot-long
measure of water's depth. Old English fthm (outstretched
18. halcyon - D: Calm, peaceful and idyllic. Greek alkyon,
a mythological bird that calmed wind and waves during the
19. wisp - D: Something slight or delicate, such as a streak
of smoke or lock of hair; as, a wisp of a girl. Middle
20. oval - C: Having the shape of the long cross-section of
an egg. Latin ovum (egg).