Fill in the blank (Advanced)

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1. (b) The clue to this question lies in the phrase – ‘However, with all its flaws’. The first word should highlight something negative in England’s actions. ‘Complicit in the kind of economic growth that strangulates the poor’ fits well. In the second sentence, since it starts with ‘however’ we are looking for something that has a positive connotation. ‘Conscientious’ therefore is appropriate. Another option, which can be considered is (b). ‘Involved’ would fit the first blank but ‘judicious’ is primarily used to imply ‘wise’ or ‘of sound judgement’.
2. (c) The preposition ‘to’ after the second blank is very helpful. Options (a) and (b) can be eliminated as ‘tools to crime’ or ‘handicaps to crime’ would be incorrect. Out of options (d) and (c), ‘transcending’ would be inappropriate for the first blank.
3. (b) The options for the first blank are very close in meaning. Clearly, there is something about the publishers’ attitude that worries authors. This indicates that we need a somewhat negative word for the second blank. If the publishers are not publishing books that do not ‘excite’ or ‘stimulate’ the market it does not explain the authors’ concern. ‘Titillate’ which means ‘to arouse, tease, interest, or excite pleasurably and often superficially’ carries a negative connotation and fits here. You can also take a clue from “not bold enough”.
4. (a) This question essentially boils down to a choice between options (a) and (d). Option (b) can be eliminated, as ‘monitor’ would be idiomatically incorrect in the first blank. Option (c) would also be incorrect, as we need an adverb in the second blank and ‘stealthy’ is an adjective. The first word in both options (a) and (d) can fit the first blank. However, in the second blank, between ‘surreptitiously’ and ‘slyly’, surreptitiously would be more appropriate as it means ‘by clandestine means or secretly’ whereas slyly also carries the additional connotation of ‘cunningly’ which is not indicated in the paragraph.
5. (d) Option (d) is the only one where the words fit the sentences idiomatically.
6. (b) Until now Dr Stephen had been regarded as an ally of faith. So the new revelations from him must have gone against the religious establishment otherwise that first point would not have been mentioned. The second blank clearly needs to contrast with the first because it talks about ideological opponents. ‘Jarring’ and ‘mellifluous’ are the best combination to fit in the blanks.
7. (a) The first blank can be filled with ‘vices’ or ‘problems’. ‘Foibles’ may also seem to be a close option. But ‘foibles’ usually connote a minor flaw or weakness and is therefore inappropriate for the context. The second blank helps us decide. The entire sentence discusses how although dictatorships have been replaced with democracies other issues still remain. ‘Entrenched’ is the word that brings out this contrast best. ‘Pervasive’ is close but it means something which is widespread. It is a better contrast with something that is rare. Thus in the context not as appropriate. ‘Dislodged’ conveys the opposite idea, to what is needed in the blank, as it means ‘removed from place’.
8. (3) The word ‘disingenuous’ means insincere and is suitable in the given context (suggested by the word- ‘sinister’) . The word ‘victims’ brings out the contrast with ‘perpetrators’ most aptly.
9. (4) In the first blank the word ‘scrutinizers’ is inappropriate as the context suggests observation and not analysis, therefore ‘observers’ is the right word. In the second blank ‘concede’ would be more appropriate than ‘agree’ as the sense is that of yielding ground as suggested by the expression ‘forced to…’

10. (2) The best option is 2 (congenital, education) as the word ‘environment’ in the sentence is used figuratively to suggest the overall surroundings/conditions which shape a person. Option 3 seems close but is incorrect as the word ‘climate’ is insufficient to convey this figurative sense of environment.

11. (4) Going by the first blank, option (3) and (4) are close. In the second blank the context requires a word which goes along with the sense of ‘minds’ which are accustomed to the former or the old school of thought and hence the word ‘tradition’ aptly fits in here.

12. 1 The keywords “least conscious” — obviously, you become conscious of proper punctuation only if it obtrudes, i.e. hinders your flow or shows up prominently.
13. 3
14. 1 If one travels abroad it is to explore the world.
15. 4 The second word should be more intense in degree as compared to the first one, indicated by even.
16. 4 Simplified guide…anyone facing decisions.
17. 2 Paralyzed people do not have complex or involuntary nerves, but some of their nerves are damaged.
18. 3 The sentence conveys the idea of the maximum possible choice, which can result only in the presence of minimal constraints.
19. 2 The right choices should be similar in meaning.

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