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Text Completion Challenge Answers

These are the explanations from last week’s Text Completion Challenge.



1. I must admit that this is quite a toughie for an easy question (it’s probably more of a medium-level question). The clue word here is deleterious, which means harmful. The contrast in the sentence is from the seemingly __________….actually… Therefore, the blank has to be opposite to deleterious. (E) benign works well.


Part of the reason this is a tricky question is the distractor (B) banal, which means commonplace. The contrast is not between products that seemed so commonplace but were actually rare, or some of opposite of commonplace. (B) may make superficial sense, because household products strike as banal, or commonplace.

2. Last decades…breakthroughs indicates that the first blank is (B) forefront. Brink is misleading, since it means that they were about to make breakthroughs but never actually did.

The second blank is a simple contrast between then and now. Now is the victims in its wake, meaning the companies are no longer doing well. (E) matches nicely with this.


1. Prolixity means wordiness and inscrutability means difficulty to understand. Thompson has a reputation for both of these words, but finally intent shows us that there is a reversal (notice it is a slim collection). Therefore, he is making his ideas more accessible (watch out for the opposite (D)).


(C) palatable means easy to digest, figuratively speaking.


2. This is actually a little tougher than a medium, so I apologize if it caused you to bite your nails. A good strategy is breaking down the sentence, a method I discuss in depth in the Clemmonsdogpark product. What I mean by breaking down the sentence is simplifying the sentence using your own words. For instance:


“Oh, I see, there is lot of difference in writing but because of the despite the range of issues is not that different…hmm…okay so the readers demand the same thing, which is the word I need for the first blank (circumscribed, which means to limit, works well). Many think that each time a newspaper shuts down the variety of news becomes less varied. So the original fact that the media tends to report on a limited issues should reassure those who worry each time a newspaper shuts down.”

Breaking down the sentence helps you think of the “big picture” of the sentence, instead of becoming bogged down in words.


1. Here the clue is familiar and tired formula. The word that matches up best is (B) perfunctory. The sentence structure wasn’t too difficult, but the vocabulary was.

2. This TC is tough because the clue for the first blank is hard to find. Rather signals that there is a contrast with the first blank. In other words, the first blank has to be a word showing that the conditions were not favorable. For instance, look at the following two sentences.


He decided he wanted to take the bus. Rather, he would take a taxi.

He decided he did not want to take the bus. Rather, he would take a taxi.


The first sentence makes no sense with the “rather”. He is taking the bus, so no contrast is needed. The second sentences calls for the rather because it is showing that he choose not thing A but rather thing B.

For the first blank, only (C) inimical works.

Since the early years were not favorable to the Constitution three men had to support, or (E) champion, the constitution. The nation under one document implies that the central government would have an active role. The anti-Federalists, if they had their way, would force the government to (G) cede, or surrender, control.

Very Difficult

1. The word offing is a real doozy. It doesn’t mean things are being gotten rid off (or turned off, as it were) but that things are being planned. Therefore, residents would be (C), which means enthusiastic. The exciting projects will take a long time (inevitably plagued…setbacks), so much of the excitement, or fervor, is likely to diminish. (D) means lessened, and usually modifies some emotional state.

2. This one is tricky because the first blank seems to be (B). If we read on, we’ll notice that there is a contrast in how the actor approaches roles and the type of roles he plays. If (B) were the answer, then the second blank would have to be something like careless. Of course there is the difficult word nebbish to contend with. Nebbish describes somebody who is meek and ineffectual. Another clue for the first blank is suppressed agitation…forth. Taken together, these clues lead us to (C). (D) curiously anemic matches up best with nebbish and contrasts nicely with the agitated actor.

For the final blank, we need a negative word signifying that agitation is ready to burst through. (G) breakthrough is too neutral of a word. Whereas (H) fits nicely with the overall context.

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