In each example, can you replace ??? with the same word?

  1. I had to ??? the ??? to a series of tests.
  2. Upon seeing the ??? in her painting she shed a ???.
  3. They were too ??? to the door to ??? it.
  4. The insurance was ??? for the ??? in his hospital bed.
  5. I did not ??? to the ??? that she showed me.
  6. When shot at, the ??? ??? into the bushes.
  7. The farm was cultivated to ??? ???.
  8. The bandage was ??? around the ???.

1 Answer 1


4. Presumably INVALID is intended, but also: PATIENT (he was supposed to fill in some forms to prove he was entitled to the money they were spending for his healthcare, but they kindly waited until he was well enough to do it), POOR (yes, "poor" can be a singular noun, though it's not a common usage), DEAR (he was a lovely chap, but unfortunately his insurance company really screwed him over on the premiums), INTENDED (it was his fiancee who had the insurance, but she found a way to claim the money and have it spent on him -- and kept him company in bed too).
5. Perhaps OBJECT is intended, but also: RUN (she showed me where she kept her chickens but I didn't rush over to look), AMOUNT (my net worth was below the threshold she indicated), BOW (she wanted me to prostrate myself before her idol, which took the form of her god's hunting weapon, but I wouldn't), CLIMB (she pointed to further up the mountain, where there was a cliff face it would be fun to ascend with ropes, but I thought getting up there would be too tiring), DANCE (she showed me the musical score for a jig she'd written, but it didn't get my foot tapping).
6. DUCK [EDITED to add: it turns out that OP intended DOVE here. DUCK has the advantage of working in BrE as well as in AmE.]

Credit where due: I didn't think of #7 for myself; samm82 suggested it in comments (and I strongly suspect that Jay's earlier comment indicates that Jay too had thought of it). Thanks!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There is another word for fresh fruit and vegetables that can be homonymed $\endgroup$
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 2:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure #7 is rot13(cebqhpr). $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 2:37
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Oh, of course! Will edit accordingly and credit appropriately. $\endgroup$
    – Gareth McCaughan
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ I was trying to figure out if "homograph" would be a better label for these words, but apparently the term "homonym" encompasses both homographs and homophones $\endgroup$
    – samm82
    Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 2:42
  • $\begingroup$ Very good! Love all the possibilities for 4. There is another word for 6. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 19, 2021 at 4:40

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