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The following image represents a word, in a way that makes sense in American English but not in British English.

rebus

What is the word?

Hint:

describe the image in a way that would make sense as a clue in a cryptic crossword. The crossword entry which would be given by that clue is the word you need.

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  • $\begingroup$ Is it a Russian word? $\endgroup$ – Joe Z. Mar 22 '15 at 16:32
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    $\begingroup$ @JoeZ. That would be telling! ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 22 '15 at 16:33
  • $\begingroup$ Gray Z gazing, (not grazing) $\endgroup$ – Jiminion Mar 26 '15 at 12:05
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    $\begingroup$ Gray N mirrored. Gray N turned. Gray N reversed. $\endgroup$ – Jiminion Mar 26 '15 at 12:09
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    $\begingroup$ Great puzzle @randal'thor! $\endgroup$ – Brian Robbins Mar 26 '15 at 13:44

11 Answers 11

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How about:

Gray N turned. So turning ==> anagram. So that would be : Angry!

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  • $\begingroup$ "Gray N turned" is the correct answer for the crossword clue. What single word could this refer to? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 26 '15 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ OK, I think I got it.... $\endgroup$ – Jiminion Mar 26 '15 at 12:32
  • $\begingroup$ Congratulations! :-D You have indeed got it. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 26 '15 at 12:36
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    $\begingroup$ It would have been more helpful in the beginning if the N were indeed turned and not mirrored. $\endgroup$ – Ian MacDonald Mar 26 '15 at 12:38
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald - It is turned, about an axis parallel to the two uprights that goes through the midpoint. $\endgroup$ – h34 Mar 26 '15 at 16:51
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Best I can do is

silvery

because

it's a silver-ish "И" (which is pronounced [ˈi] in Russian)

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  • $\begingroup$ OK, this is a good alternative solution, so +1. The one I have in mind is cleverer though, so I'll edit the question slightly - I hope you don't mind! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 22 '15 at 19:52
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Based on the OP's comments, I'm guessing it's not:

Easy: И ("ee" in Russian) + Z ("zee" in American English)

But it's likely that it is:

Some word or phrase containing "zee" (which is why it doesn't make sense in British English).

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  • $\begingroup$ +1 for a good try that meets the American English criterion, but the colour is also relevant (and why Z as well as the Russian letter?) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 22 '15 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ Just spotted your comment to the other answer :-) $\endgroup$ – Uri Zarfaty Mar 22 '15 at 20:29
  • $\begingroup$ For the moment, I'll neither confirm nor deny whether "zee" is involved. That may change if it stays unsolved for too long ;-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 22 '15 at 20:32
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Another thought I had was:

Overgraze

Because

it's a gray "z" that's been turned over?

Though I think this would work even better in British/Canadian English:

Overgrazed

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  • $\begingroup$ Getting closer ... you've got the right colour but the wrong letter. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 23 '15 at 9:07
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Second attempt:

Take into account my first answer. Then.. put in the Crossword aspect and we get:

Against the Grain!

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  • $\begingroup$ Now you're getting further away. As stated in the question, the answer is a single word. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 23 '15 at 21:42
  • $\begingroup$ Oh drat! Ah well $\endgroup$ – Brian Robbins Mar 23 '15 at 21:43
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Based on Uri Zarfaty's idea, it might be

CRAZY:
gray letter Z = gray "zee" (in American English) = "crazy"

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  • $\begingroup$ But it's not a Z; the orientation is wrong. There's more you need to take into account... Also no homophones are involved. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 25 '15 at 18:46
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"A gray N backwards (or turned around) is correct", so I am guessing

Nyarga, which appears to be a place in Russia.

The difference b/w British and U.S. is

the spelling of gray (grey is British).

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Given the numerous hints through other answers I'm going to say:

Grainy

Since they color is

gray

Plus:

The N that I see

Plus:

double ee from the

Russian (and to my eyes) backward N

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  • $\begingroup$ You and Duncan are the closest yet! +1. Recall the title of the puzzle though - how might you describe this rebus as a crossword clue? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 23 '15 at 21:30
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My guess:

Greenback

Because:

It's a grey "n" that's backwards (taking some liberality with pronunciation of "grey")

And (US vs. Britain):

"Greenback" is US slang for money but doesn't mean anything to Brits

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  • $\begingroup$ A gray N backwards (or turned around) is correct, but the answer isn't. +1; you're getting closer! $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 23 '15 at 21:29
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I think it is:

organize

Because in British English it would be:

organise. I'm pretty sure it's a play on -ize and -ise, even if that's not the word.

Update:

Make that 'reflection' (vs. reflexion)

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  • $\begingroup$ You're barking up the wrong tree here, I'm afraid. With so many answers, it's probably time for me to add a new hint to the question soon. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 25 '15 at 21:50
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The word is

zig-zag

because

it's an image of a zig-zag.

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  • $\begingroup$ It's not that simple! :-p The exact shape and colour are significant. You're a crossword-writer, so you should be able to get this. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 22 '15 at 16:57

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