7
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With inspiration from Detiva's puzzle.

Find words to fit the clues. Each "X X X" should be replaced with the same three letters.

Pattern Clue
X X X _ _ _ _ level
_ X X X _ _ _ spread
_ _ X X X _ _ center
_ _ _ X X X _ place
_ _ _ _ X X X language
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8
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I think the missing letter sequence could be:

LAN

Using the following words:

LANDING - a level of a building between flights of stairs;
BLANKET - a bedspread;
BALANCE - center of balance;
IRELAND (or ICELAND, ZEALAND or many others) - a place;
CATALAN - a language most commonly used in parts of Spain.

I had also considered:

the three-letter sequence ALI, since ALIGNED (level), REALIGN (center), SOMALIA (place) and BENGALI (language) all fit, but I could not for the life of me find a satisfying _ALI___ for 'spread'. Then again, it would not surprise me if the OP's intended answer is neither of these but something else altogether!

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2
  • $\begingroup$ For #4 I had in mind rot13(VZCYNAG) (as a verb), but yours are just as good. The other four are exactly what I was thinking of. $\endgroup$ Apr 20 '20 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @eyl327 Ah, so this is correct! Glad I abandoned the other one I mentioned then - I was stuck on that one for ages and had to refresh my brain to think up anything else! Crazy how a mind can get fixated on one thing and find it hard to budge... Thanks for the puzzle :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Apr 20 '20 at 11:41

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