With inspiration from Detiva's puzzle.

Find words to fit the clues. Each $\text{X X X}$ should be replaced with the same three letters.

$ \begin{gather} % custom template - reuse if you may \def\S#1#2{\Space{#1}{20px}{#2px}}\def\P#1{\V{#1em}}\def\V#1{\S{#1}{9}} \def\T{\color{white}{\textbf{Pattern}}}\def\NT{\color{white}{\textbf{Clue}}}\displaystyle \smash{\lower{29px}\bbox[teal]{\phantom{\rlap{rubio.2020.01.21-custom}\S{90px}{0} \begin{array}{cc}\T&\NT\\\end{array}}}}\atop\def\V#1{\S{#1}{5}} \begin{array}{|c|c|}\hline\T&\NT\\\hline % ~\text{ X X X _ _ _ _ }&\text{ level }\\ \hline ~\text{ _ X X X _ _ _ }&\text{ spread }\\ \hline ~\text{ _ _ X X X _ _ }&\text{ center }\\ \hline ~\text{ _ _ _ X X X _ }&\text{ place }\\ \hline ~\text{ _ _ _ _ X X X }&\text{ language }\\ \hline \end{array}\end{gather}$


I think the missing letter sequence could be:


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!

| improve this answer | |
  • $\begingroup$ 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. $\endgroup$ – DenverCoder1 Apr 20 at 11:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @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 at 11:41

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