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Brain Fun: Vocabulary Competition

Quizmasters Jennifer Dziura and Jonathan Lill were on the show today to give us a taste of a vocabulary tournament they host for adults in New York City. The tournament is part of an event called Chelsea Mind Games.

Mike Pesca and I, "Jeopardy!" veterans both, were the contestants. We played four rounds and enjoyed the thrill of victory (synonyms: conquest, achievement, ascendancy, mastery, success, supremacy) and the agony of defeat (synonyms: drubbing, rout, vanquishment, overthrow, debacle, downfall, labefaction) endured. You can listen to the outcome here . And why not play along at home? Answers appear after the jump.

ROUND ONE

You get 3 difficult words. You get one point for using each word correctly and you can get up to two possible additional points for style. One sentence containing all 3 words, if you can.

1.) mendacious, oligarchy and palliative.

2.) panache, expeditious and yeomanly

ROUND TWO

In the following list of four words, three are eponyms or toponyms, and one is a fake. Identify the fake one to win one point. If you need to know what an eponym is, look it up!

1.) All of these are ice skating jumps: which one is not an eponym?
Triple Lutz
Cherry Flip
Triple Axel
Salchow

2.) These are all types of musical instrument. Which is not an eponym?
Saxophone
Sarousaphone
Flugelhorn
Theremin

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ROUND THREE

We give you a definition, you supply the word. You get 4 choices. You win 3 points for picking the right answer. Then you can win additional points for supplying the correct definitions for the incorrect answers. 1 point for each correct definition.

1. Which word means pertaining to flags?
gynecomorphus
ichthyoid
vexillary
boorish

2. Which word means swallowing?
ataraxia
perambulation
deglutition
dulcinea

FINAL ROUND
In the following list of words, each has a synonym that ends in the letters ATE. For example if the word is to destroy, you would say "obliterate" or "annihilate." One point for each correct answer.

imply, suggest
join in
confirm
befuddle
think
worship
lie, tell an untruth
repeat
join together
plead in protest, or simply to protest
show, prove or explain
enroll in university
find your bearings by GPS
to spread as a rumor
disown
pass into or through
move to another country
rejoice
disparage, malign, defame

Answers:

ROUND ONE:

There's no one right answer. To hear Tricia's and Mike's answers listen to the interview! Put your own attempts in the comments section.

ROUND TWO

1.) All of these are ice skating jumps: which one is not an eponym? Triple Lutz, Cherry Flip, Triple Axel, Salchow

Answer: Cherry Flip

2.)These are all types of musical instrument. Which is not an eponym? Saxophone, Sarousaphone, Flugelhorn or Theremin?

Answer: flugelhorn

ROUND THREE

1. Which word means pertaining to flags?
gynecomorphus, ichthyoid, vexillary, boorish

Answer: vexillary
bonus point definitions:
gynecomorphous:having the form, appearance, or attributes of a female
ichthyoid: resembling or characteristic of a fish
boorish: unmannered; crude; insensitive

2. Which word means swallowing?
ataraxia, perambulation, deglutition, dulcinea

Answer: deglutition
bonus definitions:
ataraxia: calmness untroubled by mental or emotional disquiet
perambulation: walking or traveling about
dulcinea: a ladylove; sweetheart

ROUND FOUR

These are some of the answers Mike and Tricia came up with, and some extra examples mentioned by the judges. There are likely to be other acceptable answers to some of these questions. Feel free to put them in the comments section!

imply, suggest — (insinuate)
join in (participate)
confirm (corroborate)
befuddle- (addlepate)
think- (cogitate, ideate)
worship- (adulate, adorate, venerate)
lie, tell an untruth- (prevaricate)
repeat- (iterate or reiterate)
join together — (conjugate)
plead in protest, or simply to protest — (agitate, remonstrate)
show, prove or explain - (demonstrate)
enroll in university — (matriculate)
find your bearings by GPS — (locate, triangulate)
to spread as a rumor — (circulate, disseminate)
disown — (repudiate)
pass into or through- (penetrate)
move to another country- (emigrate)
rejoice - (celebrate, jubilate)
disparage, malign, defame - (derogate, denigrate, calumniate)

Hope you had fun!