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New Pattern Cloze Test from the Economist: Part 6

Published on Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Directions (1-10): In the passage given below, there are 10 blanks, each followed by a word given in bold and has four alternative words given in options (a), (b), (c) and (d). You have to tell which word will best suit in the given blank. Mark (e) as your answer if the word given in bold after the blank is your answer
VENEZUELA claims to have more oil than Saudi Arabia, yet its citizens are hungry. An --------- (1) Striking-------- 93% of them say they cannot afford the food they need, and three-quarters have lost weight in the past year. The regime that caused this preventable tragedy --------- (2) professes ---------- great love for the poor. Yet its officials have embezzled billions, making Venezuela the most corrupt country in Latin America, as well as the most -------- (3) defective-------governed. It is a textbook example of why democracy matters: people with bad governments should be able to throw the bums out. That is perhaps why President Nicolás Maduro is so eager to ----------example of why democracy matters: people with bad governments should be able to throw the bums out. That is perhaps why President Nicolás Maduro is so eager to ----------(4) smother-------- what little is left of democracy in Venezuela.
On July 30th, barring a last-minute change of mind, Mr Maduro will hold a rigged election to rubber-stamp the creation of a hand-picked constituent assembly whose aim is to ----------(5) extirpate -------- his unpopular state-socialist regime (see page 16). It will complete the destruction of the powers of parliament, now controlled by the opposition, and --------- (6) wreck-------- the integrity of a presidential election due next year, which, if it were free and fair, Mr Maduro would surely lose. Opponents say the assembly will install Cuban-style communism. At the very least, its creation will --------- (7) aggravated --------- more violence in a country where the streets are already choked with tear gas and littered with buckshot from police shotguns. In almost four months of protests, more than 100 people have died; hundreds more have been locked up for political reasons. All this --------- (8) infuriates --------- Venezuelans. It should alarm the outside world, too.
By the end of this year Venezuela’s economic collapse since 2012 will be the steepest in modern Latin American history. Income per person is now back where it was in the 1950s. The main cause of this calamity is ideological. Following the lead of his late mentor, Hugo Chávez, Mr Maduro spends public money -------- (9) simply --------, especially on his supporters. Weak oil prices and inept management mean he cannot pay his bills. So he prints money and blames speculators for the resulting inflation, which is expected to exceed 1,000% this year. The black market price for US dollars is now about 900 times the official rate. Price controls and the expropriation of private firms have led to shortages of food and medicine. With hospitals bare of supplies, the maternal mortality rate ------- (10) jumped on--------- 66% last year. Official flagrantly profiteer from their access to hard currency and basic goods. Venezuela has become a favoured route for drug-trafficking and is awash with arms.

1. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Stupefy
b. Astonishing
c. Expected
d. Surprising
e. No change

2. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Counterfeiting
b. Pretending
c. Disavow
d. Negate
e. No change

3. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Ineptly
b. Awkward
d. Poor
e. No change

4. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Inspire
b. Resuscitate
c. Suppressing
d. Chocked
e. No change

5. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Bolstering
b. Extinguish
c. Annihilate
d. Perpetuate
e. No change

6. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Recovery
b. Salvage
c. Crashed
d. Ruined
e. No change

7. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Provoke
b. Enraged
c. Soothe
d. Irritating
e. No change

8. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Mollify
b. Appease
c. Delight
d. Gratify
e. No change

9. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Lavishly
b. Generous
c. Parsimoniously
d. Austere
e. No change

10. Find out the appropriate word:
a. Jumped at
b. Jumped by
c. Jump off
d. Jump in
e. No change

Answers & Explanations

1. Answer: option b
Explanation: Astonishing means causing a feeling of great surprise or wonder.
Stupefy means amaze. Option a and d are synonyms but grammatically not correct.

2. Answer: option e
Explanation: profess means to declare or admit openly or freely. Option c and d are antonyms. Option a, b fit loosely in the context.
3. Answer: option a
Explanation: ineptly means lacking sense or reason or not suitable to the time, place, or occasion. Option b, c, d are fit loosely and grammatically not correct.

4. Answer: option e
Explanation: smother means a state of being stifled or suppressed.
Option a and b are antonyms. Option c, d are synonyms but not grammatically correct.

5. Answer: option d
Explanation: perpetuate means to give eternal or lasting existence to. Option synonyms but grammatically not correct. Option b, c are antonyms.

6. Answer: option e
Explanation: wreck means a violent and destructive crash. Option a, b are antonyms. Option c, d are synonyms but grammatically not correct.

7. Answer: option a
Explanation: provoke means to rouse to strong feeling or action.
All the Options except c are synonyms but grammatically not correct.

8. Answer: option e
Explanation: infuriate means to make angry. All the option except are antonyms.

9. Answer: option a
Explanation: lavishly means in a generous manner. B is synonyms but not fit in the context. Option c, d are antonyms.

10. Answer: option b
Explanation: jumped at means to show eagerness. Jump off means to start out or forward. Jump in means enter a conversation. Jump on means to enter eagerly. So option b fits best in the context.
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