So You Think You Can Think: Puzzle 1

Hello fellow Avocadans. I’m Prestidigititis, and welcome to the new, semi-regular word puzzle feature, So You Think you can Think (h/t to commenter @failSafe for the feature title).

I am a lover of words, wordplay, word manipulation, and annoying cleverness. What better way to utilize these traits than via puzzles? Every week or so, I hope to publish a new word puzzle here on the Avocado. Hopefully you folks will enjoy the way my mind works.

A few quick points about the way this feature will be handled:

  • In making my puzzles, I utilize a lot of puns, wordplay, and possibly-misleading clues. Nothing I present will be impossible, and it won’t approach the kind of complexity required to solve those British-type cryptic crosswords.
  • You won’t find the solution to this week’s puzzle in this article. This is deliberate; I want to give folks a good week or so to try to work things out. Hopefully you won’t hate me for it.
  • Solving these puzzles can be a solitary effort, or a group one. I think it’s a great idea to ask for clues, or find like-minded folks to work with. Feel free to use the comments section to do this, and to share your work. Just PLEASE remember to make liberal use of the SPOILER tags if you’re going to do that.
  • Finally, if you folks have any feedback or suggestions (or complaints, I suppose) about the puzzle specifically or the feature in general, comment away. I’ll take them into consideration for future editions.

So here we go with Puzzle 1! Each of the sentences below feature blanks where other words should be. Your job is to fill those blanks in, creating intelligible and readable sentences. The gimmick is, the single-word blank is ALWAYS composed by connecting the multi-word blanks IN ORDER.

For instance:

I know the metric system isn’t popular in the USA, but I am ____________ the biggest _______  ________ in the country!

The solution is the word LITERALLY, made up of LITER and ALLY:

I know the metric system isn’t popular in the USA, but I am LITERALLY the biggest LITER ALLY in the country!

Simple, right? Some of these require three words be adjoined to get the right solution, so be sure to count those blanks! Also, the size of the blanks are unrelated to the length of the words they represent. And watch out for a few proper nouns!

Good luck!

  1. Once I found the ________ website, I realized I never _______  _______  _______ that shared my taste in movies.
  2. Cocaine and dance clubs made ________  ________ popular in the 80s; not much of a shocking ________.
  3. You should be able ________  ________  ________ speak Spanish if you want to be a professional ________ in Mexico.
  4. Utah’s transformation to a monarchy, and its coronation of the ________   ________ has been ________ many shocked reactions.
  5. Before the finals, she was so sure she’d be the ________,  ________ had several ________ chilling in the clubhouse fridge.
  6. The Senator, accused of being a ________,  ________ in her best interest when she ________ her testimony before HUAC.
  7. If we can’t ________  ________ between the leaders at the summit meeting, we will ________ the very process of diplomacy!
  8. Your flowery ________ — ________ as it may be–won’t work as an opening argument when you ________ an alleged murderer.
  9. At the furriers’ ________,  ________ coats were a big hit due to their ________ backs and shoulders.
  10. When in ________, the best place to ________  ________  ________ is at Boulder’s own “Hella Hair Curl ‘n’ Dye.”