Question 1• In the past, some sports such as cycling and running sometimes used a particular handicap system. A line or mark, known as a _______ was drawn to indicate the starting position for all competitors except those who had been awarded an advantage: they were allowed to start a little way in front.• So, a competitor starting from _______would start from a position without any advantage.
Answer 1• From scratch from the very beginning without making use of any previous work.
Question 2• This phrase was originally used to describe a method of testing for gold using conc. HNO3.• Gold is resistant to the effects of HNO3, but an object made of some other metal will show signs of corrosion if immersed in it.
Answer 2• The acid test A situation which finally and decisively determines someone’s or something’s quality
Question 3• This expression was first used by P. G. Wodehouse in the Strand Magazine in 1928: “The prospect of getting the true facts – straight, as it were, ____ ___ ______ _____ - held him fascinated.”• The underlying idea was that the best way to get racing tips was to ask a _____ directly.
Answer 3• Straight from the horse’s mouth from the person directly concerned
Question 4• The violins of an orchestra are divided into two sections: generally speaking, the ______1_____ play notes in the higher range than the ______2_____, and parts for the ____1____ usually have more of the main tune and are technically difficult to play, suggesting that ____2____ have a subordinate role to play.
Answer 4• Play second fiddle be treated as something less important than someone or something
Question 5• This is a translation of the Spanish phrase quinta _______ and originates from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39).• As General Mola marched towards Madrid in 1936, leading four ______s of Nationalist troops, he declared that he had a fifth ______ inside Madrid ready to assist in the attack.• As it turned out, the Nationalists, under General Franco, did not succeed until 1939.
Answer 5• Fifth column a group within a country at war who are working for its enemies
Question 6• This originates from the need of casual farm labourers to be especially careful with their money and set aside a certain amount.• If the weather was bad, they were unable to work – and if they didn’t work, they didn’t earn any money.
Answer 1• Rainy day a possible time in the future when money will be needed
Question 1• A bestiary was a medieval times reference book giving information and observations on different kinds. Some of these bestiaries described how bear cubs were supposedly born as formless lumps and were given form by their mother.• Variations of the phrase that came up a little later reflect the former popularity of corporal punishment as a parenting tool.
Answer 1• Lick _____ into shape act forcefully to bring someone or something into a better state• Variation: knock/whip someone into shape
Question 1• During the First World War, some troops in the trenches would emerge out and charge over the parapets to attack the enemy. A large number of the soldiers died due to this excessive act.
Question 1• A ____ is a particular way of grasping or restraining an opponent in wrestling or similar sports. The rules and regulations of each sport dictate what sort of ____s are acceptable, and certain kinds, such as gripping the opponent around the throat, are classified as unlawful because they are too dangerous.• Sometimes, however, a special kind of contest would be held where participants were more or less allowed to do anything they like.
Answer 1• No holds barred with no rules or regulations
Question 1• The word _______ originally referred to an ancient Roman way of foretelling the future: in Latin ______ium meant the practice of observing the flight patterns of birds in order to predict future events, a practice undertaken by a person known as an _____x.• A decision or undertaking might be postponed if the _____x found that the omens were not favourable or ‘______ious’.• The association with favourable influence and patronage led to this phrase.
Answer 1• Under the auspices of with the help, support, protection of
Question 1• The word _____ is a shortened form of the word a_____ which means ‘reduced or lessened’.• The idea is that the anxiety or excitement you experience while waiting for something to happen is so great that you almost stop breathing.
Answer 1• With bated breadth in great suspense
Question 1• In aeronautics, _______ is short for flight ________, the set of limiting combinations of factors such as speed and altitude that are possible for a particular type of plane.• Sometimes, pilots push the aircraft to or even beyond the current limits of performance, and hence the phrase.
Answer 1• Push the envelope approach or extend the limits of what is possible
Question 1• There is a Native American custom of getting rid of the tomahawk to mark the conclusion of a peace treaty between warring groups. The tomahawk, as the warriors’ main weapon, symbolised war.
Answer 1• Bury the hatchet end a quarrel or conflict
Question 1• The word _____ was applied to the board for games like chess, draughts, or backgammon, and _____s came to refer specifically to backgammon because the board had two folding halves.• It was common practice to turn the board round between games since a player had to play from what had previously been his opponent’s position.
Answer 1• Turn the tables turn a position of disadvantage into one of advantage
Question 1• In ancient times, the ____ was the piece of precious cloth separating the innermost sanctuary from the rest of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.• The idea soon developed of this cloth representing a barrier between this life and the unknown state of existence after death, giving rise to the current phrase.
Answer 1• Beyond the veil in a mysterious or hidden place or state
Spare Question• This expression is nautical in origin. An important job on board a ship was making and repairing ropes, a task which involved twisting together a number of long threads.• The image of this process and a certain reputation sailors carried combined to give the phrase.