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Stress Test

by Ylaine Gerardin

The given words and phrases clue two sets of words that can be matched pairwise to words that are spelled the same. The two words in each pair are pronounced differently. Specifically, the words in each pairing are stressed differently.

The clued words on the left (with accented syllables in CAPS) are:

  • overHEAD (High above)
  • ENtrance (Opening)
  • conSOLE (Soothe)
  • disCHARGE (Liberate)
  • inCENSE (Enrage)
  • MIcrometer (Bacterium length)
  • ATtribute (Characteristic)
  • SEGment (Line part)
  • reCORD (Transcribe)
  • exTRACT (Withdraw)
  • conTENT (Satisfied)
  • attaCHES (Specialists)
  • SEVerer (Slicer)
  • COMbat (Warfare)

The clued words on the right (with accented syllables in CAPS) are:

  • CONtent (Subtance)
  • OVERhead (Costs)
  • INcense (Fragrance)
  • CONsole (Cabinet)
  • atTRIBute (Ascribe)
  • seVERer (Stricter)
  • enTRANCE (Beguile)
  • REcord (LP)
  • segMENT (Divide)
  • atTACHes (Fastens)
  • comBAT (Resist)
  • miCROMeter (Gauge)
  • DIScharge (Secretion)
  • EXtract (Essence)

The resulting connections each pick out one number from the middle:

Using the numbers to index into the accented syllables, gives a phrase on each side.

The left side gives HE SHE ITS OR THEM.

The right side gives CONCRETE MATRIX.

These clue PRONOUN and CEMENT. Combined, these give PRONOUNCEMENT, the solution.