Golomb's Gambits: Geographic Homophones

The following puzzle first appeared in November 1997.

In this puzzle, we are looking for homophones—pairs of words that are pronounced the same but spelled differently.

A. Nationalities and Ethnicities. Each of these pairs has one member (unclued) which refers to nationalities or ethnicities and a second word (clued) pronounced like the first but spelled differently. You are to identify both members of the pair. (For example, for the clue "fish appendages," the solution would be Finns—fins.)

  1. Neckwear
  2. Circuits of the track
  3. Net balls (in tennis)
  4. Restraints
  5. Condescends
  6. Milksolids

B. Geographical Names. Here, the geographical name and its homophone are both clued.

  1. North American city—Roman goddess
  2. Mideast river—female cat
  3. Sin city—large part of the Talmud
  4. Island country—evergreen tree
  5. European country—lubricant
  6. European capital—wander
  7. German city—imposing dwelling
  8. Latin American country—hot spice
  9. Part of U.K.—cetaceous mammals
  10. Dodecanese island—highways

[Solutions below]




  1. Thais—ties

  2. Lapps—laps

  3. Letts—lets

  4. Czechs—checks

  5. Danes—deigns

  6. Kurds—curds


  1. Juneau—Juno

  2. Tigris—tigress

  3. Gomorrah—Gemara

  4. Cyprus—cypress

  5. Greece—grease

  6. Rome—roam

  7. Kassel—castle

  8. Chile—chili

  9. Wales—whales

  10. Rhodes—roads