The following puzzle first appeared in September 2001.
There are several dozen abstract nouns in English ending in –CITY, which generally indicates a state or condition (e.g., AUTHENTICITY, the state or condition of being authentic), and in some cases a physics term (e.g., VELOCITY), or even a word that can be both a physics term and a state or condition (e.g., ELASTICITY). In this column, we are not interested in words like MIDCITY or INTERCITY, where –CITY merely means "city."
Many –CITY words are formed from adjectives ending in –ACIOUS or –ICIOUS (e.g., AUDACIOUS/AUDACITY). How many of these can you list?
Many –CITY words are formed from adjectives ending in –IC (e.g., ELASTIC + ITY). How many of these can you list?
A few –CITY words are formed from adjectives ending in –QUE. How many of these can you list?
A few –CITY words correspond to adjectives ending in –ICITOUS (e.g., FELICITOUS/FELICITY). How many of these can you list?
At least one –CITY word corresponds to an adjective ending in –CAL. Can you find it (or them)?
atrocity, audacity, capacity, ferocity, incapacity, loquacity, lubricity, mendacity, pernicity, perspicacity, pertinacity, precocity, procacity, pugnacity, rapacity, sagacity, tenacity, voracity
authenticity, catholicity, centricity, domesticity, eccentricity, elasticity, electricity, ethnicity, historicity, inelasticity, periodicity, plasticity, publicity, rusticity, spasticity, specificity.
opacity, unicity (from opaque, unique).
duplicity, felicity, infelicity.
reciprocity (from reciprocal)