The idioms in this exercise come from this article. Read the article and then try the practice exercise.
Instructions: For each number, a word is missing from the idiom. How many of the missing words can you identify?

1. Our detectives do everything by the ____. They don’t break the rules to get convictions.

2. The thieves made ____ with over $50,000 dollars worth of jewelry.

3. When I was 13, I got caught ____ handed spray painting graffiti on the local elementary school.

4. No police officer should have to be ____ the beat for 16 hours straight.

5. If you want to fix your marriage, you’re going to have to fess ____ to your infidelities and be honest with your wife.

6. I think I’d rather ____ myself in and serve my prison sentence. It’s better than running from the police for the rest of my life.

7. Do you think he’ll rat on his friends, or do you think he’ll take the ___ for the robbery?

8. The suspect had a motive, and the murder weapon was found in his apartment. It’s an open and shut ____.

9. Our legal system is designed to distribute power among many different authorities. It isn’t good to have one person as judge, ____, and executioner.

10. The thief covered his ____ well. He deactivated all the security cameras and didn’t leave a single fingerprint.

11. It’s not fair that all these white-collar criminals get off scot-____ just because they have a team of lawyers working for them.

12. No matter where he goes, the long ____ of the law will find him.

13. It seems one of the candidates had a run-in with the ____ when he was younger.

14. The jury is still ____. We don’t have a verdict in the case yet.

15. He was ratted ____ by another gang member and taken down by the FBI.

16. Many people find it unfair that white-____ crime isn’t punished more severely.

17. If Brent comes ____ about the robbery, he might get a reduced sentence.

18. The cops tried to make the suspect feel comfortable so that he wouldn’t get scared and lawyer ____.

19. All the evidence is circumstantial. I don’t think the prosecution has a leg to ____ on.

20. I understand that we need to protect out informants on the street, but we can’t let them get away with ____ just because they help us out occasionally.

21. Kevin’s on academic probation. He has to study hard and keep his ____ clean, or he risks getting expelled.

22. Police are trying to crack ___ on graffiti in the city.

23. I know you want to take the law into your own ____, but you’re just going to have to trust the system

24. Just because he’s the police chief doesn’t mean he’s above the ____.

25. There’s probably not enough evidence for a conviction. We think she’ll ____ the rap.

26. If you don’t ____ the music now, you’re just going to make it worse.

27. Marijuana is still illegal here, but the police have been turning a ____ eye to it for years.

28. It’s Connie’s third drug offense. I don’t think the judge is going to show any mercy. He’s going to throw the ____ at her.

29. An ___ for an ____ isn’t always the best solution. I think you have to consider the facts of each case.

30. Don’t worry, Mrs. Rogers. This is your son’s first offense. He’ll most likely just get a ____ on the wrist.

31. Some people would rather be behind ____ than rat out their friends.

For more practice, see the Practice Exercise section of the site.