Enter a clue or pattern or both:
The ClueSmudge (4 letter answer)
NotesThe answer SOIL is seen frequently, appearing about once every 170 puzzles.
Type of bank
Victim of erosion
"The ___," Zola novel
Where the worm turns
DefinitionSOIL as a noun:
1. (dirt, filth, grime, soil, stain, grease, grunge) = the state of being covered with unclean things
2. (soil, dirt) = the part of the earth's surface consisting of humus and disintegrated rock
3. (land, ground, soil) = material in the top layer of the surface of the earth in which plants can grow (especially with reference to its quality or use); "the land had never been plowed"; "good agricultural soil"
4. (territory, soil) = the geographical area under the jurisdiction of a sovereign state; "American troops were stationed on Japanese soil"
SOIL as a verb:
1. (dirty, soil, begrime, grime, colly, bemire) = make soiled, filthy, or dirty; "don't soil your clothes when you play outside!"