0219-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Feb 17, Sunday

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Solution to today’s crossword in the New York Times
Solution to today’s SYNDICATED New York Times crossword in all other publications
Solution to today’s New York Times crossword found online at the Seattle Times website
Jump to a complete list of today’s clues and answers

CROSSWORD SETTER: Bruce Haight
THEME: Uh-Oh
Each of today’s themed answers is a common phrase, but with an “UH” sound changed to an “OH” sound:

23A. Office for decoding messages? : NOTE CRACKER SUITE (from “Nutcracker Suite”)
33A. What one might sit in at a Cheech & Chong movie? : STONED SILENCE (from “stunned silence”)
46A. Herder’s mantra? : NO GOATS, NO GLORY (from “no guts, no glory”)
61A. Quality control problem at Oscar Mayer? : HOT DOG BONE (from “hot dog bun”)
63A. Title of a book about Southern Reconstruction? : DIXIE COPES (from “Dixie cups”)
75A. Two sights in a yacht’s galley? : BREAD AND BOATER (from “bread and butter”)
86A. Helpful things for killing time nowadays? : PHONE AND GAMES (from “fun and games”)
100A. Pigeon trainer, at times? : HOMING BIRD FEEDER (from “hummingbird feeder”)

BILL BUTLER’S COMPLETION TIME: 30m 20s
ANSWERS I MISSED: 0

Today’s Wiki-est, Amazonian Googlies
Across

1. Bloblike “Star Wars” character : JABBA
Jabba the Hutt is the big blob of an alien that appears in the “Star Wars” movie “The Return of the Jedi”. Jabba’s claim to fame is that he enslaved Princess Leia and kitted her out in that celebrated metal bikini.

10. Great shakes? : HULAS
The “hula” is a native dance of Hawaii that uses arm movements to relate a story. The hula can be performed while sitting (a “noho” dance”) or while standing (a “luna” dance).

20. Julia of Hollywood : RAUL
Raúl Juliá was a Hollywood actor from San Juan, Puerto Rica. He had a very distinguished career, but is perhaps best known for portraying Gomez Addams in the two film adaptations of “The Addams Family”.

23. Office for decoding messages? : NOTE CRACKER SUITE (from “Nutcracker Suite”)
Today, Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” is one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire, although that popularity really only took off in the late sixties. It’s “must-see ballet” during the Christmas holidays.

26. The average size of its stores is 300,000 square feet : IKEA
The furniture chain IKEA was founded by Ingvar Kamprad in 1943, when he was just 17-years-old. IKEA is an acronym standing for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd (don’t forget now!). Elmtaryd was the name of the farm where Ingvar Kamprad grew up, and Agunnaryd is his home parish in Sweden.

27. Had more than an inkling : KNEW
Our word “inkling” apparently comes from the Middle English word “inclen” meaning “to hint”.

32. Anxious condition, briefly : OCD
Apparently obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is the fourth most commonly diagnosed mental disorder, making it about as prevalent as asthma.

33. What one might sit in at a Cheech & Chong movie? : STONED SILENCE (from “stunned silence”)
Cheech & Chong’s very first feature-length movie was 1978’s “Up in Smoke”. The film is usually regarded as the first in “stoner comedy” genre of movie.

37. “Puppy Love” singer, 1960 : ANKA
“Puppy Love” is a song written and recorded by Paul Anka in 1960. He wrote the song for his girlfriend at the time, the actress and singer Annette Funicello. “Puppy Love” was covered by Donny Osmond who had a big hit with it in 1972.

38. Election Day affirmation : I VOTED
Election Day was chosen by Congress back in 1845. The month of November was selected as it suited an agricultural society, following the fall harvest and yet not too far into winter, which could make travel difficult. Tuesday was chosen so that people had time to travel to polling stations. Monday elections might have meant that some would have to start out on Sunday, and that could interfere with Christian services.

42. WikiLeaks associates : HACKERS
Julian Assange founded WikiLeaks, the website that is notorious for publishing information provided by whistleblowers. Assange is currently in England and recently lost an appeal to avoid extradition to Sweden to face charges of sexual assault. Assange entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in London seeking political asylum in 2012. He was granted that asylum and now lives at the embassy.

45. Inspiration : MUSE
In Greek mythology, the muses are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. The number of muses is a subject of debate at times, but the most popular view is that there are nine:

  • Calliope (epic poetry)
  • Clio (history)
  • Erato (lyric poetry)
  • Euterpe (music)
  • Melpomene (tragedy)
  • Polyhymnia (choral poetry)
  • Terpsichore (dance)
  • Thalia (comedy)
  • Urania (astronomy)

48. Virtual dog or cat, maybe : NEOPET
Neopets is website where one can own a virtual pet. I wouldn’t bother …

51. Fake news site, with “The” : ONION
“The Onion” is a satirical news network, with a print newspaper and a heavy online presence. “The Onion” newspaper was founded by two college students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1988. The founders sold the operation a year later for about $20,000. The paper grew steadily until 1996 when it began to publish online and really took off. I think it’s worth a tad more than $20,000 today …

61. Quality control problem at Oscar Mayer? : HOT DOG BONE (from “hot dog bun”)
The Oscar Mayer brand of meats was named for a German immigrant named Oscar F. Mayer who sold German sausages in the Chicago area in the late 1800s. The Oscar Mayer company has a famous vehicle called the Wienermobile that it has used in promotions for over 70 years.

63. Title of a book about Southern Reconstruction? : DIXIE COPES (from “Dixie cups”)
“Dixie” is a nickname sometimes used for the American South, and often specifically for the original 11 states that seceded from the Union just prior to the Civil War. It’s apparently not certain how the name “Dixie” came about. One theory is that it comes from the term “dixie” which was used for currency issued by banks in Louisiana. The 10-dollar bills had the word “dix” on the reverse side, the French for “ten”. From the banknote, the French speaking area around New Orleans came to be known as Dixieland, and from there “Dixie” came to apply to the South in general.

Dixie Cup is a brand of disposable papers cups. The first such cups were introduced to promote hygiene at shared water fountains, as prior to disposable cups, glasses or dippers were shared by people taking a drink. As such, the Dixie Cup was introduced in 1907 as the “Health Kup”. The name was changed in 1919 to Dixie Cup, after a line of dolls (presumably as the cups were relatively small).

65. Nav. rank : ENS
Ensign is (usually) the most junior rank of commissioned officer in the armed forces. The name comes from the tradition that the junior officer would be given the task of carrying the ensign flag.

67. Doohickeys : GIZMOS
The word “gizmo” (also “gismo”) was originally slang used by both the US Navy and the Marine Corps, but the exact origin seems unknown.

68. Sword handle : HILT
The “hilt” of a weapon is its handle. One might push in the blade of a knife say “to the hilt”, to the maximum degree.

69. They may be decorated for the holidays : FIRS
The custom of decorating trees at Christmas seems to have originated in Renaissance Germany. Those first trees were placed in guildhalls and were decorated with sweets and candy for the apprentices and children. After the Protestant Reformation, the Christmas tree became an alternative in Protestant homes for the Roman Catholic Christmas cribs. The Christmas tree tradition was imported into Britain by the royal family because of its German heritage. That tradition spread from Britain into North America.

72. Goddess usually pictured with a helmet : ATHENA
The Greek goddess Athena (sometimes “Athene”) is often associated with wisdom, among other attributes. In many representations. Athena is depicted with an owl sitting on her head. It is this linkage of the owl with the goddess of wisdom that led to today’s perception of the owl as being “wise”. Athena’s Roman counterpart was Minerva.

75. Two sights in a yacht’s galley? : BREAD AND BOATER (from “bread and butter”)
A boater is a straw hat often associated with boating, hence the name.

80. French pilgrimage site : LOURDES
Bernadette Soubirous was a 14-year-old peasant girl who reported visions of the Virgin Mary in a cave near the town of Lourdes in the southwest of France. There were sixteen apparitions in total, all occurring in 1858. The Roman Catholic Church declared the visions authentic in 1862, and since then, the site of the apparitions has become a major pilgrimage destination, with about 5 million people visiting every year. Bernadette was declared a saint by Pope Pius XI in 1933.

82. Off-road transport, informally : ATV
All-terrain vehicle (ATV)

83. ___ Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE
Dwayne Johnson is a former professional wrestler whose ring name was “the Rock”. He has used his success as a character in the ring, to cross over into television and movies. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as getting the highest payment for a first starring role: $5.5 million.

85. Sound heard by an exam proctor, say : PSST!
A “proctor” is a supervisor, especially of an examination in a school, or perhaps of a dormitory. The word “proctor” originated in the late 1500s, a contraction of the word “procurator”, the name given to an official agent of a church.

91. Fraternity letter : ETA
Eta is the seventh letter of the Greek alphabet, and is a forerunner of our Latin character “H”. Originally denoting a consonant, eta was used as a long vowel in Ancient Greek.

92. Number of French kings named Charles : DIX
“Dix” is the French word for “ten”.

108. Kind of pad : STENO
Stenography is the process of writing in shorthand. The term comes from the Greek “steno” (narrow) and “graphe” (writing).

110. 1988 Olympics site : SEOUL
Seoul is the capital city of South Korea. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to over 25 million people and is the second largest metropolitan area in the world, second only to Tokyo, Japan.

112. Ancient manuscript : CODEX
A codex is an old book, one in the format of a modern book as opposed to its predecessor which was a scroll. The word “codex” comes from the Latin “caudex” meaning “trunk of a tree”.

Down
3. College in Lewiston, Me. : BATES
Bates College in Lewiston, Maine was founded back in 1855 and was coeducational from the day it first offered classes. That makes bates College one of the oldest coeducational schools in the country.

5. Big movie theater chain : AMC
The AMC theater chain used to go by the name “American Multi-Cinema Inc.”, hence the initialism “AMC”.

6. Miniature lobster lookalikes : CRAWDADS
Crayfish are freshwater crustaceans related to lobsters, and indeed look like small versions of their saltwater cousins. Crayfish are often referred to as “crawfish” and “crawdads”, especially in the south of the US.

8. They may be put up before a fight : DUKES
“Dukes” is a slang term for “fists, hands”. The route taken by “dukes” to become fists seems very tortuous, but might just be true. The term “fork” has been slang for “hand” for centuries (and gives rise to “fork out” meaning “hand over”). The slang term “fork” is expressed in Cockney rhyming slang as “Duke of York”, shortened to “duke”. As I said, tortuous …

11. Burma’s first prime minister : U NU
U Nu was the first Prime Minister of Burma, in office from 1948 until 1956. Who knew …? (A lame play on “U Nu”).

12. Warm welcome at Waikiki : LEI
Waikiki is a neighborhood of Honolulu, and home to the famous Waikiki Beach. The name “Waikiki” means “spouting fresh water” in Hawaiian.

13. Exams for some H.S. students : AP TESTS
The Advanced Placement (AP) program offers college-level courses to kids who are still in high school. After being tested at the end of the courses, successful students receive credits that count towards a college degree.

25. Onetime MGM rival : RKO
The RKO Pictures studio was formed when RCA (RADIO Corporation of America) bought the KEITH-Albee-ORPHEUM theaters (and Joe Kennedy’s Film Booking Offices of America). The RKO initialism then comes from the words “Radio”, “Keith” and “Orpheum”.

34. Canon rival : NIKON
Nikon was founded in 1917 with the merger of three companies making various optical devices. After the merger, the company’s main output was lenses (including the first lenses for Canon cameras, before Canon made its own). During the war, Nikon sales grew rapidly as the company focused on (pun!) equipment for the military including periscopes and bomb sights.

36. Fishing vessel : DORY
A dory is a small boat, around 20 feet long with a shallow draft, a flat bottom and a sharp bow. Dories are commonly used for fishing.

45. Hip-hop’s ___ Def : MOS
Mos Def is the former stage name of actor and rapper Dante Terrell Smith-Bay, now known as Yasiin Bey. Mos Def is one of the few rap stars who is really making a name for himself in the world of movies. He received critical acclaim for roles in 2003’s “The Italian Job” , 2005’s “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”, and for a featured role in an episode of television’s “House”.

52. The Bee Gees, for much of their career : TRIO
The Brothers Gibb (hence, the name “The Bee Gees”) were born in England but grew up and started their musical careers in Australia. They moved back to Manchester in the north of England as youths, and there hit the big time.

54. Ancient market : AGORA
In early Greece the “agora” was a place of assembly. Often the assemblies held there were quite formal, perhaps for the reading of a proclamation. Later in Greek history, things became less formal as the agora evolved into a market place. Our contemporary word “agoraphobia” comes from these agorae, in the sense that an agoraphobe has a fear of open spaces, a fear of “public meeting places”.

55. Ruth’s 2,214 : RBIS
Before 1919, when Babe Ruth started to hit home runs like they were going out of style, baseball was more of a strategy-driven sport. There was less emphasis on power hitting, and more emphasis on playing “small ball”, with a focus on stolen bases and hit-and-run plays. In addition, the ball used was relatively “dead” and unresponsive to the bat. As a result, the period before 1919 is referred to as baseball’s “dead-ball era”.

58. Narcotic : OPIATE
Opiates are the narcotic alkaloids found in the opium poppy plant, although some synthetic versions and derivatives of the same alkaloids are also called opiates. To produce opiates, the latex sap of the opium poppy is collected and processed. The naturally-occurring drugs of morphine and codeine can both be extracted from the sap. Some synthesis is required to make derivative drugs like heroin and oxycodone.

62. Valhalla V.I.P. : ODIN
In Norse mythology, Valhalla (“hall of the slain”) is a gigantic hall in the “world” of Asgard. Asgard and Valhalla are ruled by the god Odin, the chief Norse god.

63. Certain vacuum tube : DIODE
A diode is component in a circuit, the most notable characteristic of which is that it will conduct electric current in only one direction. Some of those vacuum tubes we used to see in old radios and television were diodes, but nowadays almost all diodes are semiconductor devices.

67. Egg on : GOAD
The verb “edge” has been used to mean to incite, to urge on, from the 16th century. Somewhere along the way “edge” was mistakenly replaced with “egg”, giving us our term “to egg on” meaning “to goad”.

69. Hiking group, with “the”? : FED
Those would be interest rate “hikes”.

The Federal Reserve System is more usually known simply as “the Fed”, and is the central banking system of the US. It was introduced in 1913 in response to a number of financial panics at the beginning of the 20th century. The original role for the Fed was to act as a lender of last resort, in case there was a run on a bank. This can happen as most of the money that is deposited by customers in a bank is reinvested by that bank, so it has very little liquid cash available. If too many customers look for their money at one time, then the bank can be short of cash and this can start a “run”. The Fed’s responsibilities have broadened since those early days …

70. Greek city mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles : BEREA
The city of Berea mentioned in the Christian Bible in the Acts of the Apostles is known today as Veria. Veria is in modern-day Greece.

84. Arroyos : WASHES
An arroyo is a small stream, or more often, a dry riverbed.

88. Cold War flier : MIG
The Russian fighter jets that we know as “MiGs” are so called because they were designed by the Mikoyan-and-Gurevich Design Bureau, and MiG is an acronym for “Mikoyan-and-Gurevich” in Russian.

90. “Say cheese!” : SMILE
Photographers often instruct us to say “cheese”, to elicit a smile-like expression. Even Japanese photographers use the word “cheese” for the same effect. Bulgarians use the word “zele” meaning “cabbage”. The Chinese say “eggplant”, the Danish “orange”, the Iranians “apple” and the most Latin Americans say “whiskey”.

92. Dressed to the nines, with “up” : DUDED
The term “to the nines” means “to perfection”. The first person to use the term in literature was Robbie Burns. Apparently the idea behind the use of “nines” is figurative (pun!), with the number nine considered “ideal” as it is arrived at by multiplying three by three.

93. Goddess of peace : IRENE
Eirene (also “Irene”) was the Greek goddess of peace, with “eirene” being the Greek word for “peace”. The Roman equivalent to Eirene was the goddess Pax.

94. Canon rival : XEROX
Xerox was founded in 1906 in Rochester, New York and originally made photographic paper and equipment. Real success came for the company in 1959 when it introduced the first plain-paper photocopier. Xerox named Ursula Burns as CEO in 2009, the first African American woman to head up a S&P 100 company. Burn was also the first woman to succeed another female CEO (replacing Anne Mulcahy).

97. ___ Major : URSA
The constellation called Ursa Major (Latin for “Larger Bear”) is often just called the Big Dipper because of its resemblance to a ladle or dipper. Ursa Major also resembles a plow, and that’s what we usually call the same constellation back in Ireland, the “plough”.

98. Mother of Artemis : LETO
Artemis was an ancient Greek goddess, the equivalent of the Roman goddess Diana. Artemis was a daughter of Zeus and Leto, and the twin sister of Apollo.

103. Grp. of Senators : NHL
The Senators are the NHL hockey team in Ottawa, Canada. The current team, founded in the 1992-93 season, is the second NHL team in the city to use the name “Senators”. The original team was founded in 1917 and had a very successful run until the league expanded into the US in the late twenties. The cost of operating in what became the smallest NHL city eventually drove the Senators to St. Louis where they played for a year as the Eagles before finally folding.

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For the sake of completion, here is a full listing of all the answers:
Across
1. Bloblike “Star Wars” character : JABBA
6. Give over : CEDE
10. Great shakes? : HULAS
15. Low rolls : TWOS
19. Auto feature : ALARM
20. Julia of Hollywood : RAUL
21. Ham-handed : INEPT
22. Enthralled : RAPT
23. Office for decoding messages? : NOTE CRACKER SUITE (from “Nutcracker Suite”)
26. The average size of its stores is 300,000 square feet : IKEA
27. Had more than an inkling : KNEW
28. “Rats!” : AW HECK!
29. Bringing to mind : EVOKING
31. “Indubitably!” : YES!
32. Anxious condition, briefly : OCD
33. What one might sit in at a Cheech & Chong movie? : STONED SILENCE (from “stunned silence”)
37. “Puppy Love” singer, 1960 : ANKA
38. Election Day affirmation : I VOTED
39. Oomph : GAS
40. Hauled (away) : CARTED
42. WikiLeaks associates : HACKERS
45. Inspiration : MUSE
46. Herder’s mantra? : NO GOATS, NO GLORY (from “no guts, no glory”)
48. Virtual dog or cat, maybe : NEOPET
50. Glaciate : ICE UP
51. Fake news site, with “The” : ONION
52. Sign on a jar at a bar : TIPS
53. Mass. neighbor : CONN
54. In a pretentious manner : ARTILY
56. Series opener : PART I
58. Fall behind : OWE
61. Quality control problem at Oscar Mayer? : HOT DOG BONE (from “hot dog bun”)
63. Title of a book about Southern Reconstruction? : DIXIE COPES (from “Dixie cups”)
65. Nav. rank : ENS
66. Word before or after nothing : DOING
67. Doohickeys : GIZMOS
68. Sword handle : HILT
69. They may be decorated for the holidays : FIRS
70. Sauce : BOOZE
71. Nickname for a Miami 12-time N.B.A. All-Star : DWADE
72. Goddess usually pictured with a helmet : ATHENA
75. Two sights in a yacht’s galley? : BREAD AND BOATER (from “bread and butter”)
79. Prey for a heron or garter snake : TOAD
80. French pilgrimage site : LOURDES
81. Stranger : EERIER
82. Off-road transport, informally : ATV
83. ___ Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock : DWAYNE
85. Sound heard by an exam proctor, say : PSST!
86. Helpful things for killing time nowadays? : PHONE AND GAMES (from “fun and games”)
91. Fraternity letter : ETA
92. Number of French kings named Charles : DIX
95. Catch’s partner : RELEASE
96. Prefix with therapy : IMMUNO
98. Draw : LURE
99. “Sign me up!” : I’M IN!
100. Pigeon trainer, at times? : HOMING BIRD FEEDER (from “hummingbird feeder”)
105. Crook, e.g. : CANE
106. Book of ___ (ancient Jewish text) : ENOCH
107. “Who ___?” : ELSE
108. Kind of pad : STENO
109. Past partners : EXES
110. 1988 Olympics site : SEOUL
111. Studied : READ
112. Ancient manuscript : CODEX

Down
1. Of poor quality, in modern slang : JANKY
2. Set apart : ALONE
3. College in Lewiston, Me. : BATES
4. Steep : BREW
5. Big movie theater chain : AMC
6. Miniature lobster lookalikes : CRAWDADS
7. Every : EACH
8. They may be put up before a fight : DUKES
9. President-___ : ELECT
10. Starts of many emails : HIS
11. Burma’s first prime minister : UNU
12. Warm welcome at Waikiki : LEI
13. Exams for some H.S. students : AP TESTS
14. Singer/guitarist ___ Ray Vaughan : STEVIE
15. Early wheels : TRIKE
16. Rousing : WAKING UP
17. Unsolved crime : OPEN CASE
18. Theater backdrop : STAGE SET
24. Clamor : RACKET
25. Onetime MGM rival : RKO
30. Trite : OLD
32. Coming up : ON TAP
34. Canon rival : NIKON
35. Hardly ___ : EVER
36. Fishing vessel : DORY
37. In the neighborhood : AROUND
40. Changing room? : COCOON
41. Go-betweens : AGENTS
42. Fine-tuning : HONING
43. Acrobatic : AGILE
44. Be overly sweet : CLOY
45. Hip-hop’s ___ Def : MOS
46. Cubbyhole : NICHE
47. Performing beneath one’s usual level : NOT ON
48. Late times, in ads : NITES
49. Bigger than big : EPIC
52. The Bee Gees, for much of their career : TRIO
54. Ancient market : AGORA
55. Ruth’s 2,214 : RBIS
56. Circular things that arrive in square boxes : PIZZAS
57. Lumberjacks : AX MEN
58. Narcotic : OPIATE
59. One carrying a torch? : WELDER
60. Ending with poly- : -ESTER
62. Valhalla V.I.P. : ODIN
63. Certain vacuum tube : DIODE
64. “Actually, come to think of it …” : OH WAIT …
67. Egg on : GOAD
69. Hiking group, with “the”? : FED
70. Greek city mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles : BEREA
71. Backs, anatomically : DORSA
72. With consequences : AT A PRICE
73. As much as possible : TO THE MAX
74. Motor oil brand : HAVOLINE
75. “The Lord of the Rings” actor Billy : BOYD
76. Step up or down : RUNG
77. Relied (on) : DEPENDED
78. Theme for an annual city-magazine issue : BEST OF
80. The inside track : LANE ONE
83. Narc’s org. : DEA
84. Arroyos : WASHES
87. Spanish kids : NENES
88. Cold War flier : MIG
89. Glow in the dark? : EMBER
90. “Say cheese!” : SMILE
92. Dressed to the nines, with “up” : DUDED
93. Goddess of peace : IRENE
94. Canon rival : XEROX
97. ___ Major : URSA
98. Mother of Artemis : LETO
101. Farm call : MOO!
102. Post-O.R. stop : ICU
103. Grp. of Senators : NHL
104. PC key : ESC

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9 thoughts on “0219-17 New York Times Crossword Answers 19 Feb 17, Sunday”

  1. 35:48, no errors. Cute theme. Several educated guesses in this one, as I'd never heard of NEOPET, UNU (as Bill says, who knew?), DORSA, JANKY, DWADE, or BATES College. On to the LAT puzzle! …

  2. 39:59, no errors. Frustrating. Cruised through most of puzzle in about 20 minutes, then spent another 20 minutes trying to crack the middle right grouping of OWE, COPES, HILT, D WADE, BOATER, OPIATE, WELDER, ESTER and DORSA.

    Add me to the list of people who have never heard the word JANKY (what was wrong with JUNKY??)

  3. 45:55, with 10 errors. The bottom right corner was just plain unfair. Clueing a French word without "Fr." is just dirty pool. Top left corner was no better with the **completely BS** word, "janky"; I thought I had that quadrant solved with CODECRACKERSSITE, but by then I hadn't figured out the **extremely forced** theme, and then didn't go back to check my work.

    WEAK.

    Oh well. I've seen worse Sunday puzzles, but this one is definitely on the dodgy side, to be sure.

  4. @Anonymous: If you keep doing them, it's just a matter of time before you'll think better of them. That's been my experience, and I'm still learning after 10+ years.

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