W’s Puzzle No. 43

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Empty Crossword

Across

1 An axis of evil

4 Secretary of Defense

8 Poppy’s former boss

9 Auto org.

10 George Jetson’s dog

12 Sore Florida loser

13 Abbreviated whinny

14 Some Latin thing for “that is”

16 Former favorite beverage

17 ‘De facto’ President

20 Osama’s virgins

21 Keep to the ground

23 Definitely not a reason for war: Arab oil (abbrev.)

24 “Not over my dead body” collection agency

27 My ____ , John Ashcroft

28 North Dakota Association of Endocrinologists and Ophthalmologists

29 Belongs to Poppy (abbr.)

31 Go _ _ _: Got two

32 Texas spud

33 Beef grader

Down

1 Another axis of evil

2 Yellow of Texas

3 Bill Clinton

5 Bad Asians

6 Useless degree

7 My alma mater

11 Scrambled vowels

15 Favorite corporate donor

18 Dead Vietnamese guy

19 Old McDonald exclamation

21 Home of liberal losers

25 Least favorite activity

26 Current favorite beverage

30 Egyptian sun guy

Solution:


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Tsk Of The D’Urbervilles

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In the bright, grassy Midlands of England rises the slightly fictional county of Wesson — a dark ink spot of tragedy among the happily blank pages that surround it. The air is heavier there, oppressive with the sense of eternal sadness and inescapable gloom. The sun does not shine on Wesson, for it has been banned by municipal decree. Neither flowers nor any other living things will bloom there, and the plowmen who homeward plod their weary way raise only Druidic stones from their cursed ash-gray fields. These stones their bony wives bake into a rough black bread very good for the soul but very bad for the teeth. Even this hard fare is thought too kingly by some of the sterner natives, who would rather suck an ice cube than eat a pagan meal. The inhabitants of Wesson know it is no use. They have given up.

Birds will not fly over the county, and the Wesson birds themselves don’t fly at all, remaining stoically perched in the bare trees that blight the countryside. Only when pierced by a sudden, ineluctable sorrow will they cry out, and then only with a mournful death-shriek as they plummet heartbroken to the ground. It was just such a luckless fowl that fell upon the brow of Tsk Durbeyfield where she sat weeping beneath a petrified oak. Though partly concussed and no child of fortune herself, Tsk took the rook in her arms and crooned a pitiful prayer into its dead eyes.

But the bird was not yet dead. With amazing alacrity it rallied to her tune and in its dying frenzy fastened its beak on her nose. For the world is as cruel as its maker, and He cares not a fig if a crow should peck a girl’s face off — even so beautiful a one as Tsk.

Without quite knowing why, she was ashamed. She had not sinned, but she was guilty. After all, there was a dead bird hanging from her nose, and that sort of thing simply was not done in Wesson — at least not in polite society. Like a woodland creature, Tsk knew instinctively that she was the living antithesis of Victorian hypocrisy and repression, yet she also sensed dimly, like the House of Lords, that through a succession of historically inevitable degradations her bucolic existence was fated to end in unearned suffering. And it occurred to her what a smashing novel it all would make, if only Sidney Sheldon had published in the 19th century, or Thomas Hardy in the 21st.

Then she thought of her family — of her father, Mr. Durbeyfield, known somewhat enigmatically as “Sir Speedy;” of her mother, known even more enigmatically as “Mrs. Durbeyfield;” and of her four younger sisters, Liza Lu, Little Lulu, Lockjaw and Old Black Joe. How could she face them now? She laughed bitterly when she recalled their despicable poverty. Why, they were so poor they could not even afford to give her a middle name, and she had to use her first name twice: Tsk Tsk. Was it any wonder she had fallen so far from grace? With girlish simplicity she reflected on the combination of socioeconomic factors that had run her like a rabbit into the briar bush of morality. It was all so confusing! Perhaps Lucifer Jones could help her unravel it. Dear Lucifer — so good, so strong…and so deathly dull. She covered her face with her burlap shawl and went to him.

“Tsk!” he exclaimed, “how good to see you at the vernal equinox. Isn’t it grand? I’ve developed a new method of corn blight control. Shall I tell you about it?” He did, and she fell asleep instantly. As he gazed at her veiled charms he felt a reckless impulse to make a new type of feed sack out of her shawl. But when he pulled the coarse cloth back from her face he recoiled in disgust.

“You — you aren’t the woman I loved,” he stammered.

“Then who am I?” Tsk replied huskily, like an ear of corn.

“Another woman in her shape, with a feathered carcass attached to her proboscis.” Though only a simple millionaire’s son, he knew his Latin, and could conjugate dead verbs in a way that melted a girl’s heart. Tsk wept anew as Lucifer strode briskly away from her.

“Where are you going?” she cried.

“To discover some new sort of threshing device made out of human teeth — but also to find a girl who doesn’t consort with dead specimens of any of various large glossy black oscine birds of the family Covidae and especially the genus Corvus. Farewell!”

Tsk, wounded to her soul, took comfort in the knowledge that she was not merely a backward Durbeyfield but an atavistic d’Urberville, one of a long degenerate line of anemic aristocrats whose skeletons rotted in decrepit Wesson tombs. How soothing this secret was! For when all was said and done the d’Urbervilles were only Durbeyfields, and the Durbeyfields only d’Urbervilles, and in the eyes of God neither mattered more than a dead crow.

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Mission Statement

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Great business drives powerful business results. And the key to getting great business is to develop new and customized approaches to leadership and strategy, by enabling effective, productive change, aligning your core competencies with your business vision and value proposition and solution propositions and also partnership.

Keep a step ahead of the competition with solutions that work full-time for you with unpaid overtime. At Genericorp, we will partner with you proactively across all vertical markets to align your strategy, mission, and objectives with other things that are dynamic and raise performance levels with synergy. We will also drill down into just-in-time best-of-breed productivity optimization, thus enhancing all facets of your strategy and allowing you to consistently excel proactively. By aligning your business vision to your processes, we will leverage synergies throughout your value chain and fly around all over the place, like over buildings. That is our value proposition. Oh, strategy!

Discover the way the world does business, with Genericorp, your just-in-time best-in-class I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-butter solutions management performance specialist provider engineer solution experts. Team up proactively to partner on customized “what-if” scenarios through outside-the-box paradigms and comprehensive implementation plans. Have I said synergy yet? I can’t stress that enough. Also, Gantt charts.

Genericorp: Because if you don’t collaborate to achieve entrepreneurial spirit while leveraging target-market productivity with consultative excellence and resources and expertise to enhance peak performance across your integrated corporate culture 24/7 drill-down high-level blue-sky management ISO-9002 industry expert value chain, who will? It’s web-based and cost-effective! And just-in-time! Synergy, you imbeciles! Communication enhancement! Am I talking into a bag of socks? Get over here and proactivate!

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Page’s Guide To Birds

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HUMMINGBIRD: The name “hummingbird” is something of a misnomer since a hummingbird doesn’t actually hum. However, this bird is by no means anti-music. The hummingbird is a big fan of karaoke and, when listening to a favorite song on the radio, is not above tapping its foot.

BARN SWALLOW: The barn swallow got its name from its ability to swallow an entire barn in one gulp. Considered a serious nuisance in farming communities.

PENGUIN: Penguins are awkward on land and cannot fly, but they are extremely graceful swimmers. Penguin experts often say that what penguins do underwater is not swimming, it’s “underwater flying.” They call the actual flying that most birds do “airborne swimming.” Penguin experts are eccentric in many other ways and have few friends.

OWL: One of Nature’s most contemplative creations, this bird is always thinking (unlike the Brazilian thinker bird, which only thinks it’s always thinking). Thus, owls, their brains toned and bulging from constant use, can solve the Saturday Times crossword in less time than it takes to swoop down and kill a small vole. Also good at Scrabble.

BALD EAGLE: This species is famous for its ability to see things from far away. For example, bald eagles knew that Tom and Nicole were headed for Splitsville long before anyone else.

MALLARD DUCK: This bird comes in two varieties: real and decoy. Real mallards are the life of every party and are known for their ability to “quack everyone up.” Decoy mallards, on the other hand, are considerably less successful socially. Ornithologists often remark on their tendency to “just sit there.”

STORK: Famous as “the bird that brings the babies,” the stork is beloved by just about everyone. It holds a particularly special place in the hearts of couples with young, stork-brought children. What these couples don’t know, however, is what a uterus is for, and what their sex parts do, and what the word “pregnancy” means.

ROBIN: A purely fictional species. Although the robin has long been thought to exist, it doesn’t. (If you think you see a robin, look again. Your “robin” is probably just a small hopping dog.)

MOOSE: The world’s largest bird, the moose is also one of its most unusual. Moose are not only flightless; they also don’t have any noticeable beaks or feathers. And, instead of wings, the moose has what ornithologists call “antlers,” bony hatracklike protrusions which are located on its head, of all places. (The female moose doesn’t even have these, and, for the life of her, can’t think of what she did with them. “I must have put them down somewhere when I got the phone,” she says, looking around.)

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Urgent Memo To All Employees!!!

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To: All Employees, Bolt & Westinghouse

Greetings workers,

Background

Last month Bolt & Westinghouse hired Tim Egan, a renowned company efficiency expert from Q Inc., to evaluate our business and recommend us some efficiency tips. Last night in our monthly executive meeting Tim presented the results of his analysis, which included ten time-saving tips for improving the work efficiency at Bolt & Westinghouse. We have decided to fully implement all ten of these tips TODAY. We have no time to waste, friends. After reading this email, please print it out and read it again. After you are done, please read it again. After you are done, please read it once more, tear it into shreds, and then swallow it. Welcome! We are a new, revitalized company today! The following changes take effect in twenty minutes:

Change 1

To save the time of writing out “Bolt & Westinghouse” or saying “Bolt & Westinghouse” the name Bolt & Westinghouse is changed to simply B. This is the last time you will ever hear the name Bolt & Westinghouse: Bolt & Westinghouse.

Change 2

We have installed an electric oven burner onto all B bathroom counters. From now on a big metal pail full of soapy water will remain warm by sitting on that oven burner, and another pail of matted face towels will sit beside it. Please dip dirty hands once into each pail and then return to your desks to continue working.

Change 3

The question “How was your weekend?” is replaced by two raised eyebrows, and the reply “Good thanks, how was yours?” is replaced by a smile and a nod.

Change 4

The elevator doors have now been programmed to open and close at twice the current speed. Standing in the way of the doors to prevent them from closing will cause them to close even faster.

Change 5

All emails will now fit the B email template. The template is as follows:

1. Topic

2. Content

3. The word ‘pleasantry’

4. Initials/Job Title/Company Name

Change 6

We have placed the company stock quote, company policies, and company directory online at the company intranet site. As a result, access has been blocked to the following Web sites: All Web sites.

Change 7

BT, the new B nurse, will be circulating the floors and shaving everyone’s heads on Monday mornings. All mirrors will be removed from the bathrooms. And trust us, your hair looks fine, so there is no need to care for it in any way which requires time.

Change 8

Pay day has been changed from every other Thursday to January 1st of each year. Please budget accordingly.

Change 9

The menu in the cafeteria has changed. Instead of omelets and made-to-order pastas, we will be offering omelet shakes and made-to-order pastas juice.

Change 10

All employees, job titles, and days of the week will now only be referred to by initials.

Welcome to the first M morning at B!

Pleasantry,

WW

P

B

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