The standard wooden ruler in which inches mingle freely with centimeters says a lot about the state of the U.S. measuring system. ~ Jupiter Images/liquidlibrary/Thinkstock
The International System of Units (abbreviated SI from French: Le Système international d'unités) is the modern form of the metric system. ~ Wikipedia
Monday, March 18, 2013
Puzzle by Daniel Landman / Edited by Will Shortz
SI UNITS (38A. Basic physical measures … or a hint to 17-, 27-, 48- and 63-Across), SEMINOLE INDIANS, STATEN ISLANDER, SECRET IDENTIFY and SPLIT INFINITIVE constitutes the loosely interrelated group of this Monday crossword.
Despite America's long history with SI units, measuring remains a mess in the States. A football field traffics in yards while most footraces prefer meters. Mechanics measure the power of an automobile engine in horsepower (foot-pounds per second), but express the same engine's displacement in liters. Air pressure is denoted in all sorts of ways: pounds per square inch (or psi) for tire pressure, inches of mercury for surface atmospheric pressure and millibars for air pressure aloft. ~ William Harris, How Stuff Works
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