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DEAR READER: I always enjoy reading your hints, but here is my hint for you: When you hear a sound that resembles the noise a cricket makes, it's time to check your smoke detectors. They probably need a new battery. One way to make sure you never have a dead battery is to change the smoke alarm batteries when you adjust your clocks for the time changes in the spring and fall.

-- Mary Ann F.,

Brussels, Ill.

DEAR HELOISE: For sore areas of the body where you might need a hot or cold pad, just take a bag of uncooked rice and heat it in the microwave for about 35 to 40 seconds. For a cold pad, take that same bag of rice and put it in the freezer. It works well and it's inexpensive.

-- Opal A., Califormia

DEAR HELOISE: My dentist says I need a root canal, but I don't want to go through the pain and aggravation. If I ignore this tooth, will it improve on its own?

-- Payton D.,

Weymouth, Mass.

DEAR READER: Payton, it more than likely will not improve on its own. The pain might go away, but the infection is still hiding in there, and it could get worse. The bacteria can travel to the roots and jaw, causing a pus-filled infection. If your dentist says you need a root canal, you probably do. You can get a second opinion, but please don't ignore the problem.

DEAR HELOISE: I recently had a job interview by phone with an automated voice. I had to answer a series of questions. I hated the experience. I had questions about the company and its products that I was unable to ask. This is such an impersonal way to qualify for a position.

-- Krista J., Tennessee

DEAR READER: Krista, it's one of the many changes we're all facing these days. Larger companies feel this streamlines the interview process and cuts down the expense of hiring. It won't be long before this is standard practice.

DEAR HELOISE: It is important to wash your hands before using the restroom facilities, too.

-- Gary P., Hilliard, Ohio

DEAR READER: Frequent hand-washing can cut the transmission of germs, and during this particularly rough flu season, that's important.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

MovieStyle on 05/10/2019

Print Headline: Helpful Hints


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