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THP -- The More Things Change

The solution is Iliad. And it's an odyssey to get there. The solutions to the 14 clues are: lengthwise emirs dean yellow iodized declaw endives manicurist cicatrix subdivide soldering binaural amiss bean These could be solved without the hints, but the hints help. One might notice that there are 42 letters in the hints. 14 clues, 42 letters -- 3 per clue? Divide the hints into triplets. It turns out they'll be in alphabetical order, which suggests you've done a good thing. You probably will have gotten a few of the solution words, and then you will notice that each one contains one of the triplets. That facts should help you (eventually) get the rest of the solution words. Look at the words in the list -- what patterns are there? Well, the first obvious pattern is that the word lengths occur in pairs: 4,4,5,5,6,6,7,7,8,8,9,9,10,10. This suggests pairing the words up this way. Now what? Well, what pattern can we observe in the pairs? Each pair has exactly 3 letters in the same places -- note the title of the puzzle is the first half of a common saying: The More Things Change (the more they stay the same). This suggests we should look for something that "stays the same" while other things change. Of course, the puzzle can be solved even without recognizing this as a clue. (The reference to opening a packaged ream of copy-machine paper also reinforces looking for "copies" of something. But this was, intentionally, pretty vague.) Once we've found the stay-the-same triplets, the most logical thing to do is to arrange them in a stack in "numerical" order based upon the number of letters in the original words: E A N M I S E L W D I E I A R S D I N I S Now what? Well, look at the ring of letters around the outside of the rectangle -- it says "ANSWER IS INSIDE ME". (It's clearest if written in a fixed-width font.) So, look inside "ME" -- the rectangle that was talking about itself -- and you'll see the answer, which is ILIAD.
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