From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
Tristram imagines himself burning like a candle from the top down. This prompts him to remember a conversation about the location of the "blind gut" (which means a passage with one closed end) between Dr. Slop, Toby, and Mr. Shandy on the night that Mrs. Shandy was giving birth to Tristram.