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QUESTION: I would like to visit a spa in the Southwest, but want to spend only two or three days there. Is this possible, or is there a longer minimum stay?

ANSWER: At Canyon Ranch Health and Fitness Resort (8600 East Rockcliff Road, Tucson, Ariz. 85715; 800-726-9900), probably the best-known spa in the area, there is indeed a minimum, four nights, until June 15. But if you call a week ahead, the spa may have shorter stays available. From June 16 until Sept. 16, there is no minimum stay.Four-night packages start at $1,396 a person in double occupancy ($1,769 single). For a single night, the cost is $260 double and $417 single. After June 15, prices are about 30 percent less.

Another option, and a way to spend as few days as you wish, is to get a room at a resort that has spa facilities, which you can use for an additional fee, sometimes as a package that includes massages and beauty treatments.

For example, at Tucson National Resort and Spa (2727 West Club Drive, Tucson, Ariz. 85741; 800-528-4856 or 602-297-2271), in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains, exercise classes are $8 to $12, an hourlong massage is $60, and a facial is $30 for 30 minutes and $60 for an hour. Until May 15, the least expensive double room is $135; May 16 to Sept. 16, the rate is $59.

Camelback Inn (5402 East Lincoln Drive, Scottsdale, Ariz. 85253; 602-948-1700) is another resort with tennis, golf and a spa. Treatments can be bought separately, but if you want several, you might consider a spa package.

There is a two-night, three-day program at $445 a person (additional to the room rate) that includes a low-calorie lunch, unlimited excercise classes and use of equipment, an hourlong Swedish massage, a facial, loofah salt glow (a full body scrub), a seaweed-mud body mask, an herbal wrap, a manicure and pedicure, makeup consultation and application, shampoo and blow dry, nutritional consultation, one-on-one exercise session and a fitness check.

There are several one-day programs as well, from $50 for classes and use of equipment, a half-hour massage and an herbal wrap, to $250 for five one-hour massages. Double rooms start at $220 until May 19, dropping to $85 a night until Sept. 15, rising again to $180 to Dec. 31.

At Loews Ventana Canyon Resort (7000 North Resort, Drive, Tucson, Ariz. 85715; 602-299-2020) guests can take classes or treatments a la carte.

There is a three-night, four-day spa package that includes room, one massage and unlimited use of equipment and classes, for $810 a person in double accommodations ($735, single) until April 30; $685, double, May 1 to May 25 and Sept. 10 to Jan. 15, and $325 May 26 to Sept. 9. Rooms are $225 for a double until May 24 and the $105 May 25 to Sept. 9.

QUESTION: I have heard that single gentlemen can sail free on some cruise ships. Is this true?

ANSWER: It is true, on at least two cruise lines, for single men over 50, called escorts.

A program run by Royal Cruise Line aboard Crown Odyssey and the Golden Odyssey was begun in 1982.

It is essentially designed to provide dancing and dining partners for women without a companion, who outnumber the men, but the company says the escorts are encouraged to mix with everyone on board and are available to dance with women whose husbands do not themselves dance.

A love of socializing and an enthusiasm for dancing are essential, a company spokesman said. The company's guidelines encourage the escorts not to concentrate their attentions on one passenger and romance on board is prohibited.

"It is a very wholesome program," the spokesman said.

Escorts, who the company says include a former FBI agent, a psychologist and a former Presbyterian minister, receive a free cruise and air transportation to the ship.

They must sign up for at least two two-week cruises and are free to take more; between them the two ships complete more than 50 cruises a year.

There are generally at least four escorts aboard the Crown Odyssey and from six to 12 on The Golden Odyssey. More information: Host Program, Royal Cruise Line, 1 Maritime Plaza, Suite 1400, San Francisco, Calif. 94111.

A similar program is operated by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company aboard the Mississippi Queen, which makes about 50 cruises a year among cities along the river. Two male escorts are aboard each cruise. The hosts are recruited by Karp Enterprises, 2139 University Drive, Coral Springs, Fla. 33071.

QUESTION: I have read that Archimedes' tombstone was found in 1965 as the foundation was being dug for a hotel in Syracuse, Sicily. Is it possible to visit the tombstone?

ANSWER: The reports on excavations in Syracuse from 1965 to 1968 make no mention of such a discovery, according to Bonna Wescoat, a professor of art history at Emory University and curator of an exhibition at Emory's museum called "Syracuse, the Fairest Greek City."

Archimedes, the mathemetician, physisicist and inventor, was killed in 212 B.C. by invading Roman soldiers despite an order by their commander, Marcus Claudius Marcellus, that he be spared. Marcellus gave Archimedes an elaborate funeral and built a large tombstone.

In 75 B.C. Cicero saw the stone, and he said that the inscription on it, a cylinder with a sphere in it, was half effaced and the stone was overgrown with weeds. Given that, it is unlikely that it has survived until now, Wescoat said.

There is a rock-cut tomb in Syracuse that is said to be Archimedes', in an area of such tombs called the grotticelli (quarry of paradise), just off the Corso Gelone.

However, that structure has been dated to a later period. Still, visiting the area of templelike tombs set among lemon trees and flowers makes for a lovely walk.

QUESTION: We will be visiting Emmaboda in the southern part of Sweden in July. What will the weather be like? What are the hours of daylight?

ANSWER: In Goethenburg on the southwest coast of Sweden, the average daily high temperature is 70 degrees and the average low is 57. As Emmaboda is inland, it may be a few degrees warmer.

There are spells of cool, wet weather during the Swedish summer, so come prepared with rain gear and a sweater. There are an average of 14 days with measurable rain in July there, totaling 3.4 inches. In mid-July at Emmaboda there are approximately 17 hours of daylight.