03.14.08 -- T.G.I. π Day!

Friday, March 14, 2008
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Puzzle by Kevin G. Der, edited by Will Shortz
T. G. I. Pi Day!
Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926535... Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. The official site for Pi Day is piday.org. A current and detailed analysis, go HERE. Wikipedia-ites, go HERE. Let’s get it all out of the way -- it’s also payday on Friday!
Speaking of pi (π) or pie, APPLIEPIE (16A. Mom’s partner?) is on the menu in this T.G.I. Pi Day crossword, along with UHOHSPAGHETTIOS (61A Refrain from eating pasta?); MARYJANE (37D. Small, round sponge cake topped with fruit and whipped cream) and CHAMPAGNEBOTTLE (17A. What a toaster may hold) -- the latter could be for this blog, as today is it’s first anniversary -- the first post being on March 14, 2007 on the subject of a puzzle containing, what else -- π!
Teachers in many classrooms celebrate Pi Day this month, as π gets its own special day If one day of the year screams Party! in math class, that day is today. Teachers in classrooms across the globe take a break from the normal routine to plan a special celebration in honor of π. March 14 also happens to be the birth date of Albert Einstein!
Pi Day activities are meant to enrich and deepen students' understanding of the concept of pi. Activities might include investigations of the value of pi, special pi projects, and parties with pizza or other kinds of "pi." Because pi is 3.14159…, some schools hold their big Pi Day celebrations at noon 3/14 at exactly 1:59 p.m.
There, that’s that!
Across: 1. Los Angeles’s USBANK Tower, that’s the one-time Library Tower zapped by aliens in the film “Independence Day”; SOAPSUDS (7A. They’re seen around some cakes), cakes?... could be those who missed out on 16A; 15. Alaska’s NORTON Sound, and Alaska has a lot of sounds!; LES (19. Un article defini); ECARD (20. Modern greeting); WAILS (21. Plays intensely, in jazz slang); ELSE (22. It often follows something); KEEPS (24. Doesn’t toss); ELOI (26A. Fictional upper class), more science fiction; SPRAT (27. One who doesn’t chew the fat?), isn’t Jack’s wife’s name also Sprat?; 29. Find AMATE for (match); TNN (31. TV’s Spike, once); AMATOL (32. Bygone explosive), rhymes with volatile; OGRES (34A. Dungeons & Dragons race); METONYM (36. “The White House,” for “the presidency,” e.g.); EUROPOP (38. Abba’s style); NOMAD (42. Rootless sort); MILANO (44. Lombardia’s capital); NIM (45. Game with sticks); FARED (48. Got on) and 50. Dog-EARED; EDAM (51. It’s mild and a bit nutty); NYLON (53. Racket string material); ROTC (55. Coll. Elective program); BAYAT (56. Serenade, as the moon), example -- “this blog has survived a year -- never missing a day, totaling 406 posts, garnering approximately 415,000 visits and 750,000 page views!”; JUTES (58. Noted fifth-century invaders), new to me; DOA (60. Regrettable E.R. status), to say the least; LORRAINE (64. Where to find Nancy), seen this clue before!; DECENT (65. Ready to receive visitors, say); ASSERTED (66. Held); AMUSES (67. Beguiles).
Down: UNCLESAM (1. One known for finger-pointing); SOHELPME (2. “It’s the truth”); BRASSRAT (3. M.I.T.’s class ring, familiarly); ATM (4. Long green box?), what did civilization do before them, and what did crossword constructors do without those initials?; NOPE (5. Informal demurral); KNACK (6. Touch), that’s a touchy clue (insert emoticon for groan); SANREMO (7. Post-W.W. I conference site); OPEDPAGE (8. Setting for some columns), OpEd getting the full treatment today!; APB (9. It’s issued to several stations, briefly); PLOW (10. Caterpillar product); SETAE (11. Caterpillar hairs), nice word, “caterpillar”, so nice we use it twice; UPTILT (12. Raise, as a steering wheel); DILLON (13. Long Branch Saloon visitor), oh, now we’re to know the names of saloons in television series we’ve never seen!; SEESIN (14. Escorts after), or see sin (the Vatican just released a new set!); GAEA (18. Earth personified), lovely name; EATON (23. Bond girl player Shirley); STRUM (25. Choose not to pick?), how strange; or should I say EERIE (30. Like some similarities); speaking of which, LYMAN's rhyming clues (33. Preacher Beecher); SOLAR (35. Like the Julian calendar); PARODIES (39. Takeoffs); ONETOONE (40. Direct); PODCASTS (41. They may be received by free subscriptions); DELUGED (43 In up to one’s neck); NEBULA (45. Interstellar matter); IDAHOS (46. Some spuds), most spuds; MAYORS (47. LaGuardia and others), 49. “How then DOTH he now see?”: John 9:19; MAHRE (52. Twins’ name at the 1984 Olympics); 54. “I NEEDA Lover” (1979 John Cougar hit); 57. TSAR (57. Bygone crown); STEM (59. Brain component); PIT (62. Gambler’s place); and TCU (63. Fort Worth sch.), and will TCU be celebrating π day?!
On a final note, my favorite crossword blogger, Linda of Madness… Crossword and Otherwise, has announced that she is taking a leave of absence. Let’s hope she returns soon. Her warm and friendly commentary will be missed by all!
For today’s cartoons, go to The Crossword Puzzle Illustrated.
Click on image to enlarge.
Puzzle available on the internet at
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NYTAnonimo said...

Hey Donald congratulations on your anniversary-I enjoy your blog immensely! Told Linda that for the past few months I would check out your blogs first-I will miss her too.

I knew there was a Pi Day but did not realize it was today-my spouse just informed me the entire Math staff at his school had on American Pie tee-shirts and of course pie for dessert.

I did not do well on the puzzle today even with googling. Never heard of Norton Sound, did not know the USBank Tower in LA, or metonym, etc. Had champagne bottle than changed it to champagne flutes to make silk fit for caterpillar product-oh well! Glad you were here to set me straight-TGIF!

DONALD said...

Thanks so much for the congratulations note -- it is now a compulsion (image: robot repeating "must do puzzle, must blog puzzle", etc. etc.).

It wasn't until last year I found Pi Day -- I think it's a gas!

Hard time finding a reference to Norton Sound in Alaska to link, I knew Liberty Tower was the famous one in LA, didn't know it changed its name, but I knew about plows and bottles!