### 03.08.15 — 3.1415926 ...

Sunday, March 8, 2015

“3.1415926 …”  — Puzzle by Tom McCoy / Edited by Will Shortz

Pi, Greek letter (π), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi = 3.1415926... Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. The official site for Pi Day is piday.org.. Wikipedia, HERE. Teachers in many classrooms (this year a Saturday) celebrate Pi Day in classrooms across the globe taking 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.

This year, Pi Day is 3.14.15, along with 9:26 (time of day), and this Sunday‘s crossword takes note with PI being the main feature of the puzzle.  In  five squares, pi (π), works in the down answers and the look-alike TT in the answers across.  Other answers also have reference to the main feature
• RO[TT]EN EGG (23A. The last one in perhaps) with TY[PI]CALLY (3D. As is usual)
• MAD HA[TT]ER (26A. "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" asker) with RA[PID]-FIRE (15D. How questions may be asked)
• GUIL[TT]RIPS (29A. Shames into action) with RES[PI]TE (9D. Breather)
• TA[TT]LE (117A. Snitch) with STU[PI]D (102D. Cry exclaimed while facepalming)
• DO[TT]ED (120A. Like two lowercase letters of the alphabet) with UTO[PI]A (105D. More work)

HOW I WISH / I COULD CALCULATE / PI  EASILY (69A. With 94- and 72-Across, a mnemonic for the first eight digits of [symbol in the middle of the grid]), e.g., HOW is 3 letters, I is 1, WISH is 4,  I is 1, COULD is 5, etc. 3.1415926 the full mnemonic.

FILLING (50D. Pie part [that's appropriately placed in this puzzle?]), along with black squares that form a big pi symbol in the middle of the grid completes the main feature of the crossword.

Other — ALSO-RAN and HARE (90D. Race loser; 118A. Fabled 90-Down); CRAPSHOOT (114A. Risky venture); ESCROW (100D. What money can be kept in); ETRUSCAN (76A. Like much of Italy in 700 B.C.); EYESORES (16D. Derelict buildings, e.g.); KREMLIN (49D. One end of the hotline); SESAME SEEDS (38A. Sushi coating, maybe), SUSS OUT (92D. Solve).

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