Thursday, March 14, 2024

Thursday, March 14, 2024, Jeffrey Martinovic

A celebration of Pi, on this most aptest of days for it: 3.14. Although, it probably would actually have been most aptest in 1592. :)  I also suddenly realize that Europe can't have PIDAY. Sad. 

Anyhoo, in addition to a depiction of the symbol for pi in the center of the grid, the puzzle features two scientists who each had a significant life event occur on this day: STEPHENHAWKING (death, 2018) and ALBERTEINSTEIN (birth, 1879). Both names span the 14 rows of the grid, while THETOWEROFBABEL spans all 15 columns. combine these two numbers with 7D (THREE) and you get 3.1415.  Genuis! :) As a bonus, we also find mathematician EULER in the grid. If Huygens is still doing the puzzles, I'm guessing he'll like this one. 

[SPOILER ALERT: skip this paragraph if you haven't done Connections yet but plan to.] In what is very unlikely to be a crossover event, Connections had a category that included a homophone of today's puzzle celebrant along with three compatriots Moo, New, and Row. I found this, the blue category, more difficult than the purple category. One person's meat ... 

The Mandelbrot set can be used to approximate pi

Now, back to our regularly scheduled program. In addition to the two scientists mentioned above there were a couple of other nice paired clues including "Last in a series" (NTH and ETAL), PURPLEPROSE (Colorful language?) and MAGENTA ("Purplish red"), and IPAS and ALES, both "Some craft drafts, for short."

The shape of the grid resulted in a significant number of three-letter answers, but that both seems fitting and, IMHO, most of the C/APs in this category held their own pretty well. If that's what it takes to salute pi, I'm all for it. Mmmm, pi.


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