Sunday, March 08, 2020

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 8, 2020): Upcoming Pi Day

NPR Sunday Puzzle (Mar 8, 2020): Upcoming Pi Day:
Q: This week's challenge is something different. It involves Pi Day, which is this coming Saturday, March 14 — commonly written as 3/14. That's been designated Pi Day because 3-1-4 are the first three digits of pi. Well, the letters of "Pi Day" also have a curious mathematical significance. What is it?
A math conundrum!

Edit: The number of letters in each word – A(1) math (4) conundrum (9)
A: The position of each letter in the alphabet is a perfect square: A(1), D(4), I(9), P(16), Y(25).

221 comments:

  1. Here's my standard reminder... don't post the answer or any hints that could lead directly to the answer (e.g. via a chain of thought, or an internet search) before the deadline of Thursday at 3pm ET. If you know the answer, click the link and submit it to NPR, but don't give it away here.

    You may provide indirect hints to the answer to show you know it, but make sure they don't give the answer away. You can openly discuss your hints and the answer after the Thursday deadline. Thank you.

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  2. Not too hard. It shouldn't take much intellectual or puzzle-solving power to solve it. Probably many correct answers this week. I was surprised at how few--150--answered last week's puzzle correctly.

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  3. I'm reminded of Dwayne Hickman.

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  4. The answer to this puzzle, like the number it celebrates, is beautiful! Indeed, all things considered, it is maximally beautiful. Kudos to both puzzlemasters for introducing me to one of the best bits of English-language numerology since 11 + 2 = 12 + 1.

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    1. How astonishing that this was never brought to my attention before today! I hope that Joseph Young will explain how he made this discovery.

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  5. A musical clue: I want a new drug!

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  7. The latest from Cambridge, where MIT traditionally sends out its acceptance letters on Pi Day: MIT and Harvard have both cancelled their Admitted Students Weekends for next month, because of COVID-19 fears. Most of the cases in Massachusetts have been traced to a meeting of Biogen managers at a Boston hotel last month. And, I was going to have a house guest for a few days this week, because a doc from my old practice was planning to attend a Harvard Med School Primary Care conference, but they cancelled the conference (actually, converted it to a livestreamed webinar) at the last minute.

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  8. Nice puzzle Lego! I don't recall seeing this before.

    I submitted two answers. What I think is the intended answer also works for PIE DAY, but my second answer doesn't.

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    1. I have two answers also for π day...

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    2. Maybe it is me but what I think everyone is referring to as the intended answer does not seem to work for Pie Day but does work for
      Pi Day.

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    3. Joe, Yeah, maybe what I refer as my second answer is the intended answer. We'll see.

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  11. I say “Ha” to this and all similar puzzles, no offense to Lego.

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  12. Clever Lego, it's remarkable no one brought this up before.

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  13. Good puzzle, Lego. I would never have noticed this surprising property. I hope that on Thursday you will tell us how you found it.

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  14. I'm running up against a monolithic block this week, trying to come up with clues that Blaine will allow.

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  15. Is the answer also intended as a comment on the nature of NPR listeners?

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  16. Jim Stark wouldn’t get this answer.

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  17. I took a circuitous route to solving this one. It makes me think of a certain famous landmark that’s connected to the puzzle master.

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  18. I ran through the early presidents of the Union, from Washington through Madison, several times looking for the answer, which doesn’t herald a very good day for me.

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    1. π = 3.14159265358979323846

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    2. Unknown's comment needs deletion, and he/she has merited expulsion.

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    3. Yes, but we've had several people on this blog using that apparently default handle.

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    4. yes, but this one we know is Wordsmythe

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    5. Unknown name, but unique blogger profile.

      I hope a host can ban a profile.

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  21. Tollhouse Pie is the best kind of pi

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    1. Actually that would be pecan.

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    2. I had me some humble pie a couple of weeks back here.

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  22. A word for the answer also has this mathematical property.

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    1. S+Q+U+A+R+E=19+17+21+1+18+5=81=9^2, which is a square.

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  23. Well, it seems that everyone but me has gotten the answer. BTW WW, all that 42 brings to my mind is Jackie Robinson.

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  24. Thanks, Lego - this is a fun puzzle! (no hints here) --Margaret G., who also uses the "Unknown" moniker, so I hope it won't be totally removed. :(

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  25. In a similar vein, GAMES is a good word for July 15.

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  26. Anybody else notice the winner's name is Jennifer but the website says it's Rachel? Maybe the one who prints the details about the week's winner was thinking about the TV show "Friends" at the time.

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  27. Pi Day gets all the press but Tau Day (6/28) is the real star. Don't throw in your tau-el that day!

    A math teacher I know is having a pi contest; whoever recites the most digits of pi gets to throw a pie in his face.

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    1. WW, nice profile picture but just curious if there is a deeper reason for it's selection? Just curious :)

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    2. She's not afraid to try chicken pot pi.

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  28. Would you prefer apple, cherry, peach, pecan, or lemon meringue?

    3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944 5923078164 0628620899 8628034825 3421170679 8214808651 3282306647 0938446095 5058223172 5359408128 4811174502 8410270193 8521105559 6446229489 5493038196 4428810975 6659334461 2847564823 3786783165 2712019091 4564856692 3460348610 4543266482 1339360726 0249141273 7245870066 0631558817 4881520920 9628292540 9171536436 7892590360 0113305305 4882046652 1384146951 9415116094 3305727036 5759591953 0921861173 8193261179 3105118548 0744623799 6274956735 1885752724 8912279381 8301194912 9833673362 4406566430 8602139494 6395224737 1907021798 6094370277 0539217176 2931767523 8467481846 7669405132 0005681271 4526356082 7785771342 7577896091 7363717872 1468440901 2249534301 4654958537 1050792279 6892589235 4201995611 2129021960 8640344181 5981362977 4771309960 5187072113 4999999837 2978049951 0597317328 1609631859 5024459455 3469083026 4252230825 3344685035 2619311881 7101000313 7838752886 5875332083 8142061717 7669147303 5982534904 2875546873 1159562863 8823537875 9375195778 1857780532 1712268066 1300192787 6611195909 2164201989

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    1. Pie? I'll take lemon meringue, please, which might slide into a merengue dance...

      But, my true favorite is my mom's rhubarb pie made from her backyard rhubarb. Not strawberry-rhubarb, just rhubarb. Yum!

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    2. Rhubarb pie makes me think of that bebop song Garrison Keillor used to sing.

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    3. Superzee, the answer is actually contained in the numbers you listed.

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    4. it would be irrational to believe otherwise.

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    5. I can only hope you cut and pasted that post, SuperZee.

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    6. You can be sure I didn't type it from memory. However, when I was in High School (during the Kennedy Administration) we were challenged by our Math teacher to memorize the first 100 digits of Pi as an extra credit assignment.

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    7. Sometimes a musical mnemonic helps.

      Word Woman will note that I post this every year, but I say tough, and besides we need to celebrate women doing math [!?]. Though she goes astray at the 79th number.

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  29. Thanks for the hint SuperZee ☺️

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    1. If you see a hint in 1000 digits of Pi, that’s irrational.

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  30. It's all in the formula for area.

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  31. If you don't have access to a kitchen do you make pies in a Crustacean?

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    1. Obviously, you use a Crustacean tube.

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    2. I used to until I discovered rolling pins. I should also mention that I looked all over for a Utopian tube first, but had no luck in that department. I hope you won't consider that answer to be too flaky.

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    3. Reminds me of a former co-worker who thought that Barrett's Esophagus sounded like an exclusive development on the MD Eastern Shore.

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    4. Life of Pi exists right here on Blaine's.

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  32. My suprachiasmatic nucleus is worn out today.

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    1. 25ml of C2H5OH, with suitable additives, can mitigate the effects of Temporal Displacement Syndrome.

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    2. Yes, and that can be TeDiouS(TDS).

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  33. Cf. Diana Spencer. And regardless of Pi Day, Father's Day is not too far off.

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  34. So, tell me, what do my good friends over at STRAP think of this puzzle?

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    1. STRAP is proud to be the most powerful puzzle advocate on this blog. And in that lofty position, we give our genuine support for this puzzle.

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    2. Actually, a simple tail-to-head anagram is the only thing that could make this stunning mathematical coincidence even more spectacular. But why gild the lily?

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    3. Mathematical coincidence yes, anagram no.

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  35. My ATM password is the last 4 digits of pi. . .

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    1. How old will you be when you discover what they are, do you think?

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  36. Has anyone tried finding dust masks at the store lately? Fortunately, I still have a half-full carton of dust masks that I bought several months ago to use around the house for various wood projects and other things, but heck, I can't find any replacements right now, unless I want to pay at least $10 each, and that's if I can even find any. What a bummer and what price gouging!!

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    1. You could always try using a stud mask, but STRAP might not approve.

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    2. I was using one today to be cautious. Granted, I was merely cutting up a fiberglass tub with a sawzall; nothing near as dangerous as walking outside.

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    3. Yes, life can be dangerous. Once, when I wuz a little boy, I walked in on my parents and sawzall.

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    4. Sounds like you got the hole story: Once one saws awl, the jig is up.

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  37. Somebody here better be able to make a puzzle out of the fact that CORONAVIRUS anagrams to CARNIVOROUS, STRAP be damned.

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    1. If you madden STRAP they will demand an apology.

      As might Ron, who made that unusually correct pronouncement 6 weeks ago.

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    2. I fall into no TRAPS laid by STRAP NOR any laid by RON.

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  38. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    1. Point taken, but it wasn't deleted.

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    2. Wonder no more.

      I suspect Blaine was letting the children play, and only recently checked in. At least there's no "Be Worst" comments, but the ever too obvious hints continue. Old news.

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  39. In any event, the official solution will be announced two days after Friday the 13th and on The Ides of March. No clue here, but with the time change and full moon this week, it all stacks up to be momentous. Then there's the primary in SDB-Land. Turn your head to cough while waiting for a ballot.

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  40. "What kind of pants are these? And they are high-waisted pants."
    And that's all he had to say about that.

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  41. "Social distancing?" Isn't that what social media like Facebook already accomplished?

    Princeton U is discouraging students from returning after spring break (see twitter).

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  42. One thing we do well as a nation is panic. The bad guys are probably laughing their high-waisteds off at us.

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    1. Friday I began walking around, when I went out, with a tape measure on my belt and hidden from view by my jacket. When I would meet and speak with anyone I would say, "Wait a moment while I check and make sure we are safe." As I was saying this I would pull out the tape until it reached the 6' mark. It worked every time and everyone was laughing out loud. No one coughed after either.

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    2. Thanks for that, jan. I will get right on making myself one and hiring 3 idiots to hold it for me, but not that yucky green though.

      Did you notice that all the pedestrians are bundled up, but the 3 clowns holding the ring are in summer shirts? Also only one or two seem to be noticing. I suspect it may be a good Photoshop production.

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  43. I just received an email from my bank informing me of the measures they are taking to combat the Corona-virus. They acknowledge that money is somewhat filthy after being in circulation, and therefor they are now encouraging money laundering.

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  44. I just discovered this regarding how online guests are chosen:

    I used to work at Weekend Edition, so I can help provide some answers from that end of things. I won't give too much away, but once the wrong answers are sorted out, they pick a name a random and give them a call. If there's no answer, they move on to the next name. Believe it or not, but a lot of the same people get the answer right each week, so care is taken so as not to call someone that's been called already. I can confirm that its not time-based.

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    1. Click here to read the original posting and other responses.

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    2. I've got to start using my wife's number as she answers all of the spam calls. What area-code do they call from?

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    3. 201.I think. Interesting SDB. I remember ignoring a couple of 201 calls. OH well. Church at home cancelled last week. Lotsof silverbacks there. We were going to come out in April. Now not so sure. But Donny says its OK to travel. Right?

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    4. No, 202. NPR's HQ is in DC. 201 is in NJ.

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    5. Be careful, this coronavirus is nothing to sneeze at.

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  45. I don't know why this puzzle tickles me... I only know it does!

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  46. First the good news, there has been some preliminary progress towards a COVID-19 vaccine but there is "a small bugaboo that needs to be "ironed out".

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  47. Does SNAP have anything to say about moral decay vs. molar decay?

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    1. SNAP? No idea. But, the Committee Resisting Anagram Puzzles might.

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    2. Thanks, jan, yes, I meant STRAP.

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    3. No decision from the Executive Committee yet, but they're ordering Laced Moray for dinner.

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    4. When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie....

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  48. "And laugh they did, and eat, and drink, often and heartily, being fond of simple jests at all times...[Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon, & Afternoon Tea!]"

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  49. Replies
    1. Thanks for sharing, very interesting.

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    2. That's something! Amazing how different our cultures are (no pun intended) and how much we take for granted!

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    3. The Bubonic Plague, Spanish Flu, these viruses from China. They all happen when masses of humans shove themselves together in filthy and horrific conditions. Now we have the added benefit of intercontinental air travel. The end won’t come from nukes, but mass disease.

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    4. I take exception to that "filthy and horrific conditions" characterization. We're people; we interact with other people, we shake hands, hug, kiss, sneeze, cough, occasionally enjoy exchanging other bodily fluids. Viruses happen. Even if some of us didn't eat bats or pangolins, they'd still happen. Vacationers on luxury cruise liners aren't huddled masses, and some of our most elite universities were among the first to shut down. We're all in this together, folks.

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    5. I think this is a typical human, hysterical, fear reaction to a crisis that then leads to a scapegoat group that will be least able to defend itself. People seem to have a fundamental need to find someone to blame, even when no one may be culpable.

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    6. jan, seconded, mightily. As the teacher for students from China, Viet Nam, and Thailand (as well as Senegal and Germany), I have observed my students experience racism, not at school, but on the bus and walking down the street in a most respectful manner. These students, who have worked so hard for 4 years, now want to leave without going on the senior class trip or attending graduation because Americans have made them feel so unwelcome (starting in late January.)

      It hurts my heart to think these amazing young people feel so ostracized merely for being Asian. It also pisses me off that you, BB, would characterize these fellow human beings in the manner you have chosen.

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    7. Yes this happened here in Pecanland at Kennesaw State Univ. where several asian sutdents- some of whom - were born here are being shunned by fellow students as some kind of leper.
      Very sad when as you say they work so hard and now cannot even attend a graduation exercise.

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    8. BB's words are ill-chosen, but we do live with large crowds that readily transmit diseases - we call them cities.

      All around my fair city, including 2 blocks from my office, are homeless encampments that can only be described as filthy and horrific. The optimism in this video predates the outbreak, and I have seen that the cleanup was very, very temporary. I won't blame the homeless folks, but they are, as first line victims, among the many vectors that will spread the disease more quickly. And they will suffer even more.

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    9. Excellent point. Why has this vector not shown up yet?

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    10. It may be here already, how extensive is the testing in your city?

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    11. It's here. I share a city with Biogen. How ironic that they're the vector here.

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    12. Berkeley reported it's first case last week. I meant what's unknown is whether it will spread to our extensive homeless population; that seems very likely. And if and when it gets to the camps it will spread exceedingly quickly, no quarantining there.

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  50. Replies
    1. Is this a cryptic transmission? From the chiasmatic nucleus.

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  51. With all the infighting it sounds like caucuses in the north will not do well.

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  52. Plantsmith,
    Trump sent his vice president here to confront the pandemic and keep us from feeling depressed. I would not want to be caught with my Pence down, so I decided I should attend church for the first time since 1969. I wanted to be safe, but could not find face masks at any Seattle stores. The Dollar Tree store did have one Dick Chaney mask left over from Halloween, so I splurged and bought it. Thanks to the professor at the UofW who has been conducting crow studies, when I wore the Dick Chaney face mask on my walk to church Sunday morning, I was attacked by a murder of crows who relentlessly dive bombed and defecated on me. Therefore when I arrived at the door of a nearby church I was turned away after being told I could not sit in my own pew. As I turned to leave I noticed however that they let in a man who was wearing a hoodie and carrying a scythe. How safe could that be? At least they were organ-ized.

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    1. Are the Pence pants high and wasted? Our church is cancelled through March.

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    2. Yes, but I will not re-Pence.

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    3. Our Fear Leader's speech has left us all very Pence-ive. I suspect another droopy day in the markets is in store. But not many customers are going to be in store - BART and the freeways here are eerily empty.

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    5. I feel it may be time for us to disPence.

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    6. I wish we could invest our Pence in a pound. I would gladly exchange for a bob, or a Joe, or a Bernie, Liz, or Pete. A good quid pro quo.

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    7. I bet the first time Trump heard about the Coronavirus, he said, "Why does everything always happen to me?"

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    8. SDB. Feeling a little Penceive about our trip to Seattle in April. Is the Opera House still open? symphony still in swing?

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    9. You don't see so many crows here. Makes me homesick. We used to get a murder of crows every afternoon as they gathered to make their way to Alki.

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    10. It only went into effect yesterday, so I don't know for sure, but I suspect they will be closed for the rest of this month.

      Is Pencil?

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    11. Giacomo Puccini's – La bohème is scheduled to open May 3rd @ McCaw Hall. It would be a shame if it ends tragically before it even opens.

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    12. Of course we would rather you do come back to Seattle rather than recomePence.

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    13. Under Bernie or Biden would we get a Pence shun?

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  54. Why do Clyburn and Carville not want to count every vote and let every vote count?

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    1. I assume they're concerned about Biden tripping over himself in the remaining time. But I heard an analysis (on NPR, of course) that said that the continued Democratic primary battle in 2008 benefited the nominee in November because it served to energize people who might otherwise have been ignored had either Obama or Clinton had clinched it early. They used the example of Indiana, a usually Republican state, which went for Obama because voters had been fired up by the primary process.

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    2. I found that NPR story interesting too.

      As to Clyburn and Carville, I just don't know, but I do know there is a difference between elections in America and elections in Europe?

      In America people are very concerned that their vote counts.

      In Europe they don’t care if their count votes.

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  55. Brings new meaning to "March Madness", doesn't it?

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  56. So, my wife says she heard someone say that we need a Rock Hudson moment for people to take this coronavirus thing seriously. "Tom Hanks," I said. "That's what I mean," she said. "No," I said, "Tom Hanks said he and his wife had a little fever, some aches and fatigue, and got tested out of the usual abundance of caution. To have a Rock Hudson moment, TOM HANKS MUST DIE."

    Four words no one has ever said before.

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    1. “My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” ...

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  57. One death is a tragedy. A million deaths are a statistic. Does have a ring of recognition to it, regardless of the original author.

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  58. If you assign a number to each letter and then add them up, you get 55. If you take each of the letter numbers and rearrange them from lowest to highest you then get a number progression;

    1, 4, 9, 16, 25, and 36 would be the next number.

    ALTERNATE ANSWER: 55 could represent May 5th, a.k.a. Cinco de Mayo.

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  59. The letters of Pi Day are letters 16, 9, 4, 1, and 25 in the alphabet. All are SQUARES

    Re: Dwayne Hickman.
    From 1959 to 1963, Dwayne played Dobie in the TV show, The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. Dobie’s best friend, Maynard G. Krebs (played by Bob Denver, prior to becoming Gillian) was a bearded, bongo playing, Beatnik, the epitome of cool, and hip.

    Dobie was the opposite, uncool, unhip, and SQUARE.

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  60. 1. π = 3.1415926...
    The position of the letters of “PI DAY” in the alphabet are P=16th letter, I=9th letter, D=4th letter, A=1st letter, Y=25th letter. These numbers: 1,6,9,4,1,2,5 are the same numbers of the decimal:
    .1415926...

    2. Also each letter's position in the alphabet is a perfect square: P=16=4², I=9=3², D=4=2², A=1=1², Y=25=5²

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  61. I wrote, “A musical clue: I want a new drug!” That was the title of a hit by Huey Newton and the News, who also had a hit in “It’s Hip to Be Square.”

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  62. The “curious mathematical significance”—> The letters (numerically, if a=1, b=2, etc.) are squares of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5: P=16, or 4 squared; i=9, or 3 squared; D=4, or 2 squared; a=1, or 1 squared; y=25, or 5 squared.

    Quite clever, actually. Lego once again strikes puzzle gold.

    My clue was, of course, “power.”

    I hope that fellow Blainesvillians are COVID-19-free in the ensuing months. I’ve already decided to cancel my attendance both at a conference in April (I expect the conference itself will soon be canceled) and also at my 50th college reunion in May, which will probably be canceled, too, or at least postponed, perhaps along with Commencement that weekend, since the University just announced that it will be going fully online and that students had to leave campus by March 15. But I am still steadfastly holding out hope for an important trip to Boston in June. We shall see. Stay well, everyone.

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  63. The letters in "Pi Day" are the 1st, 4th, 9th, 16th, and 25th letters of the alphabet -- the first 5 squares.

    > Ha! I've got the answer!

    The letters in "Ha" are the 1st and 8th letters of the alphabet -- the first 2 cubes.

    > Someone mentioned SpongeBob last week when we were talking about pants. [deleted!]

    SquarePants (Hardly more revealing than the square root sign in Blaine's picture.)

    > Fore! [also deleted!]

    The homophonically mathematically ironically titled album by Huey Lewis and the News containing "Hip to be Square".

    > I'm running up against a monolithic block this week, trying to come up with clues that Blaine will allow.

    The dimensions of the monolith in "2001: A Space Odyssey" were in a ratio of 1:4:9, the squares of the first three integers. "And how naive to have imagined that the series ended at this point, in only three dimensions!"

    > It's all in the formula for area.
    "PI" are square. ("DAY" too.) (Actually, pie are round. Cornbread are square.)

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    1. And HA is 81, a square, and a fourth power 81 = 3^4.

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  64. "Rhubarb pie makes me think of that bebop song Garrison Keillor used to sing."
    BEBOP SONG is an anagram of SPONGEBOB, which is a nifty little link between this and last week's puzzles, I think.
    "She never gives us her money."
    WW's clues don't usually yield any information you can take straight to the bank, but I think I can see how she found HHGTTG's 42nd anniversary relevant, and it has nothing to do with Jackie Robinson (or Mariano Rivera, I hasten to add), although it is true that "baseball diamond" is a misnomer. But back to never giving us money: 42 is the product of two integers which are not involved in this week's puzzle, but are mentioned in that Beatles song. All Together Now would have been more to the point, however.
    Similarly, "Hip To Be Square" is much less subtle than "I Want A New Drug"(which also points back to last week's puzzle).

    And that's the news from Lake Wobegon.
    See you in the funny papers.

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  65. Pi Day is squared The letters' numeric positions in the alphabet are 16, 9, 4, 1, 25, which are 4², 3², 2², 1², and 5².

    it's remarkable no one brought this up or raised it.

    you are the queen of obscurity. I'm hoping WW's 42 clue referred to 4=2²; Queen Elizabeth is 93 years old, 9=3².

    STRAP is proud to be the most power [of 2] ful puzzle advocate [or exponent] on this blog. And in that lofty [raised] position, we give our genuine [square synonym] support for this puzzle.

    Old news I hope a less obvious allusion to Rob's Huey Lewis and the News, whose "Hip to be Square" is now 34 years old.

    With all the infighting it sounds like caucuses in the north will not do well. The next number in the sequence is 49 (7²); Chechnya, in the North Caucasus Mountains, has suffered many wars, and the Chechen language has 49 letters.

    And unhappy Friday the 13th to those with paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia. Anagram that!

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  66. Thanks to all Blainesvillians who commented on my Pi Day puzzle.
    Regarding how I came up with it, I just kind of stumbled onto it... as I do with most puzzles I create. There 26 letters of our alphabet. 25, I thought, happens to be a perfect square. The 25th letter of the alphabet is Y. What are the other perfect squares? 1, 4, 9 and 16, corresponding to A, D, I and P. Do those five letters perhaps anagram (sorry STRAP!) into a word? Nope, not an English word anyway. Darn! What about two words? Aha! Pi Day!
    The best question a puzzle-maker can ask is "What if we try this?"

    I have lately been corresponding with an excellent puzzle-maker named Peter Collins from Ann Arbor, Michigan. His name should be familiar to you. Will Shortz has used several of his puzzles, the latest being the CRIBBAGE/RIBCAGE gem from a fortnight ago.
    Peter, a high school math teacher, posed my Pi Day puzzle to one of his students, Jasmine Xu of Ann Arbor. She got the answer, Peter said, but then "she took it a step further. Jasmine also noticed (as did our fellow Blainesvillian ron) that the seven digits in that sequence of squares (1 4 9 16 25) can be rearranged to make 1415926, which are the first seven digits (after the decimal point) in the decimal representation of π."
    How impressive is that! Jasmine's future is bright indeed.

    One last point. Rachel Kuelzer of Las Vegas was this past Sunday's on-air, lapel-pin-winning, contestant. Will Shortz's on-air puzzle was extremely difficult, IMHO. But Rachel demonstrated "Jasmine Xu-like brilliance," needing only one hint as she sailed through Will's posers!

    LegoWhoAspiresToBeAsSmartAsJasmineXuWhenHeGrowsUp

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    1. Thank you for letting us into your "stumbling" process, Lego. Like most creative people, you simply let your mind wander and came up with something beautiful!

      Delete
  67. The letters of Pi Day all have square positions in the alphabet.

    P=16=4^2
    I=9=3^2
    D=4=2^2
    A=1=1^2
    Y=25=5^2

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    1. PI=169=13^2 and P+I=16+9=25=5^2 are also squares. The above post was the 169th post.

      Delete
  68. Besides each letter of PI DAY having a perfect square as its ordinal position in the alphabet, if you sum the inverses of of the positions, you get an approximation of Pi^2 / 6. Euler showed this in 1734 in his solution to the Basel Problem, i.e. finding the limit of the sums of inverse squares. Since Riemann, it's also known as zeta(2).

    I, too, was delighted by the coincidence of the squares.

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  69. The numeric position in the alphabetical sequence of all the letters in PIDAY are squares: A=1, D-4, I=9, P=16, Y=25.

    On Sunday I said, “I say ‘Ha’ to this and all similar puzzles, no offense to Lego.” The numeric position in the alphabetical sequence of the letters in “Ha” are cubes: A=1, H=8.

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    1. And I nearly stuck my tongue out (:-P) because P=16 is a 4th power.

      Delete
  70. My clue -

    I took a circuitous route to solving this one. It makes me think of a certain famous landmark that’s connected to the puzzle master.

    “Circuitous route” was cluing “root” as in square root.
    The landmark is Times Square, both words of which are clues.

    Btw, I thought Rob’s Huey Lewis reference was a double clue since “Power of Love” is another one of his hits.

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  71. My clue: "I don't know why this puzzle tickles me... I only know it does!"

    A reference to a lyric from "You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)" by Elvis, Buddy Holly, and many others: "I don't know why my heart blips, I only know it does"

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  72. I submitted the following:

    The positions of P, I, D, A and Y in the English alphabet are: 16, 9, 4, 1 and 25. The resulting seven digits can be rearranged as 1, 4, 1, 5, 9, 2, 6, which, in that order, are first seven digits after the decimal point in the numerical representation of pi.

    I felt that this was a more striking coincidence than the observation about the squares.

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    1. Strikingness is in the perception of the struck.

      Delete
    2. Lorenzo (and ron... and Jasmine Xu!)
      Agreed, this is a cool and striking coincidence.
      It would be more striking, however, if the first seven digits after the decimal point in the numerical representation of pi were .1 4 9 16 25 (numbers corresponding to the letters of "Pi Day" in alphabetical order).
      It would be perhaps even more striking if the first seven digits after the decimal point in the numerical representation of pi were .16 9 4 1 25 (numbers corresponding to the letters of "Pi Day" in their "orthographical" order... that is, how they appear in the spelling of the celebration).
      That being said, my puzzle would have been more striking if the "Pi Day" celebration had been instead named "Ad Ipy."
      Will Will accept this "digits after the decimal" solution as an alternative answer, or at least mention it? I do not know.

      LegoLego

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  73. Completely off the Puzzle, but I know that posters here are keen observers of the passing parade. You notice the Corona beer commercials lately?

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  74. This week's puzzle answer reminded me of my first pet dog "Cubit".

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    1. 68Charger,
      Your comment reminds me of this "fishy" Schpuzzle of the Week on Puzzleria!

      LegoWhoBelievesThatPetDogsAreMoreAdorableThanPetFish!

      Delete
    2. Very clever Schpuzzle Lego, it speaks volumes!!
      :)

      p.s. - This week's puzzle was a good one, I didn't realize all the different trivia items associated with it, that so many others have pointed out.

      Delete
    3. 68Charger,
      "Tanks" for your comments on my "fishy" schpuzzle. You have great puzzle-solving "capacity" and a great "depth" of knowledge!
      And, in reply to FloridaGuy's comment, below:
      FloridaGuy,
      This also works for PIECE DAY (!), as the digits of 16, 9, 5, 3, 5, 4, 1, 25 can be rearranged to give the first ten digits after the decimal point of pi: 3.1415926535...
      That "e puzzle" (which I like better now than in 2018 when I created it) was actually not bad. It is the Appetizer on this Puzzleria! I am amazed you recalled it!

      LegoWhoNeverTurnsDownAPieceOfPie

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  75. I had written: Nice puzzle Lego! I don't recall seeing this before. I submitted two answers. What I think is the intended answer also works for PIE DAY, but my second answer doesn't.

    My first answer is one that others have noted, namely the digits of 16, 9, 4, 1, 25 can be rearranged to give the first seven digits after the decimal point of pi. This works for PIE DAY as the digits of 16, 9, 5, 4, 1, 25 can be rearranged to give the first eight digits after the decimal point of pi. My second answer was that 16, 9, 4, 1, 25 are the squares of 1 to 5. Lego has confirmed that Joe was right.

    RECALL is a play on RECOLLECT, as in, ``How I wish I could recollect of circle round the exact relation Archimedes found,'' a mnemonic for digits of pi (use 9 for Archimedes, which of course has ten letters, and ignore ``found'' altogether). Adding the E to PI to get PIE is a nod to Lego's 2018 ``e'' puzzle 9 9 10 9 10 9 9 9 [5] 8 [6] 10 11 8 8 8 8 …

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  76. Both the squares and pi digits to the right of the decimal point were on my radar.

    Now on my radar is learning to use Zoom to teach remotely. Online learning starts Monday. Any Zoomers out there have tips on using the video-conferencing tool? You could be my CO-VIDeographer ;-). [Too soon?]

    Training day tomorrow.

    More later.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I was on a Zoom conference call yesterday, discussing how to do political activist organizing without in-person meetings. Also attended an on-line seminar from MIT that had been originally planned as an in-person one.

      While the rest of the stock market is tanking, Zoom Video (ZM) has gone from $68.72 on January 2, to $109.47 yesterday. It's an ill wind indeed that blows no one good.

      Delete
    2. Yes, we having trouble getting Zoom sign-in accounts because the company is so busy.

      Perhaps a new competing business venture (career # 3?) for you in "retirement. . ."

      Delete
    3. No thanks! But, we've been temporarily furloughed from our job filling in for grandkid care even though their daycare is shutting down, since the parents of some of their classmates were at that Biogen conference, and we elderly are at increased risk.

      If we're going to be locked down for the foreseeable future, where the hell is the next season of the Great British Bake Off?

      At least biking and walking outside are still safe!

      Delete
    4. Hope grandkid duty resumes.

      My Smithie friend recommends Last Tango in Halifax (Netflix).

      Yes, getting outside is so rejuvenating! Great Sand Dunes NP is calling my name. The dunes always remind me of the power of being able to shift and move and flow.

      Delete
  77. Oh, puzzle meet-up in June in Brewster, MA, is still on for me at this point. It's a road trip for us and we plan to have a blast on our way to, with apologies to Gabriel García Márquez, Love in the Time of Coronavirus.

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  78. Just now received an email from the head of the Seattle Public Library that all facilities are now closed until at least April 13. On line services will still operate.

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  79. WW: My college is also going online. I need training too. Have fun!

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    1. Thanks, Natasha. You, also.

      My hunch is that struggling colleges (like Hampshire College in MA) will not weather this online learning experience.

      Delete
  80. According to the Pi-Search page (https://www.angio.net/pi/), "The string 1694125 occurs at position 4686485. This string occurs 15 times in the first 200M digits of Pi counting from the first digit after the decimal point."

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  81. The letters in the words "PI DAY" all have positions in the alphabet which are represented by numbers that can each be obtained by multiplying a different number by itself(squares):
    P=16(4×4)
    I=9(3×3)
    D=4(2×2)
    A=1(1×1)
    Y=25(5×5)
    And all the numbers are 1 through 5, though not in that exact order. This was all I could figure out, but apparently other bloggers here found a few other strange mathematical properties these letters have that I never would have thought of, even if I'd had more than a week to answer. Congrats to all! Whatever the true answer may be, I know I'm quite satisfied with what I finally got, as I'm sure the rest of you are as well. And now, if y'all will excuse me, Mr. Young's Puzzleria! awaits! See y'all next Sunday!

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    1. cranberry (Patrick J. Berry) is too modest to toot his own trumpet, but Puzzleria! has just now uploaded a marvelous Cryptic Crossword Puzzle that he has created.
      It is the thirteenth one that we have run, and there has not been a clinker in the bunch... not even close!
      You can view Patrick's "mysterious masterpiece" now by going to Blaine's PUZZLE LINKS and opening "Joseph Young's Puzzleria!"
      Thank you. And, thanks to Blaine for providing those PUZZLE LINKS.

      LegoWhoThinksPuzzleLinksAreEvenBetterThanPorkLinks!

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  82. The other day I heard someone say that the past half hour has been quite a year.

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