Stop me if you’ve heard this one before – when is a pi like a theta?

Welcome back to George vs the Listener Crossword, your source for occasionally timely, always pithy reflections on the internet’s favorite barred grid puzzle.  I’m writing this up the day before the solution is published so there is a slight chance it will appear at the correct time.

OKeydoke – what have we here? Aedites! I generally have pretty good luck with Aedites, which is good, since I started this one on a plane.  Not just a plane… one of those plane rides from hell where you are squished in next to a large, seriously overperfumed, chatty lady who appears to be amazed by everything to do with planes, even though she assured me she flies often.  Just not in a plane like this one (maybe she goes cargo most of the time?). This meant that every entry I put in the grid was immediately followed by “how does that work?”, shortly followed by “you must be so smart”, or “I could never do those”.  It was a three-hour flight from Atlanta to Denver, and now I know why you’re not allowed to bring knives on planes.

Preamble brevity!  Across clues are normal, down clues have a misprint, and there’s something to highlight!

OKeydoke – to solving! There is a 1 across, and I could not solve it on the first readthrough, which made me kick myself.  Must have been the flight, as I didn’t get anything until CREE(l) at 18 across, and even then I couldn’t get any of the crossing entries.  Damn you perfume and personal space invasion!  Fortunately a little bit further into the across clues I managed to get a few in a row and make a start on the bottom half of the grid.  By starting near the bottom it became clear that the last word of the message was CIRCLE.  OK, something to do with a CIRCLE.  Working my way back up it looked like INSIDE… and DYAMETER? I was convinced the misprint was for political PARTY, but I guess with the origin of the word it has to be PARTI.  Unless it really was DYAMETER…

Oh!  It was 3/14 wasn’t it?  Isn’t it nice when your favorite number can be commemorated in a day?  3/14 for pi, October 23 or 10/23 for Avogadro’s number (celebrated as a degree of magnitude rather than as value), I wonder if that’s why there isn’t as much love for e?  2.718281.  I guess you could do it on February 7th… make it a week before Valentines Day.

So the message has to be something to do with pi.  Am I meant to highlight a pi symbol in the grid?  It’s lowercase, so maybe it should have some curly bits?  How would that fit with DIAMETER IS INSIDE A CIRCLE?  I’d already spotted RADIUS starting at SPRAD… so that’s something to do with it… there’s a ONE at the end of PALLONE and another ONE at the end of SOMEONE.  Aaaah… its going to be in a sort of circle… where does it start?  AREA THREE POINT ONE FOUR ONE FIVE gives the diameter of a circle with RADIUS ONE.  That’s the right number of letters… though the symbol you get when you highlight them all looks like a theta.

My working grid for Listener Crossword 4337, Relationship by Aedites

Well that was a bit of fun and could be solved on a plane (not wanting to be plane showy-offy smarty pants but I also did most of Piccadilly’s EV puzzle “Adventurous group”, which I also enjoyed, before we landed), so woohoo, thanks Aedites, and I think we can call this one a Victory to George.

Clues of note:

I liked that the corrections to misprints maintained surface sense.  In most cases, it was clear which word was going to hold the misprint, but some of the misprints themselves foxed me.

2 down:  Political parts put cells in Foreign Office (6).

FASCIO:  ASCI in FO with a misprint of I to give PARTI – a group of people.  Had the answer early but was convinced of the wrong misprint.

28 down:  Hair coat discarded, moved by lidos (7).

ABA,SHED with a misprint of A in LIDOS to give AIDOS, shame.

2015 tally:  9-0-1.  Maybe I should go back to submitting!

Feel free to tell me that you wouldn’t want to be stuck next to me on a plane either, and see you next week when Glow-worm wants to play to 15 (is that even legal?).

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