Puzzle #7 – Natural Order

Lord of the Flies

It was bound to happen eventually: circles in a puzzle. Better to just rip the Band-Aid off now. Sometimes I like a theme that requires the use of circled (or shaded) squares, and this is one of them.  This puzzle comes to you from the Rejected Files; naturally, I’ve made a few changes to it since then. (It was almost two years ago!)

Minor spoiler: This puzzle is dedicated to Laura Graham, one of the other graduate students in my department, who keeps asking me for a crossword with a theme related to our area of study. So this is the first such puzzle, but I have a feeling that she won’t be satisfied and will soon be asking for more. Oh, Laura :)

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15 Responses to Puzzle #7 – Natural Order

  1. Norm says:

    Not sure that the clue for 17A — “Plant that exhibits the sequence represented twice by this puzzle’s circled squares” — is phrased correctly or says what you meant to say. The sequence is not represented twice by the circles; rather, the plant(s) twice exhibit (I assume) the sequence. That is, I think your clue should have been: “Plant that twice exhibits the sequence represented by this puzzle’s circled squares.” Or, am I missing something (which is entirely possible and which I prove on a weekly basis by my inability to see any but the easiest of Matt Gaffney’s metas).

    • Neville says:

      Norm, I think you’re missing something :)

      I presume you’ve checked the letters in the circles… have you checked the numbers of those circles?

  2. Norm says:

    Ha ha! Got me! Told you I was bad at that sort of thing. Very, very nice puzzle!

  3. Sallie says:

    Easier for me than others but I enjoyed it (especially since I got the theme early on). Thanks, Neville.

  4. Andrew Feist says:

    Today’s lesson in “check both ways”: spent quite a while trying to parse LIE ON ACCI.

  5. Leo Stein says:

    Sorry, I’ve got to be pedantic here … I feel I have the right, since I got a book on \phi when I was a wee lad. Many of the claimed patterns in the theme answers are not really there, much as we’d all love for it to be there. See e.g. http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/pseudo/fibonacc.htm .

    • Neville says:

      First and foremost, I love your use of \phi in your comment, Leo! And pedantry is always welcome. :)

      I had the honor of having dinner with Mario Livio, one of the authors cited in the further reading section of the page you posted, a few years ago. We discussed his book, “The Golden Ratio: The Story of PHI, the World’s Most Astonishing Number” in depth. Certainly a lot of the aesthetics attributed to “the golden ratio” are, for lack of a better word, nonsense. People go with what looks right. Petals on flowers is a big load, simply because either a flower has a Fibonacci number of petals or it doesn’t. That’s not exhibiting a sequence; that’s picking and choosing your favorite flowers. And certainly not every spiral has to do with the Fibonacci sequence.

      I picked these particular plants because each has its own spirals that typically match the pattern. I think they’re some of the best examples of it working out correctly. It’s not perfect. And I’ll freely admit that I needed some theme entries to go with the cute reveal in the circled squares; these struck me as the best well-known fit. (I couldn’t just have bunnies multiplying all over the place!)

      That said, can we make Math Time with Leo a regular segment? :)

    • jefe says:

      The link you’ve provided does not discount the appearance of the FS in the arrangement (not the number) of petals on flowers or leaves on a stem or scales(?) on pineapples/pinecones. Here’s a brilliant 3-part series on the FS and its relation to plant growth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ahXIMUkSXX0

  6. jefe says:

    69A is incorrect. Harry isn’t (69A) until the 3rd book.

  7. jefe says:

    Whoops, never mind. I thought happy pencil came up, but it was just “puzzle has been filled”. *egg on face*

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