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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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).

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?

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

Glad you got it worked out, Norm – thanks!

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

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

Achievement unlocked: Falling for the constructor’s trap! :D

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 .

/pedant

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? :)

Putting my pedantry aside, I liked the theme construction!

Next time on Math with Leo: the Rubik’s cube?

IT WILL BE SO.

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

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

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