Cephalopod known for its shell / WED 5-11-11 / Popular online lectures about ideas worth spreading / Old-time crooner Julius / Alvy's love interest
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Constructor: Jonah Kagan
Relative difficulty: Medium-Challenging
THEME: FIBONACCI SERIES (33A: Mathematical sequence related to a pattern found in a 17-, 29-, 42- or 58-Across, informally) — those things have spirals, I guess, though not spirals that look like a Fibonaaci spiral, exactly.
Puzzle note: "When this puzzle is done, the 11 circled letters can be connected by a curved line to spell a two-word phrase appropriate to this puzzle's theme."
Word of the Day: GOLDEN RATIO (the circles spell this phrase) —
In mathematics and the arts, two quantities are in the golden ratio if the ratio of the sum of the quantities to the larger quantity is equal to the ratio of the larger quantity to the smaller one. The golden ratio is an irrational mathematical constant, approximately 1.6180339887. (wikipedia)
GOLDEN SPIRAL = In geometry, a golden spiral is a logarithmic spiral whose growth factor b is related to φ, the golden ratio. Specifically, a golden spiral gets wider (or further from its origin) by a factor of φ for every quarter turn it makes.
- 17A: Food with a heart (ARTICHOKE)
- 29A: Cephalopod known for its shell (NAUTILUS) — this took me the longest of all the theme answers, by far. I was thinking "cuttlefish" or "squid" ...
- 42A: Cochlea locale (INNER EAR)
- 58A: Van Gogh subject (SUNFLOWER)
- 21A: Alvy's love interest in a Woody Allen film (ANNIE) — that film was, of course, "Dances with Wolves"
- 20A: Popular online lectures about ideas worth spreading (TED TALKS) — Wow. I know what these are, but I had No Idea they were well known enough to be a NYT answer. I Like ... but I am curious to see how widely known these talks are. Here's a good one that I use in my Comics course:
- 26A: Midsize Kia (OPTIMA) — Went ALTIMA at first. D'oh.
- 36D: "A Clockwork Orange" narrator (ALEX) — was certain it was ALEC. Had to hunt down that little error.
- 61A: Singer Bareilles with the 2007 top 10 hit "Love Song" (SARA) — all the SARAs in the world, and *that*'s the one you go with? Can't place the song. Let's find it ... hmm. I think I heard someone sing this on "Idol" once.
- 6D: They thought C-3PO was a god in "Return of the Jedi" (EWOKS) — Those little critters are about the most important thing to know about the "Star Wars" universe, crossword-wise, after LEIA and maybe ARTOO. DARTH VADER, HAN SOLO, and OOLA the alien dancing girl are also handy to know.
- 26D: Speaker of stupid syllables (OAF) — very clunky attempt to make sequential clue magic. The syllables aren't stupid; the words they make are.
- 37D: Glass behind a radio microphone (IRA) — "Glass" and "radio" in same clue = IRA. No longer tricky.
- 47D: Old-time crooner Julius (LA ROSA) — a Word of the Day, back in the day, so I remembered him ... kind of. It took me half the crosses for his name to finally pop into my head.
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