The puzzle was originally constructed for the *Iowa Sum Times*, which is the newsletter for the math department at the University of Iowa. I wanted a math theme, and was reminded of the four canonical fruit-based math jokes. The problem is that the four punchlines don't exactly pair off well for normal or left-right symmetry ... and so I decided on the current grid, a weird cross between normal and left-right symmetry.
With the theme entries in place, I tried to fit as many math related words as possible in the fill, and to clue as many things in a math-related way as possible. Also, I definitely tried to get some personality into the clues, and I think it worked. Perhaps the only clue that might be changed for a slightly larger audience than just the University of Iowa would be 31-Across, although I think the answer is quite inferrable without needing any specialized knowledge. |