ACROSTIC — Today’s passage combines one of my favorite subjects, cryptozoology, with something else — mathematics. It’s from a book by David Berlinski called “A Tour of the Calculus,” and not a book by David Berlin called “Ski Tour of the Calculus.” I wasn’t thinking; David Berlinski is a well-known writer of philosophical books like this one, about math and science, and he’s also infamous for arguing against the theory of evolution.

I thought this was a decent challenge, mainly because the mathematical notion in the passage is something I haven’t thought about, and the verbiage was sort of overblown to me as a result. This was a case where I relied heavily on the clues, which weren’t of insurmountable difficulty.

I actually knew THEOSOPHY because it’s been advertised on the subway my whole life, and BIGFOOT, REUNIFY, LOITER, ETHER, ODETS, UFOS and KRISHNA off the bat. I was able to disqualify “sapphire” in favor of the other purple jewel, and BIGFOOT with a couple of hints.

I had no idea about EREWHON; it can be no coincidence that Team Cox/Rathvon chose a Samuel Butler book here since he and Charles Darwin had a fractious relationship (that figures in this novel). I did love the “2” touch and the clue for COYOTE, which made me think of Homer Simpson tripping on insanity peppers, if you don’t mind me getting really highbrow.