Wednesday June 1, 2016 — NYTimes Crossword No. 0427
I learned something today. I love it when the crossword puzzle can be used as a teaching tool.
The clues I did not know include five female authors who’ve used male pen names. I only knew one of these women had used a male pen name, and that one I knew only by her true name: Emily Bronte. I love the Bronte’s. These sisters wrote some of my favorite books.
But I didn’t solve early 17A: ELLISBELL (Pen name of the female author of “Wuthering Heights”). No, I first came upon 23A: ISAKDINESEN (Pen name of the female author of “Out of Africa”), which I knew from an earlier crossword in the past couple weeks, but had no idea the writer was a woman, and this her nom de plume.
So I was thinking I had made a mistake, and still looking for some kind of a trick, non-existant. I next came to the center, with 39A: ROBERTGALBRAITH (Pen name of the female author of “The Cuckoo’s Calling”), which is where I began to understand that these are true pen names, and not some punny crossword trick.
49A: GEORGEELIOT (Pen name of the female author of “Silas Marner”) was then easier for me, but I am unfamiliar with 61A: ANDYSTACK (Pen name of the female author of True Detective stories), and so had to rely upon crossers.
I didn’t know 48D: ITASCA (Lake that’s the source of the Mississippi), and plan on doing a little geographical study to learn something else today that I never knew.