Five Pillars adherent / WED 4-27-16 / Terrier of old whodunits / Cryophobe's fear / Hotfoots it, old-style
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Constructor: Jeff Stillman
Relative difficulty: Medium
THEME: THEME — male-sounding pen names for female authors
- ELLIS BELL (17A: Pen name of the female author of "Wuthering Heights") (Emily Brontë)
- ISAK DINESEN ( 39A: Pen name of the female author of "Out of Africa") (Karen Blixen)
- ROBERT GALBRAITH (39A: Pen name of the female author of "The Cuckoo's Calling") (J.K. Rowling) (Joanne Rowling)
- GEORGE ELIOT (49A: Pen name of the female author of "Silas Marner") (Mary Ann Evans)
- ANDY STACK (61A: Pen name of the female author of True Detective stories) (Ann Rule)
Andy Stack is one of the founding members of the band Wye Oak and a touring member of EL VY, as well as a remix artist and a composer and producer for film and television music. He is noted for his technique of performing drums, keyboard, and electronics simultaneously as part of Wye Oak. (seriously, this is the first thing that came up; I still have no idea who this "female author" is ... hang on ... oh, look, it's Ann Rule, whom I've vaguely heard of) Ann Rae Rule (née Stackhouse; October 22, 1931 – July 26, 2015) was an American true crime author of The Stranger Beside Me, about serial killer, and Rule's co-worker, Ted Bundy. Rule was also known for her book Small Sacrifices, about Oregon child murderer Diane Downs. Many of Rule's books center on murder cases that occurred in the Pacific Northwest and her adopted home state of Washington. (wikipedia)
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ASTA, AGAPE, SAS ... the fill also feels like it belongs to another era. VENETO MINIM ... we've slid back into arcana a little. Foreign words and foreign word parts and arcana. EENIE ECRU ANNUM. Yesterday's puzzle was too easy, but it least it was entertaining. I guess people who like crosswords to be "tests of knowledge" might enjoy this. I am not one of them.
["ALIVE" (by SIA)]
ELLIS BELL or ANDY STACK. I read one of Rowling's ROBERT GALBRAITH novels and thought it was pretty good, though I keep remembering that pen name as Kenneth Galbraith, who I think is an economist.... yes. That's who he is. Does anyone who's not a paleographer ever actually say MINIM? I learned MINIM in graduate school—it's an important word in MS studies. It's just a "short vertical stroke" in handwriting. The trouble for the modern (inept) scholar like me is that so many different letters are made with minims that reading can be exceeding difficult. You keep hitting blocks of MINIMs and trying to figure out where "m"s end and "n"s begin. Nightmare. I've never heard MINIM used in any other context ever. This puzzle seems obsessed with tiny thing (MINIM, WEE, EENIE ... oh, I guess EENIE is a counting word; I got it confused with EENSY). Also obsessed with Roman thing (Via VENETO, ANNUM, MLI). Neither obsession portends a snappily filled grid. Hoping for livelier things tomorrow...
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