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Even crosswords have their ups and downs

As she worked on a crossword puzzle Wednesday, Ellen Rees knew something was wrong.

She was certain that No. 8 Down _ "Our Town playwright" _ was Wilder.

But that conflicted with No. 6 Across, which asked for Mamie Eisenhower's maiden name.

Rees, grand-niece of Mamie Eisenhower, certainly knew the answer: Doud. But once she penciled in Wilder, it meant Eisenhower's maiden name was Dowd, not Doud.

"I know how to spell my name," Rees said.

Her full name is Ellen Susan Dessa Doud Rees. Her mother is Mamie Eisenhower Moore of Largo. Rees, 24, of Palm Harbor does not remember her great aunt, but she has seen her mother's collection of photographs and newspaper articles, and can picture the popular first lady's short bangs and blue eyes.

Rees grew up hearing about her mother's trips to the White House, where she watched movies and spent afternoons in the swimming pool.

Outside the family, not many people know about their history.

"We do keep that quiet, of course," said Mamie Eisenhower Moore. "We are very proud, but we were taught that it was certainly not to be bragged about."

On Friday, Rees called the St. Petersburg Times to report the error.

First lady Mamie Eisenhower was a Doud _ not a Dowd _ before marrying Dwight D.