1856 antislavery novel / FRI 4-8-11 / Thriller author Follet / English Midlands city home largest covered market / Berlin Wall started as one 1961
Friday, April 8, 2011
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Relative difficulty: Easy-Medium
THEME: COLD / WAR — KENNEDY (7D: 1961 leader) and the SOVIETS (34D: Adversaries of 7-Down) were opposing sides in the conflict, which has something to do with 1961 (the date formed by the black squares in the grid) ... not sure why 1961 is important here; it's the year the Berlin Wall went up (see 27D: The Berlin Wall started as one in 1961), but that was on Aug. 13 ...
Word of the Day: John Charles DALY (30A: Original "What's My Line?" host John) —
John Charles Patrick Croghan Daly (generally known by John Charles Daly or simply John Daly (Irish: Seán Searlás Ó Dálaigh; February 20, 1914 – February 24, 1991) was an American journalist, game show host and radio personality, probably best known for hosting the panel show What's My Line?. He was the vice president of ABC during the 1950s. On December 22, 1960, he became the son-in-law of Chief Justice Earl Warren, by marrying Virginia Warren. (wikipedia)
Preponderance of short stuff made this puzzle pretty easy to crack. Wanted NEBS (1A: Beaks) and ALAP (8A: Gain ___ on) straight off, but both looked so wrong / stupid that I took them out (?). Ended up starting by going OHM, SMILE, NEST, CCS, DULCET (12D: Sweet to the ears), COLD! Then WAR was easy, and KENNEDY and SOVIETS just needed a cross or two to become visible. Other helpful gimmes included STOWE/"DRED" (31A: 1856 antislavery novel) and KEN Follet (17A: Thriller author Follet).
Apparently, on this date in 1961, John F. KENNEDY met Helen Keller:
- 11D: English Midlands city that is home to the largest outdoor covered market in Europe (LEICESTER) — somehow able to get this off the "-IC-S-"
- 37A: Seven-time Rose Bowl winner, in brief (OSU) — THE Ohio State University. This team (particularly its coach, Jim Tressel) is in a lot of hot water right now for NCAA rules violations.
- 33A: It's just wrong (VICE) — true enough, on a literal level, but somehow I don't think of VICEs as absolutely "wrong." SIN, yes. VICE ... people happily admit to VICEs all the time.
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