Seducer of Josef in Kafka's Trial / FRI 2-10-17 / Librettist for Verdi's Otello Falstaff / Navy enlistee informally / Comedian with 2016 memoir Born a Crime / Director's cry that's said with pause
Friday, February 10, 2017
Constructor: Kyle Mahowald
Relative difficulty: Medium
Word of the Day: BOITO (28D: Librettist for Verdi's "Otello" and "Falstaff") —
Arrigo Boito (Italian: [arˈriːɡo ˈbɔito]; 24 February 1842 – 10 June 1918) (whose original name was Enrico Giuseppe Giovanni Boito and who wrote essays under the anagrammatic pseudonym of Tobia Gorrio), was an Italian poet, journalist, novelist, librettist and composer, best known today for his libretti, especially those for Giuseppe Verdi's operas Otello and Falstaff, and his own opera Mefistofele. Along with Emilio Praga, and his own brother Camillo Boito he is regarded as one of the prominent representatives of the Scapigliatura artistic movement. (wikipedia)
• • •
DATA SCIENTISTs and MINECRAFT and the actor who played Mark Zuckerberg in "The Social Network" and the host of "The Daily Show. There are only two women in the puzzle and they're huddling together in the SW corner. Oh, sorry, forgot about LENI (whoever that is). Anyway, the few female answers all TINY four-letter names. Very MALE, is what I'm saying. But well made, I think. MENA is ick and BOITO is obscuroito (to me), but there's not a lot of other junk, and the skeleton on this one is solid—good, strong longer answers holding this thing together.
I did this in fits and starts, racing at times, dead-stopped at others, getting JESSE EISENBERG from *that* clue wasn't easy for me, and the first bit of his name I got was the "EEI" string, which looks wrong / insane (5D: Oscar-nominated actor who has written several humor pieces for The New Yorker). And then DATA SCIENTIST didn't (and still doesn't) sound like a thing. I wanted ANALYST. Bah. But the worst problem came at the end, with my last corner—the SE. And it was all MINECRAFT's fault. I have a 12yo nephew who is ObSessed—goes to conventions and everything. But I just don't think of MINECRAFT as a "video game." That's a label I associate with stand-up console games like "Donkey Kong" or home console games like "Mario Kart" (which fits). And maybe "Myst," I guess. But you play a video game—like, there are clear objectives. It's relatively finite and goal-oriented. I think of "MINECRAFT" as more like a virtual world in which you explore and build ... I don't know. Are there points? Can you score? Win? It's obviously technically right, the clue, but ugh, again, the vagueness. So I had MINIKARTS at some point (and JOE KOOL!). And then TRIBES for 42A: Concerns for sociologists (TRENDS). Gulf of RIGA? Never heard of it. Got rescued by a blind guess at TARS (after I'd pulled MINECRAFT). Not so fun down there. TRUST ME. But fun overall.
Signed, Rex Parker, King of CrossWorld
[Follow Rex Parker on Twitter and Facebook]