A semi-defense of the nasty NOED and PNOM that drove Rex around the bend into the kind of fit that is part of what makes him the true and only king of Crossworld: A lot of the other downs are really straightforward for a Thursday...and we just don't use the Maleskan "var." any more, do we?
Constructor: Joe Krozel
Solve: Choppy...got the theme right away but getting my head around the Acrosses was a continued struggle...nothing really hard...some "ahas" especially from the short stuff like (PRO) TEM, (CON)TES and PRO(NTO) along w/ plenty of slog in getting the acrosses to fall...(CON)CHA-OHS was the last part to fall...wanted OAT. Also wanted some acrosses to begin w/ AND...
Eval: Theme--could win a density-intensity prize--I personally v. much like the reversal here of CrossWorld norms, with the short answers having more zip than the long ones. Tech--the boatload of black squares is not nice; the grid is pretty, though, which counts for a lot for me.
CrossWorld buzz high, CrossOver buzz pretty high. All those PROs and CONs! Lotsa buzz--think the fact that most but not all the Acrosses are words is a likely distracter for real people as opposed to us puzzle nerd--thus a lower CrossOver than CrossWorld buzz for this puzz.