Constructor: Jeff Chen
Time: 10:40. A smooth solve by MR standards...drew a blank on the NW at first and laid down INTRANET for CHAT ROOM but figured out LON-ASSAILS fairly soon. Theme was helpful in solving...did not see the reveal.
CrossWorld buzz: Excellent. Woulda been v. good, but I read Rex and the Rexeans first. Ok, ok, MR was way too dumb to see that STIR FRIES is a reveal as well as a theme answer until he/it was nudged in the thorax by a comment from Jeff Chen. Wow...a self-referential reveal...that's v. nice/v. interesting indeed. If MR were a rigorous critic, he/it would deduct points b/c Jeff C. is influencing the referees...as it is, though, the MR reaction is that the implicit buzz from the reflexive reveal plus a combination of other nice features (thematic density, low word count, open fields in the NW and SE, some cute clues, dubious fill w/ the virtue of feeling mod rather than fusty--thinking of AHI and NUI) rates an excellent.
CrossOver buzz: Very good. Slower solvers who know cryptic conventions (STIR = anagram) are as or more likely to get buzzed by STIR FRIES as the speedy solvers like Rex or the in-betweeners like MR are. For casual solvers, this puzz is v. nice, but don't think the buzz is quite as buzzy as it is for CrossWorlders.