Constructor: Jim Page
Time: 14:38 (Google-aided; got the incorrect signal somewhere around 13 minutes, realized the problem was probably ORECT-STIL since I was pretty sure the tool company was STIHL; tried ORECA which didn't work, letter fished a little and just got disgusted and typed in OREC and got the K, leading to a MetaRexian foam-fest against the evil SKIL...see below)
Ratings coming up...first, the rant...
The ORECK-SKIL crossing is really really terrible. Word people oughta resist by all means necessary the absolute moral darkness of corporate names like SKIL, AMTRAK, and QUICK CHEK!!!
I'm v. fine w/ corporate names in puzzles...should I return to constructing, I look forward to having the freedom to use them that I lacked in my Maleskan days. But that does not not not mean that any corporate name is fine, much less the crossing of a grade Z- corporate name w/ another corporate name.
The missing @Rex needs to fly in and save us!
Skil is not only a misspelling but also has the flavor of a corporate rip-off of the long-established Stihl...ick, ugh, and ick again!
And this is worse than a tragedy--it's a mistake...there's a long Wikipedia article that persuades me that ORECA is in fact a pretty big deal in auto racing...sure it's a French company, but we're not in the Freedom Fries era at the NYT puzzle, are we?!?! ORECA-SAIL ain't too pretty, but it ain't the utter abomination unto the entire pantheon of Sumerian deities that ORECK-SKIL is.
Now, back to regularly scheduled programming...
CrossWorld buzz: A high variance puzz--a good case for good buzz and also a good case for below average buzz. Nice reveal, pretty grid. Some puzz people will not like the fact that the HOTs precede the thematic answers rather than all hanging out in the four corners as the reveal implies. Thought it was a nice minor twist on convention myself. Kind of a fusty feel to the theme answers, espec HOT TAMALE...I love baseball and all, but HOT CORNER in this puzzle has a Pie Traynor vibe...woulda liked an Evan Longoria vibe better. On the fill...have already said enuf/enough on that. My solving-related, Google fudging-related antipathy to SKIL puts me in the below average camp...no prob w/ CrossWorlders finding this to be a perfectly good puzz.
CrossOver buzz: Real people--some of them--care about spelling, just as some of us puzzle people do. So it's a high variance puzz for them too. CrossOver buzz slightly better b/c real people are not going to get too uptight about the tech of the HOTs not all being in the four corners the way some of us puzz people will.