Constructor: Julian Lim
Time: 10:56. Spent about three minutes messing around w/ the NE...AFI laid me low. Had LOCAL rather than FATAL for kind of attraction and then ALSOP for AESOP as writer w/ a point. Crushed by tushnet's 6:01 and sanfranman59's 6:26.
CrossWorld buzz. Pretty good. V. mixed feelings about this one. Love the two-stack in the middle of YOU HAD ME AT HELLO and STELLA, HEY STELLA. Novel, and really really nice. Quotes good. Weaving movies into other clues good--for example, on the FATAL (attraction) clue that destroyed me. Really don't love a Wednesday grid w/ 44B, 78W--a big price here for the thematic density and the wow of the middle. (Three closed grids in a row this week...I'm dying for air!) Like and don't like the NE that laid me low. Julian L. would get full marks from Rex or MetaRex if this were a term paper for citing his sources. But ya coulda done that in the cluing w/o putting AFI in the NE. There, ya coulda just had ALSOP-LOCAL-ELITE or plenty of other combos goin' down and not made MR mad for several minutes as I resisted the temptation to google "film org with top 100 movie lines list" or the like. Ya coulda also avoided the MRian solving tantrum by making the clues for EAR, AESOP, FATAL, and STA. easier....but then again, CWers should be fine w/ trickier clues...it's kinda faux populism for me to get uptight on behalf of the peeps b/c of cute clues. So...it all comes out at pretty good, working as one must not to be swayed by one's prior opinion about a constructor, which in the case of Julian Lim is v. positive for MR.
CrossOver buzz: Also pretty good. There's a minus and a plus factor on this one that wind up cancelling out. The cute for the insiders but kinda twee AFI NE is a good reason to ding the rating for the peeps. But the v. nice quotes that reward general cultural literacy of one impt kind rather than -ESE literacy is a good reason to raise the rating....if ya like the movies ya can do this one pretty well even if ya know nothing about CW conventions.