Constructor: Severin T. Nelson
Time: 7:47. Got incorrect at 6:39; took plentya time to find my typo JEE-EINTER for JEW-WINTER in the SW. Curious that I screwed up that square--a Freudian typo? Had thought as I was solving, "Is JEW clued as "Jesus, for one" what's ticking off the puzz people per Rex's hint...nah, that can't be it." Had POISSON for POUSSIN. tushnet and sanfranman59 clocked in at 5:50 and 5:58.
CrossWorld buzz: Not good enough for prime time. Yes, I'm w/ Rex on this one. How come? First, some nods to the other side of the coin. I believe Will is a v. much better editor of the NYT puzz than Rex would be, and v. v. much better than MR would be. 38B ain't bad, and maybe our stat mavens can point out that this puzz is not at the bottom of the barrel for word length. And yes, the doubled up theme with the four seasons and The Four Seasons is genuinely nice and well above par. Now, the brief brief in support of OFL's position, w/ two echo points and one new one: 1) Given the dullish feel that 80 words gives, ya want a good bit more of a wow for 80 words...ya want, say, the ALP theme of last Thursday; 2) the combination of a lotta lotta short stuff--not just *2* of the 3x3 boxes that are an MR pet peeve, but *4* of tham?!?--and a lotta junk fill...fair enough for the critics of Russian hegemony to push back on ODESA as fine, but there is a lot of crud; and 3) I decided to spend an hour tinkering to see if a 78W grid w/ thematic answers in the same places and fill at least as good as what's in there now is at least reasonably doable w/ this theme. My results--admittedly v. tentative and described in this post--support the send it back position, I believe.
CrossOver buzz: Average. The combo of 80 words and some grotty fill hurts real people, too. But the considerably above average theme w/ its v. nice mix of obvious, classical, and pop, plus the much lesser nittiness of real people, makes this puzz acceptable for them in a way it is not for insiders.