Constructor: Patrick Merrell
Time: 20:43. >2x tushnet and smoked by sanfranman59 by more than seven minutes. Thought before solving this that a gimmick puzz by my Chatham High School classmate and constructing fave Pat M. might be right on my solving wavelength...the reverse turned out to be true...ah well. Got incorrect at 19:50. Problem was NEXIS for X-AXIS. Long jam-up in NW, where I had SPIDERWOMAN and ACNE. Also had LEADING STAR for LEADING LADY and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY for HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY; it took me a good long while to see HI MOM. Wonder if my slowness in seeing the M-day theme was related to yesterday's puzz also having an M-day theme...ya think it would work the other way, but maybe for at least some of us there's a resistance to going down the same path twice that can increase our solving dumbness.
CrossWorld buzz: Very good. The progression from the elliptical BETWEEN THE LINES at the top to the unclued HI MOM! in the middle to HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY at the bottom w/ the bonus answers WONDER WOMAN and LEADING LADY is nice...the reveal and the unclued HI MOM give variety and keep the theme from feeling too familiar and too sappy. Woulda gone for an excellent if the whole package had featured two edgier theme answers than WonderW and LeadingL and if there hadna been a bit of a NES BINAL overload of junk.
CrossOver buzz: Good. The complex theme package is good for casual solvers, too, but not quite as good as it is for insiders...this puzz like many gimmick puzzes tweaks and extends CW convention in a way that appeals most to CWers.