Constructor: Derek Bowman
Time: 16: 57. Google-aided. Here's the story: Clicked at 10:40 and got incorrect. Well, ok. Decided COP-PAKULA wuz probly COB-BAKULA. "Middle ear?" as opposed to plain ole "Ear" wasn't makin' sense to me, but ok. Did a lotta worryin' about SKOR...truly horse-poo fill...STORYBOOK sure looked good but ya nevah know...kept worryin'. Finally clicked on Google to confirm BAKULA and SKOR. That then freed me up to see TEJANA-RAY in the SW could instead be TEJANO-ROY. Click again...puzz now correct. Well, ok. Result...a mad MR! I really would rather not use Google...sure I coulda toughed this one out, but I got other ways to waste my time! Like doin' this post!! So c'mon Mr. Editor Man...when ya got multiple naticks and semi-Naticks, ya gotta forgo some cuteness...ya really really shoulda forgone the minor cuteness of "Middle ear?" for the clearah "Ear"!!! Ya also shoulda clued TEJANO as a kinda Mex-Am music to make clear it waren't TEJANA!!! Ya got a puzz laden w/ semi-Naticks...SKG-KAL-EL is the most obvious...and ya got not one but two Spanish A-O crossers w/ ESTO-YOWZA and TEJANA-RAY...please respect the valuable time and the valuable "we'd rather not Google" self-respect of yer solvers!!!! Of this solver in particular!!!!!
Now, back to regularly scheduled programming...
CrossWorld buzz: Very good. Nice formal innovation w/ the 16 x 15, nice implicit baseball theme, nice central stack complemented by the nice TARZAN THE APEMAN on the left...MAKE A STRONG CASE ain't great, but hey, hardly any stacker has all golden 15s or 16s...nice use of cute cluing...maybe a little too cute but ya can't please everyone :)...some Natick-y stuff, but hey it's Friday...nice avoidance of standard junk...the semi-novel junk like A COAT and ONE-G is clued well....as lms suggests in her usual diplomatic way, ya gotta mini-theme w/ A COAT in the SE and RESTAIN in the NW...pairing that junk twosome helps some...nice tech w/ 73W, 36B...shut-off SW and NE corners are a bittuva flaw.
CrossOver buzz: Good. The Natick-y stuff combined w/ the cute for CW but kinda OPAQUE for CO cluing brings the rating down a bit.