Okay, this was fun. I love the turnaround: so often we have the random Roman numeral answer thrown into the grid, especially with some trivia related to the year, such as "Year Reccared I died" (answer 601, but who cares?). Instead, we have words made up of letters found in Roman numerals, interpreted as those numerals. My favorite was 11D: 501st royal daughter? (PRINCESSDI).
The other funny thing about a theme like this one is that it allows the author to Scrabble it up shamelessly. 5 Xs in the theme answers alone, with a Q, J, and 3 Ks scattered around. It's almost a shame that it isn't a pangram (no F, no Y).
A few notable things (and yes, I'm about to break out some bullet points):
- I put "flop" in confidently at 1A, because I thought maybe Luke Wilson was in "Starsky & Hutch". Alas, no: it was OWEN, and his movie was kind of a BOMB (Do it. Do it!)
- Subsequent to my mistake above, I wanted to put "petites" in at 4D (Many Swedish models). I have no idea of the relative size of Swedish models to others. BLONDES makes more sense.
- I had a Kitwo moment at 24D: Review (GOOVER), but only for a split second.
- STEREOS? Does anybody still use those? I mean, besides my oldest brother?
- I love MAXEDOUT, but not as much as ONASTICK. I mean, how random, right?
- Least favorite section was the far SE. ALCOA is something that should just go away. That being said, I entered it with just the A. OTRA is another annoying standby: you never know whether it's going to end in an O or an A.
- A pair of "American____" next to each other, ending in ELM and IDOL.
All right, enough for now. Definitely a puzzle that fits into the weird Wednesday slot, and I liked it.