A really nice puzzle today. Looking at it now, the shape looks a bit unorthodox - at least to this untrained eye - but I like the swirling paths from the NE down into the East, the reverse of that in the SW, and the fairly open center. There are those narrow straits in the NW and SE, but overall, it felt open.
I guessed "Save" at 1D: Prime directive? (SHOP) (better), and wasn't fooled by 3D: Guy's gal (AMIE) or 7D: Class in which kids may learn about sin? (TRIG), but I feel my big break came at 8D: Best-selling game with a hexagonal board (SETTLERSOFCATAN), which I was able to drop in thanks to my oldest brother's family, who play this quite frequently.
Off of that, SGTPEPPER ("Bandleader" with a 1967 #1 album), LAM (On the ____), ELROY (Man's name that means "the king"), and even TOPFORTY (Hit list) and NERDFEST (Comic con, e.g.) were made much easier.
Along with all of that, I made several missteps: ahIsEeIT for OHIGETIT, SLEDdIng for SLEDRIDE, MADEASceNe for MADEASTINK, and AintthISTHELIFE for AHTHISISTHELIFE. I think those were the big ones.
There's good material all over the place. BEERME, SEESAW, PARITY, APERITIFS, LUXE, LONEWOLF, HOMECURE, SPAMBOTS, and more. Sure, SLEDRIDE is not natural-sounding, and nobody wants to be reminded of the STARR Report, but overall, this was a high quality puzzle.
One last thing - I kind of wish HATARI had been clued as Iceland's 2019 Eurovision entry, but I suppose that kind of reference will have to wait a few years. The U.S. is supposedly getting its own version of the European blockbuster in 2021. You heard it here first!