When I first looked at this, I thought the layout ought to be called a "Graveyard Grid," because of the two crosses laying on their backs in the center. Anybody else think that way?
Despite the somber imagery (for me, anyway) this one was filled with vivid entries: Ten-cent words like PICARESQUE (Like a novel with a roguish, adventuring hero) (from Spanish "picaro" meaning "rascal"), EVISCERATE (Remove the contents of), LARGESSE (Generosity), and SALLOW (Not looking well); Fun, modern words like TWITTERATI (Influential social media users) and ATHLEISURE (Fashion portmanteau exemplified by wearing yoga pants all day); and some exotic names ENESCU ("Romanian Rhapsodies" composer) and ZACHARIAH (____ Chandler, four-term U.S. senator who helped found the Republican Party).
I enjoyed the clues for BIAS (It's not fair) and ICYHOT (Balm with an oxymoronic name), but "Plays with matches?" seemed a little too playful for SPEEDDATES. I haven't actually done it myself, but it doesn't seem like playtime activity to me. Likewise, I thought ILIED wasn't exactly equivalent to "That may not have been entirely accurate ...," but I'm not going to be too EMPHATIC in my objection.
SLADE ("Cum on Feel the Noize" band, 1973) was a surprise, as I only knew of the Quiet Riot (another oxymoron!) version until now. And I wish I had thought of the Curies when I saw the very impressive "Journalist whose mother, father, sister and husband all won Nobel Prizes," but I'm not sure I've ever heard of EVECURIE anyway, so it might not have helped. Still, interesting!
This was an open and energetic Friday.