The moral of the story is: crossword puzzles contain lots of great words. I enjoyed both the clue and answer words in "Salacious" (LEWD) and "Cantankerous" (CUSSED). Also, WOO, RASPS, LIP for "Sass," NAAN (everyone's favorite) are also nice. However, if I'm not mixing SIMILIES here, I did spy a couple gremlins. I thought the clue "Half of a Monopoly pair" for DIE was weak, and is CALI "The Golden State, familiarly"? I sure hope not.
There was a moment when I found myself ATSEA, facing down a fearsome FWOE in the southwest. I didn't know "Spiral-horned African antelope" or "'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' actress Kemper," leaving me staring into a square, empty abyss. Upon reflection, however, I decided that ELLIE looked promising for the latter, and NYALA not impossible for the former. The guess was correct, and I was heralded for my mythic efforts with the trumpet of congratulations.