Another NOD to the unusual was the prevalence of K's and V's in the grid. We get the kicky OFFKEY and TAKERS, not to mention AKIRAKUROSAWA, and the vigorous trilogy VIDAL, VIPER, and VICES.
I also enjoyed the pair of "Pilots" clues whose answers cross each other in the southwest: STEERS and EPISODES, the former a straight up synonym and the latter exemplary.
"Plant that may yield oil" (REFINERY), "Work on a course" (EAT), and "Fathers warn against it (SIN) were C/APs that revealed some SLYNESS, but the QMC's today were more entertaining: "Trace element?" (STENCIL), "Spot on advice?" (PSA), and my favorite, "Make chips become bread?" (CASHIN). Ha!