variety puzzle! it's a touchword, which is a format i learned about from joon pahk's outside the box puzzles. instead of having words cross at the same letter, in a touchword, every letter is vertically adjacent to the same letter in at least one direction. the top row is considered adjacent to the bottom row, so the entire puzzle forms a nice cylinder.
bit oversized here, and probably on the harder side, but i think there's a lot of interesting answers in here. many thanks to paolo pasco for testing this and convincing me to flag multiword answers and ease up on some of the clues, especially around proper clues and tricky
in any case: this is the first variety puzzle i've had here on this blog, but i'd definitely like to have more in the future, and would love any feedback on what you liked or didn't like.