A spooky puzzle this week in honor of Halloween. It's obviously not spooky, but it is themed appropriately for October 31st. I had this idea formed last year but didn't get around to filling in the puzzle until much later. I knew I wanted to do some "art" with the black squares even though it breaks crossword norms. I'm cool with the grid having that unconnected space inside the art. The only annoying part is that Crossword Compiler highlights those squares in purple just to make sure I'm aware of the issue. Yes, I am aware. You're just doing your job, I get it.
It's kind of strange that many of the theme answers come one after another since they are all at the same height in the grid. There is some fill that doesn't sparkle but filling a grid of this size is almost a chore, a self-made chore, but a chore nonetheless. Anyway, it was fun doing something different and I think the grid at least looks interesting and gives off a "what is going on" vibe when you first look at it.