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This is my first crossword, so I'd be grateful for any feedback. All the clues are names of countries.

crossword

Across

6A. The loving start of Lady Jessica (6)
8A. Dock you, girl (8)
9A. Long Joanna (9)
10A. Nasty men from a bird beneath darkness, perhaps (12)
11A. Four Greek teens are coming round (6)
13A. I get it back around (7)
14A. A bird beneath darkness (6)
15A. Land of freedom, apparently (7)
16A. Either spicy or cold (5)
17A. Mixed precipitation (4)

Down

1D. Around 22 yards (5)
2D. TV man without insole in war zone (7)
3D. MP longs for home in Runnymede (11)
4D. No longer a virgin (4)
5D. Takeaway (4)
7D. Almost a snake moving backwards (6)
8D. The land of long sticks and clean shoes (6)
10D. Sunburnt wackily (8)
12D. Ageless giant mammals (5)
16D. A paper circle (4)

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  • $\begingroup$ 8 and 12 Across don't exist in the puzzle; I think the clue numbers for 8-15 need to be relabeled. Same with some of the Down clues. $\endgroup$ – VictorHenry May 23 '15 at 1:31
  • $\begingroup$ I've solved about 11 of these, but I have to be somewhere the rest of the night, and I'm sure it'll be solved when I get back. Some of these clues are really clever! Good luck to everybody! $\endgroup$ – VictorHenry May 23 '15 at 2:31
  • $\begingroup$ @VictorHenry Sorry about the clue mislabelling! I thought I'd made a serious mistake, but it was just a problem with SE. I put the right clue numbers (6,8,9, and so on), but SE interpreted them as just consecutive numbers (so the output was 6,7,8, and so on). Very annoying - I might raise it as a bug on Meta. Sorry again, and thanks for your interest! :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 23 '15 at 10:07
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My attempt:

6A

FRANCE - This one is a bit of a punt, I had to look it up to make any sense of it - Lady Jessica is a character in Dune (with a reputation for romance - thanks rand al'thor), played by Francesca Annis in the film version. Start of FRANCESCA is FRANCE

8A

PORTUGAL - PORT (dock) U (you) GAL (girl)

9A

ARGENTINA - Joanna is a female form of John (thanks for the pointer rand al'thor). 'Long John' references Long John Silver. Argentina is 'land of silver'

10A

TURKMENISTAN - TURK MEN (men from a 'bird beneath darkness' - see 14A). ISTAN is nearly an anagram of 'nasty' so it could be 'turn nasty'

11A

MEXICO - XI (fourteenth Greek 'four Greek teens' letter), inside an anagram of COME (are coming)? Not completely sure

13A

NIGERIA - Anagram of IREGAIN (I get it back)

14A

TURKEY - A bird. Turkey is south of (beneath) the Black Sea (darkness) (thanks for the hint rand al'thor)

15A

LIBERIA - Means 'Land of the free'

16A

CHILE - Chilli (spicy) or chilly (cold)

17A

IRAN - Anagram of RAIN (precipitation)

1D

CHINA - Anagram of CHAIN which is a unit of length of 22 yards

2D

VIETNAM - Anagram of TELEVISION MAN without the letters from INSOLE

3D

PHILIPPINES - PHILIP (Philip Hammond, British MP for Runnymede) PINES (longs for)

4D

PERU - Anagram of PURE (virgin)

5D

TOGO - To go (takeaway)

7D

BRAZIL - LIZARD backwards, replacing the D

8D

POLAND - Sounds like POLE LAND (land of long sticks). Also you would clean your shoes with POLISH

10D

TANZANIA - TAN (sunburnt) ZANIA (a bit like zany - 'wacky')

12D

WALES - WHALES (giant mammals) without the H (aitch-less which sounds like 'ageless' - thanks for the hint Len / rand al'thor)

16D

CHAD - A paper circle (a word known to no-one until the hanging chad scandal of the 2000 US presidential elections)`

As pointed out by VictorHenry the clues need to be relabelled. Otherwise thank you, I enjoyed that - a few bits of GK and some nice wordplay.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry about the clue mislabelling! I thought I'd made a serious mistake, but it was just a problem with SE. I put the right clue numbers (6,8,9, and so on), but SE interpreted them as just consecutive numbers (so the output was 6,7,8, and so on). Very annoying - I might raise it as a bug on Meta. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 23 '15 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Anyway, more to the point, well done! :-) You've got all the clues right, but you might want to look again at the explanations for 9A (Long Joanna is a female version of...?), 10A and 14A (what is Turkey beneath?), 2D, 8D, and 12D. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 23 '15 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your pointers. I've updated 9A, 10A, 14A and 8D, but I can't think of anything further for 2D and 12D $\endgroup$ – Pete May 24 '15 at 7:16
  • $\begingroup$ Re. 6A, the "loving" is just a reference to France's reputation for romance. Re. 2D, what is TV short for? Re. 12D, "age" sounds like H - I think this is what @Len is saying too? (I've always seen H spelled as aitch rather than ach, but there's no doubt it's a weird letter to spell!) Also, please could you format the answer more nicely so that we don't have to keep scrolling left and right to read it? $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor May 24 '15 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks all, the television thing had just clicked a few minutes ago! I'll update the answer when I have a moment $\endgroup$ – Pete May 24 '15 at 9:23

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