I finally tried my hand at a cryptic crossword. I don't really have any experience with cryptic crosswords, or crosswords for that matter so I probably broke like 300 rules.

For example, 17 down is actually misspelled (I left out the third letter in the seven letter answer.)

Anyway, I spent a lot of time on this so I hope whoever solves it in like three seconds has some fun.

Also, any tips/feedback would be greatly appreciated.

ACROSS

1 Heads up! Stay undercover, Sherlock Holmes, investigator. (5)

5 Quickly, get in as appointed (4)

8 Forever a mixed one (3)

9 All around alabama, post soldiers visit parks (5)

13 Before him in hell (3)

14 Associate lines through Africa without options? (6)

16 Again, they almost quarrel in an Arabic note from behind (4,5) (this is by far the most badly written clue)

18 Deserted and upset men invade (4)

19 Begins a simple preposition (2)

22 A stray dog bites up a man until he's cut (4)

24 Character carrying extra items (5)

25 Not even in disdain, everyone is normal (4)

26 Good, troubled eyes are bursting with drops (6)

28 Bad, but it could not rip! (4)

29 Herds away sis from water (5)

DOWN

1 A terribly cut off cut off (5)

2 A slangy merchant and a Southern girl (5)

3 Half of em start, half soil (3)

4 Almost whole, it questions unity (9)

6 Hear a sharp trim (5)

7 A sheet of endless judges (4)

10 Drink until you're nearly deathly (3)

12 Confusing, nearly-new data rises (2,4)

14 A headless armed sally (4)

17 More precipitation above mountains (7) (spelled wrong in the puzzle, missing the third letter)

20 Prophets tower of hearsay (5)

21 Do th' at again after the boob (1,3)

22 Hydrogen rises up epically (4)

23 Flying object falls: it's wood (4)

24 Apparently looking underwater (3)

27 In conjunction with itself, doubly mediocre (2)

• Is the clue for 16 down supposed to be for 17 down? – Chowzen Oct 21 '18 at 21:25
• There is no 19 down in the puzzle (right?), maybe numbered wrong. (--->20 D ?) – Chowzen Oct 21 '18 at 21:28
• Same with 26 D --> 27 D. – Chowzen Oct 21 '18 at 21:30
• @Chowzen I wouldn't really advise that - only about 5% of users know the sandbox exists, and only about 5% of those users actually check it regularly. (A message in The Sphinx's Lair would do much better.) – Quintec Oct 22 '18 at 0:33
• @gabbo1092 that's right – awesomepi Oct 23 '18 at 18:01

Many of these clues don't really work, so far as I can see, and at least one clue (23a) is missing outright. But this might be the solution, and if not then probably most of the words are right :-).

S U S H I # A S A P E # E O N # # H # A V A L E T # D E A N E L L # E Q U A T E R E A R G U A R D # # # # A R I D # A S A # S N I P # O W E T R A I T # S A N E A # G E Y S E R # R T E A R # O A S I S

Some comments on the setting, as requested:

Unfortunately, scarcely any of these clues is actually a valid cryptic clue! The thing is that there is a fairly strict grammar of cryptic crossword clues. A clue should have (1) a precise definition, (2) a cryptic part ("wordplay") leading to the same word, and (3) nothing else (except maybe some sort of connective like "is" or "gives" that appropriately marks the transition from definition to cryptic part or from cryptic part to definition. There are a few exceptions to this pattern, such as "cryptic definitions", but for the most part this is how it goes. And then the cryptic part also follows rules; for instance, anagrams and substrings and reversals and so on need to be explicitly marked with words that have the right sort of sense. Almost none of the clues in this crossword, if I am understanding them right, obey these rules.

I'll give some examples.