# Long John and the Persian poet

Across
1. Blast forty-second drink, about half pint (3,5,4)
8. Kind of fabric of which a suit is cut (3)
9. Fast and furious drama with vacuous action (7)
10. Part of keyboard amplifier containing moisture (4)
11. Winter activity for king in South India (3)
12. Foreign capital smuggled to Slovakia (4)
15. Fictional forest creatures sent around (4)
17. Soft cat sound over Lima repeated (6)
21. Perfectly pass a college's entrance exam's first part (3)
22. No horse's cry heard (3)
23. Hydrogen in the periodic table... 1st, true? (6)
25. Man forgetting large lottery (4)
26. Arms twisted, which is comfortable (4)
27. A Greek island is built around love (3)
30. Great Britain, for example, is large – #1 in Europe (4)
32. The part in common to cover laptop attributes (7)
34. Deadlock struck as Stack Exchange is an evil entity (3)
35. Perhaps a true Bosnian is an Englishperson from the south? (13)

Down
1. Leave lake in Ireland following endless anger (8)
2. Missing Iran's capital, Persian poet getting something to drink with Long John (3)
3. In short, a race of 500 miles in 500 years (4)
4. Happily ensure keeping change in Japan (4)
5. Grounds for having small amount of money sent (8)
6. Type of milk shunned by South Korean leader (3)
7. City on the border of Eastern Alps shaken by volcano, ultimately (2,4)
13. Depend on being thin (4)
14. Previously 100-in-1 (4)
18. Perhaps last predecessor of the euro (4)
19. Only one protecting French city (4)
20. Secretly drawing Spanish aircraft's measurement (8)
24. Appearing in London Times according to schedule (2,4)
28. Having change of heart, go away to New York neighbourhood (4)
29. Fare badly, getting the heebie-jeebies (4)
31. Type of resort missing in most of Iberia (3)
33. For the audience, put down a flowery ornament (3)

The solved grid:

Clue explanations (using the usual notation: * for anagram, _..._ for hidden word, ..._ for first letter extraction; the rest should be fairly self-explanatory):

The grid has several instances of two unchecked cells in a row -- this is conventionally not done for cryptics. It's not a huge deal because those entries are generally relatively well-checked, but I can see it being a potential problem for FURLOUGH and WINGSPAN. Generally, blocked cryptic grids have a "lattice" pattern with blocks two apart, and then more blocks are added to rows and columns to split them. (This prevents the need for a lot of three-letter words, too.)
Some of the definitions don't quite work. 9A is defined as "fast", but Ramadan is a month, not the fasting that happens during that month. 11A is defined as "winter activity", but that would be SKIING, not SKI. And in 4D, the plural of YEN-the-currency is still YEN; YENS is only the plural of YEN in the sense of "desire".
A few clues have the grammar 'backwards': in 12A, 25A, 5D, and 31D, the indicators don't grammatically apply to the words they're supposed to cryptically modify. (For example, in 12-A, "X smuggled Y" is interpreted as "the string Y hides X", but it should be "the string X hides Y".)

There also appear to be a few extra words: 6D's "by", 13D's "on", and 21A's "exam" don't seem to make sense in the clues. (In addition, that last one should have "first parts", because you're taking multiple "first parts", not just one.)

Oh, and I loved 8-across -- a very nice surface, with "kind of fabric" looking very much like a definition. The "... of which ... is cut" construction was great too. It took me a while to spot - I haven't seen it before, but it works very well, and the reinterpretation required to solve the clue is very clever. 28A is also a nice clue, with the "change of heart" wordplay being a nice departure from the usual "replace the middle letter with an annoyingly unspecified one".

• Hmm yeah, I seem to have gotten into the habit of putting "X doing Y" as "doing Y X", which might work with a comma between Y and X but not really without it... I'll look into using the lattice pattern as a starting point. That could also help get rid of words with no unchecked letters, resulting in clues that aren't needed at all for the completion of the grid. (It'll be a while before I get to post those, though, since I have the next several grids already laid in advance.) Thanks for the feedback! – jafe Jan 31 at 10:38
• I interpreted 21A as: "a + entrance to college + first part of exam" which makes the clue fit. – w l Jan 31 at 11:20

Since English is not my native language, but I love Dutch cryptic crosswords, I'll try to solve a few ones:

10 across:

damp (found in 'keyboarD AMPlifier')

12 across:

oslo (capital of Norway, found in 'tO SLOvakia')

13 down:

lean (to lean on is to depend on)

14 down:

once (C = 100 in 'one' = 1)

15 across:

ents (treefolk from Tolkien, obtained from putting the s in 'sent' at the end)

21 across:

ace (first letters of A College's Entrance)

23 across:

honest (Hydrogen = H + '1st' = onest)

24 down:

ontime (found in 'londON TIMEs')

31 down:

spa (Iberia = Spain, subtract the 'missing' 'in')