These types of puzzles are bizarre and sometimes near unsolvable and highly addictive. Only practice helps. Trying to create them also helps.
Yes, they're also known as Brisith style crosswords. The British tend to have more relaxed rules about what's fair game and what's not. The Americans stick to a more structured set of rules (see the link at the beginning of my cryptic clues threads).
At the core of each is a love of the Engish language and its many novelties.