Posted by nmsindy on December 12th, 2006
Giving away no secrets with that. “Poet” appears as full or partial definition in twelve clues, and another two as part of wordplay.
Impressed that, despite these constraints, (a) the other words in the puzzle were normal everyday cryptic material, (b) for one who does not spend the winter nights reading the great poets, I’d heard of nine of the twelve and was able to work the others out, with one exception, directly from the wordplay.
Solving time: 18 mins
* = anagram
8 BLUNDEN n = new for r (end) in blunder (big mistake)
9 NEWBOLT Paused on this one, before realising “changed” is an adjective, not a verb which was my first thought. Changed lock = new bolt
11 REGAN (Ronald) Reagan less the “first” a. (cf SKELTON below) King Lear’s daughter in Shakespeare play of that name. Familiar to solvers.
17 INMATE A chess game ends “in (check)mate”. “Say” included here as there are inmates other than prisoners who is just one example of an inmate. Rigour as expected from Virgilius.
22 GARGANTUA r = runs (cricket) in gaga (crazy) + (aunt)* “possibly” indicates the anagram. Originally from the eponymous work by Rabelais, but has gone into English in its own right.
23 BLOOM L in BOOM (sudden growth). Lovely image – my favourite clue.
24 SKELTON Skeleton (outline) “lacking energy(e) in one place” Take away one of the es
25 A PRIORI From first principles (from Latin) A PRIOR (Poet no 13) + I = one (must follow).
1 ROBERT BRIDGES R (king) + T (a short time) + BRIDGE (game) in ROBES (formal clothes)
5 IGNITE first letters off (b)IG (o)N (s)ITE
7 NEONATE Newly- born i.e delivered. NEON(gas) + ATE (consumed)
10 THOMAS CAMPION (Dylan) THOMAS (Welsh poet) (Poet No 14)+ CAMPION (flower)
14 EXTRACTOR Definition = one takes out. EX (former) TRACTOR (farm equipment).
18 MARVEL (genius) + L (extra line i.e. another l beyond the one that’s there)
20 RIO (de Janeiro – place in South America) TO US (part of N America)
21 AT ONE (in agreement) + D (Daughter)