An entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #48: Unusual tag mix

Please find below a poetic cryptic crossword. A very tiny cryptic crossword, because each cryptic clue is a poem. I must beg your indulgence in advance...since this is a tag mix, I felt the need to balance my respect for the form, rhyme and meter of the poetry against the Ximenean purity of the cryptic clues. Anyway, I hope you enjoy!




Verges on pink, evenly.
You, becoming I?


Arthur's first sword, took from stone,
Left England at the last.
Retrogressing to the home,
where ships that founder rest.


It's a thing you will see in this rhyme
Thirteen-fold if your counting's sublime.
With a piece of your neck
Held to keep you in check,
Mark off all but the last one, this time.


Of all the kine and goats I got
from her Pop at our weddin',
tuberculous head, heart are found
in male kid, upsettin'



     freshwater, inverterbrate
    flailing, unaging, radiating
microorganism, monster, making, myth
   alternating, tumbling, voiding
           dolor, almost


An em'rald, on a sapphire sea,
Long held in bond, but now is free
To nadir, abrogating plea
At last, unchained o'er blasted lea


left us behind.
the recrimination.
held in reserve.


Wound from which heart has passed;
sheltering, wherein caught
By wicked lady. Cast
into a bit of thought,
lyrical, measured 'gainst
prosody, past and hence


5A should be parsed as (4,3). 3D is an unusual modification of a common word, while 7A is fairly obscure. But also keep in mind that I really took the poetry tag to heart when writing this. In keeping with the poetry theme, there is certainly lyrical license taken, but I tried to keep it in definitions, both for the answers and for words that may be used in wordplay.


Former clue for 3D, left here to remind me of my blunder:

on your promise?
left us behind.
without an end?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Are partial answers allowed? And, rot13(Ahzore 5 ybbxf yvxr Xvat Neguhe jura ur gbbx bhg gur fjbeq sebz gur fgbar, ohg pna'g erzrzore juvpu cbrz) $\endgroup$
    – Stevo
    Jan 26, 2021 at 23:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @102152111 I'd prefer no, especially since it's only been up for a bit more than an hour. If it goes a while longer, then I think it's perfectly fine. $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2021 at 0:02
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I'm enjoying this one, but struggling on the last couple. If I can crack them I'll post an answer in rhyme - and that's a challenge to anyone else who gets there first! :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 27, 2021 at 11:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Stiv Threw a hint out, in case it helps with some of the last ones. I might have to give a bounty for an answer written in verse :-) $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2021 at 16:56
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, okay. I had 5A slightly off, which is probably why I was struggling with 3D and 4D (I have 7A already...). Let me see now... $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 27, 2021 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


Let's see if we can lift the lid,
Upon this puzzle's finished grid:

enter image description here

And now unspoiler (if you choose),
For explanations of the clues:


1. 'HA' from 'Heliconia' verges,
'pInK' evenly - 'IK' emerges.
A soundalike for 'you' is 'U,
This verse was written in HAIKU!

5. "Arthur's first" yields letter 'A',
A sword in fencing's an EPEE.
'Stone' left is 'S', last 'EnglanD', 'D,
All back (the 'S' inside): DEEP SEA!

6. 'A piece of a neck' bestows 'A NAPE',
All but the last of '(-thi)S' escape.
Time is 'T', then - yes, you've guessed -
In this limerick, thirteen ANAPESTs!

7. 'Male kid, upset' is DAL (good start),
'Tuberculous' head is 'T', LOVE means 'heart'.
In tennis, that's an 'O' - in total,
Our dowry clue should give us DOTAL!


1. Alternate and tumble 'mYtH' - 'HY' is what you see.
Then voiding 'D(-olo)R' gives 'DR; 'Almost Everywhere': 'AE'.
Then noting that the first half is some ?double definitions,
Soon the answer HYDRAE should invade your field of vision!

2. An anagram of 'N(-a)DIR' less 'A' (the last of 'plea'),
All 'o'er' (around) an anagram of blasted little 'LEA'.
Look hard to spot what you can make - in just a little while,
You'll find the name of IRELAND, the famous Emerald Isle!

3. 'You' is 'U, 'Never' left 'N',
'uS' behind is 'S' and then...
(-sto)P (-th)E (-recriminatio)N and '(-violen)T' ends gives 'PENT',
'Held in reserve'? Why, surely that could only be UNSPENT!

4. 'Wound' is CUT, remove its heart,
That's 'U' got rid of - done one part...
In a wicked LADY's anagram,
And DACTYL says, "Well, here I am!"

Now all is said and all is done.
In solving this I had great fun :)
And so it's absolutely time,
To cease this speaking all in rhyme!

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That is GENIUS! Awesome job, Stiv. Only suggestions for improvement are 2D rot13(erzbivat gur N sebz anqve) and 3D rot13(CRAG vf raqf bs fgbC guR erpevzvangvbA ivbyraG). Also, in 1D rot13(nyzbfg rireljurer fv nooerivngrq NR va nqinaprq pnyphyhf), but your method is more accessible, is slightly less Ximenean. Clearly you enjoyed, so I don't have to hope :-) $\endgroup$ Jan 27, 2021 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @JeremyDover Hey, it was good fun :) I'll adjust my poetry to match your intentions as soon as I get a moment later! $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Jan 27, 2021 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, thanks for the bounty @JeremyDover :) $\endgroup$
    – Stiv
    Feb 9, 2021 at 18:23
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ My pleasure Stiv! Thank you so much for getting into the spirit of the puzzle :-) $\endgroup$ Feb 9, 2021 at 18:40

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