There are times when there really isn’t much to say. Having recently done a puzzle on reduplicative words, I am primed to think of a phrase such as ‘dribs and drabs’. I also idly anagram things, at which point the almost equally reduplicative ‘birds and bards’ emerges, and the puzzle idea is essentially in place. It falls into the category of idea where apparently unconnected words prove to have some sort of recondite link.
The letter count of 13 established the grid size, with the only question being whether to make it a row/column or a diagonal. Answer: diagonal, because I was planning on the two sets being Across and Down, and the diagonal limits each set equally. Then it was out with the word lists and find some birds and bards to anagram.
I did tweak YEAST, unchecking its first letter (with consequent alterations elsewhere). _EAST doesn’t have so many options and YEAST/YEATS seems very obvious. But did H E Bates write poetry? Almost certainly, however little has survived, and in any case I’d be surprised if there wasn’t some person called Bates whose meagre measure of fame is entirely dependent on their slim volumes of verse. After which I looked askance at S_ATE. Again an obvious candidate, but… Poets have taste (well, some, perhaps) but I don’t think any have adopted it as a name. Is there an obscure Victorian poetaster called Hieronymus Stape? Nikola Tesla probably didn’t write much verse, but Madame de Stael? Again, it would seem not (novels and polemics against Napoleon were her thing), but let’s see if anyone makes her case.