(Surely amusement is its own solution? Anyway…) Here comes the lowdown to the prize puzzle. Firstly, the answers are in this image, with theme entries highlighted. Clue explainers are in this video:
And the “both obscure and yet quite gettable” theme? Well Joeyfat (recently reconfigured as Joeythin) are MUSIC PERFORMERs (“a band”, if you prefer) from TUNBRIDGE WELLS, one of whose releases is the ALBUM called The UNWILLING ASTRONAUT, and who have songs entitled CARTOON LION(_)S, CAKE HORSE, S.M.L. (SMALL, MEDIUM, LARGE), (One More For The) SYBARITES, and AMUSEMENT. I couldn’t *quite* fit the name of their preferred venue in 8,25 to play at into the grid, but I tried the best I could (Yes, I know it’s very sketchy, but it amused me – sorry! 😉 ):
If you only want to listen to one song to give them a go, try this one.
Now, if you’re saying to yourself “How the hell was I expected to know any of that?”, fair enough. Except that I literally spelled it out for you, if you were paying attention:
JOEYFAT AND JOEYTHIN, JOEYTHIN ‘N JOEYFAT
This is the first time I’ve done an acrostic in the clues. It certainly adds quite a bit of constraint to the clueing, so if you were also thinking “some of these clues are a bit odd, Void”, then that’s why. One person spotted the acrostic early on, but was none the wiser, so after a few days, I began to worry that everyone who spotted it would, not unreasonably, read it as separate words “Joey fat” and “Joey thin”. But then one person got the right theme, so I relaxed a little. I still thought it was possibly quite hard to figure out though, so wondered exactly what hints to drop. But then there was a very slow trickle of solvers, so to be fair to those entrants who’d got it under their own steam, I decided to leave my final hint in the Twitter thread, of…
“Final hint: (7), not (4,3) and (8), not (4,4)”
…to just 1 hour before the deadline. That would give those scratching their heads one last chance to twig.
Well done to everyone who solved the grid, and those who got the theme too – I hope you all enjoyed the puzzle. A special round of applause to @JimJar for spotting the acrostic days before anyone else, and to @RichardLoxley who AMAZINGLY got the theme right without spotting the acrostic! The randomly selected winner from 5 correct entries is…
I’ll be in touch about the prize, Winner! Cheers all. Until next time, ciao!
“I’m Simba, and you’re King Johhhhhhn….”
Bungay Balls Up 8 by TLMB <– Video page on JTV