Enigmatic Variations No. 1239: What’s at Stake?

I was always an Addams Family person.  Never quite got The Munsters, and never even saw Dark Shadows.  Still, it’s the last of these that inspired this puzzle.  Not the original TV series, but the cinema remake by Tim Burton, starring Johnny Depp.

I wasn’t quite sure why we went, and I can’t say I recollect much about it.  Bar one vignette, where Depp’s character, a vampire coping with the modern world, is trying to shave, with somewhat unfortunate results, as, of course, there is no reflection in his shaving mirror.

And the rest is really just the nuts and bolts of putting the puzzle together.  The selection of some reasonably short names, some of which would therefore reflect as parts of other words, and weaving the main diagonal through them.  The centre of the grid underwent several rearrangements to get something I was satisfied with – on the whole it’s quite a busy grid.

And then the two similar clue types – if solvers found it tricky negotiating their way between the two, well, so did I.  At one point I had to backtrack having accidentally swapped types mid-message.  One clue even evaded the editor’s and my eyes until galley proof stage.

The final felicity was the title which I hope swerved into place only quite late in the proceedings.