Sometimes there isn’t much to explain. I dare say I solved a few puzzles where a few clues employed the cyclical approach, and wondered whether a puzzle could be made of the concept. But which puzzles and when? Search me.
It seemed a little harsh to expect solvers to work with every answer affected, so I always intended there to be ‘ordinary’ entries. After that, it was off into the wonderful world of sport cycling vocabulary. I never did learn to ride a bike (no sense of balance) but I have noted that the Olympics award medals in all sorts of oddly-named categories. They seemed to be the sort of words that would be obscure while you were accumulating their component letters, but undeniably thematic once you had the full set. Ideal for an acrostic, in fact.
Getting the grid to work took a little effort. There was no reason for it to be anything other than a standard ‘plain’ 12×12 puzzle – there was no significant thematic content in the grid that would act as a restraint. So I set up a few long ones, making sure some of the long ones were ‘ordinary’, and worked around them. Once the grid pattern was more or less fixed, I looked to the shorter entries to have unchecked letters that would allow them to be either cyclic or normal, depending on what I was still trying to squeeze in.
After that, normal clues, and intensive checking and re-checking that I had the acrostic in the right order!