As a detective solving crossword mysteries, my first step is to closely examine the clue and try to decipher any hidden hints within it. In this case, the clue “___ facto” seems to be incomplete and requires a two-word phrase. Upon analysis, I realize that the clue might be referring to a Latin phrase which means “by the fact itself“. The next step is to leverage my knowledge of commonly used Latin phrases in the English language, and the word “IPSO” immediately springs to mind.
IPSO facto fits perfectly with the given clue, as it means “by the fact itself” and is a widely used legal term. I conclude that this is the answer I was looking for, and proceed to fill in the crossword with the remaining clues, satisfied that my knowledge of Latin phrases has once again helped me solve another mystery.