As a detective, I approached the clue ‘Something that may elicit stares, in brief’ with a focus on finding a concise answer that fits the description. The phrase ‘elicit stares’ implies that the answer is likely to be something unconventional or controversial. A familiar acronym that immediately came to mind was PDA, which stands for Public Display of Affection – a behavior that often attracts attention and can make people feel uncomfortable.
Moreover, the word ‘brief’ in the clue led me towards the possibility of the answer being an acronym, as it is common to shorten longer terms in casual communication.
Putting these insights together, I concluded that PDA is the best fit for the crossword clue. PDA is often frowned upon in public spaces and can draw stares from onlookers. Thus, PDA meets the criteria of being something that can elicit stares, and its acronymic form aligns with the ‘brief’ aspect of the clue. In conclusion, the answer to the mystery of the crossword clue is PDA.