"Backcourt Fundamentals" April 30, 2021

A place to discuss the weekly Wall Street Journal Crossword Puzzle Contest, starting every Thursday around 4:00 p.m. Eastern time. Please do not post any answers or hints before the contest deadline which is midnight Sunday Eastern time.
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KscX
Posts: 106
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#361

Post by KscX »

LARRUPS dead center was my giveaway. No other reason to have that word in a grid! The rest of them were tougher to find.
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LadyBird
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#362

Post by LadyBird »

I KNEW that LARRUPS>>LAYUPS was a rabbit hole, but I was drawn repeatedly there like a moth to the flame. Then I figured that with NBA as an abbreviation, I was looking for team abbreviations at the back ends of the theme answers. Nope, but there was that reference to a frontcourt STAT, so I spent some time looking for basketball stat abbreviations. Then I just happened to notice the backwards SPUR in LARRUPS, my husband said isn't there a backward PACER in SHARE CAPITAL. And I was off........to the answer NASIC. Who knew that the NY Nets were the NJ Nets were the Brooklyn Nets. I didn't--but Google did!
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CPJohnson
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#363

Post by CPJohnson »

Softie wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 12:22 am
lbray53 wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:34 pm
Softie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:09 pm Ashore in my quickest-ever solve! This one was right up my alley.
This comment would have been a minor spoiler for last week's puzzle.
Incidentally, my original comment was "up my alley-oop", which was deemed too much of a spoiler for this week's puzzle. :D I thought the basketball theme was obvious but I suppose not in retrospect :?
The first sport I thought of was tennis.....
Cynthia
mitchel674
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#364

Post by mitchel674 »

LARRUPS -----------> LAYUPS had me searching for other types of basketball shots, moves or passes for a good 30 minutes before I saw SPUR and solved the puzzle quickly.
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Joe Ross
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#365

Post by Joe Ross »

I've stocked the tiki bar with a new-to-me spirit. Please request at will.

Personally, I will save it for the difficult solves, as it seems it will meld well with the most satisfying A-HA!

Image
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Wendy Walker
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#366

Post by Wendy Walker »

It seems my minimal knowledge of this sport actually paid off as I didn't know where ANY of the teams were based, currently or historically! No "NASIC" for me!
After Googling to find out what a "backcourt" was, I started looking for the names of famous players and started with, of course, LARRUPS. Hey! If you add a Y, you get not only LARRY (Bird) but also LAYUPS. And speaking of birds, you can change the clue from "thrashes" to "thrushes." Really thought I was on to something there for a while. Got the real answer only after Googling the entire list of team names. What sealed the deal was that each backward team name in the grid was missing a final S, and BASIC needed an S to form a synonym of FUNDAMENTALS.
This is a puzzle where your knowledge of the subject greatly influenced the difficulty.
Good luck, fellow Muggles! I'm happy to give nudges, but only if you're still stuck on Sunday.
Franklin.Bluth
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#367

Post by Franklin.Bluth »

I got thrown initially by the 5 answers that started with LA, which made me think of LA's other team (the "Clippers"), and if something would need to be done with that.

Then I saw the backwards HAWK in MARK WAHLBERG and was off.
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femullen
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#368

Post by femullen »

Softie wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 12:22 am
lbray53 wrote: Fri Apr 30, 2021 12:34 pm
Softie wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:09 pm Ashore in my quickest-ever solve! This one was right up my alley.
This comment would have been a minor spoiler for last week's puzzle.
Incidentally, my original comment was "up my alley-oop", which was deemed too much of a spoiler for this week's puzzle. :D I thought the basketball theme was obvious but I suppose not in retrospect :?
What "backcourt" meant, I hadn't a clue. Basketball? Tennis? Surprise witnesses at trial? I took 68A ("NBA") as a strong hint, but you don't see that clue till you get to the end of the puzzle. Saw SPUR in 37A, but it still didn't ring a bell. Finally saw BULL in 60A and thought, "Were it BULLS, it would be a basketball team." That's when I googled NBA teams and discovered--who knew!--that San Antonio had Spurs and Brooklyn had Nets.
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jenirvin
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#369

Post by jenirvin »

escapeartist wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 12:27 am After last week's GAME SET AND MATCH, I had initially thought "backcourt" was a tennis thing.

So I answered 68A as "NTA", and then saw "NET" and "ACE" reversed in the starred clues and thought I was on to something.

I eventually got it after correcting 68A and 58D.

I was in the same rabbit hole for a while - I see "backcourt" and my mind goes to tennis.
~ Jennifer/jenirvin
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camandsampowercouple
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#370

Post by camandsampowercouple »

I didn't solve the grid on this one until Saturday and then I had 0 clue about the meta and didn't really have time to stir about thinking about it.
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femullen
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#371

Post by femullen »

Wendy Walker wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 8:20 am It seems my minimal knowledge of this sport actually paid off as I didn't know where ANY of the teams were based, currently or historically! No "NASIC" for me!
After Googling to find out what a "backcourt" was, I started looking for the names of famous players and started with, of course, LARRUPS. Hey! If you add a Y, you get not only LARRY (Bird) but also LAYUPS. And speaking of birds, you can change the clue from "thrashes" to "thrushes." Really thought I was on to something there for a while. Got the real answer only after Googling the entire list of team names. What sealed the deal was that each backward team name in the grid was missing a final S, and BASIC needed an S to form a synonym of FUNDAMENTALS.
This is a puzzle where your knowledge of the subject greatly influenced the difficulty.
Even in victory I miss something: I never connected BASIC with Fundamentals. (Doh!) Just reinforces in my mind that, while this was for me a rare win, it was not clean kill.
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Dplass
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#372

Post by Dplass »

SHARE CAPITAL broke me. That's not a thing.
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#373

Post by 31 Down »

Unlike last week, the answer was a slam dunk. But I had to go back and forth before I lost the drivel and came up with the solution.

Drive, shoot and score.
Thomas W (since there's already a Tom W)
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sphorning
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#374

Post by sphorning »

Note to self, don't look at the stars rating the difficulty of the puzzle. I got last week's WIN, PLACE (and) SHOW, but never would have thought to look for words backwards (backcourt style?)! I also saw La Rue, La Strada, etc. Oh well...
MaineMarge
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#375

Post by MaineMarge »

Oops! I said when I saw the title. Basketball, like tennis, is not up my alley. I do know who Larry Bird is and about a layup, ( and now a larrup), so did those digs. And there was RECAP in share capital, so now I know all the sports announcers too. Finally my brain said,
“What part of BACK don’t you understand?”
Then it was fun and done.

And in honor of the KD
FA486CB7-FC18-4A6E-9156-1F5CF64EC792.jpeg
If this is Trigger, this must be named the Trigger garden bed. His pacing days are over, so no use trying to spur him on. He has stood in this spot for 30 years- no Bull!- after his earlier years atop a Vermont barn.
October 2019
EVJ
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#376

Post by EVJ »

This was not a 1.5 for me. It was easy once one saw it but isn’t that the truth about all the metas? I had a hard time seeing the entry point. I saw spur but it was at the end of the word and given the backcourt clue I kept looking for something at the end of the themers. I kept coming back to Mark Wahlberg. The Kwah was confounding me. It took awhile for me to see it in reverse. Only then was I sure that spur was something. So this was not easy-peasy for me. I rated this 2.5. I urge everyone to rate the puzzle. Only 53 of us rated it this week which is only about a quarter of us. I’d like the rating to represent all of us, not just those smarty-pants that breeze through these every week! LOL!
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Bob cruise director
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#377

Post by Bob cruise director »

The biggest problem I had was that what is now the Brooklyn Nets were for years the New Jersey so my first take was NASIC which made no sense.
Bob Stevens
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mheberlingx100
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#378

Post by mheberlingx100 »

I saw Bull first then worked backwards on the long clues. I used to be a big NBA fan but developed higher priorities in my thirties.
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KscX
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#379

Post by KscX »

mheberlingx100 wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 10:51 am I saw Bull first then worked backwards on the long clues. I used to be a big NBA fan but developed higher priorities in my thirties.
E.g. meta crosswords?
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Richard
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#380

Post by Richard »

I love college basketball and follow the NBA some. Once I completed the grid with NBA and not WTA in the lower right and with the title began to look for something pro basketball related backwards in the theme words. Saw NET and then HAWK and the rest followed. The week the grid was harder for me than the meta. Happy that I avoided any rabbit holes.

Continue to be in awe of the designers of these.
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