"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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KayW
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#341

Post by KayW »

LadyBird wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:37 pm Hanging out with Isaac at the moment. What a difference a week makes. Last week I BReezed through the grid and meta--this week I am wearing a frOWN as I go THRASHing my way through this puzzle with nary an answER in sight. I've got three more days--but I also have lots of birding to do. For you Chicagoans, I am heading out to Montrose Harbor/Magic Hedge this weekend to see the celebrity piping plovers Monty and Rose. I'm sure that I'll get some puzzle time in as well.
@LadyBird did you get to see Monty and Rose this weekend? If I'd been thinking ahead, I could have looked for them today. Doh! My wanderings took me within 2 miles of Montrose Harbor. By the time I thought of it, I didn't have enough time or energy to go the extra miles. Maybe later this week...

But I did get to see a chelonian conga line 🙂🐢🐢🐢
968D214D-0EB7-44DA-882E-EAACE740FEBE.png
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JoeS
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#342

Post by JoeS »

I got nowhere with this all weekend. Thought I would give it one last chance tonite. Took about 10 minutes to stumble upon the way forward. I do feel a little dumb I didn't see it sooner, but any win is better than a loss.
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LadyBird
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#343

Post by LadyBird »

KayW wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 9:54 pm
LadyBird wrote: Thu Apr 29, 2021 10:37 pm Hanging out with Isaac at the moment. What a difference a week makes. Last week I BReezed through the grid and meta--this week I am wearing a frOWN as I go THRASHing my way through this puzzle with nary an answER in sight. I've got three more days--but I also have lots of birding to do. For you Chicagoans, I am heading out to Montrose Harbor/Magic Hedge this weekend to see the celebrity piping plovers Monty and Rose. I'm sure that I'll get some puzzle time in as well.
@LadyBird did you get to see Monty and Rose this weekend? If I'd been thinking ahead, I could have looked for them today. Doh! My wanderings took me within 2 miles of Montrose Harbor. By the time I thought of it, I didn't have enough time or energy to go the extra miles. Maybe later this week...

But I did get to see a chelonian conga line 🙂🐢🐢🐢
968D214D-0EB7-44DA-882E-EAACE740FEBE.png
@KayW , I DID get to see Monty and Rose--from a distance. But that is what binocs are for! They have a good bit of the dunes habitat and volleyball court fenced off so that people don't get too close. During daylight hours, they have volunteer monitors to keep an eye on the plovers, protect them from wayward predators, answer questions, and point out where the plovers are. Look for someone wearing a bright orange shirt/jacket.

Love the conga line. Lots of good warm basking weather this weekend.
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anaerobe
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#344

Post by anaerobe »

Late to the party, but on the beach.
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Joe Ross
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#345

Post by Joe Ross »

20210430 WSJCC Backcourt Fundamentals.png
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Joe Ross
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#346

Post by Joe Ross »

20210430 Backcourt Fundamentals reveal.png
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TPS
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#347

Post by TPS »

While on the surface this appeared to be a relatively simple puzzle - it was a NEVER for me for a couple reasons. First, the KWAH and LARR plus NBA had me fixated on Kawhi Leonard and Larry Bird both small forwards and Finals MVPs - I was never getting out of that rabbit hole. But even after a nudge I didn’t solve it because I still call the Nets the New Jersey Nets - so I got to NASIC and figured I was using the wrong mechanism.

I’m glad I didn’t fret over it too much this weekend in addition to watching the Draft and Derby I got 200 pages of The Grapes of Wrath read - I was never was a Steinbeck fan and in fact hated TGOW when I read it in high school but I actually am really enjoying it this go around.
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Limerick Savant
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#348

Post by Limerick Savant »

How I redeemed myself from last week’s airball and turned this week into a layup instead of a larrup:

Found the starred clues without needing LASIK,
Like a Space Jam without getting space sick
Then in answers, immersed,
Found the five teams reversed.
In the words of team Holmes, it was “elementary”

N.B.- C. J. Watson played for 3 of the 5 teams used in the mechanism.
Last edited by Limerick Savant on Mon May 03, 2021 12:36 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Softie
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#349

Post by Softie »

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 :?
periperi
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Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2021 4:51 pm

#350

Post by periperi »

One bizarre feature was LARRUPS --> LARUE (Rue=French - ami, couture), LAHABANA (Habana=Spanish - loco, los), LASTRADA (Strada=Italian - tre, aria) -- it made me really want the answer to be LATIN, but i found no reaction to any of the * clues apart from LARRUPS. But I spent many many hours trying....
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escapeartist
Posts: 165
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#351

Post by escapeartist »

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.
burak
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:15 pm

#352

Post by burak »

Busy weekend, so I could only solve the puzzle last night. As a lifelong NBA fan, I was very afraid that I wouldn't be able to solve it. Another look today and it clicked. Phew! HAWK was my entry point.
JeanneC
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#353

Post by JeanneC »

What almost threw me was the Mark Wahlberg answer. He was in the movie “Basketball Diaries”. Talk about a rabbit hole! I lost valuable time on that one. However, I liked the overall construction of the meta.
Having lived in the NY/NJ area until retiring 10 years ago, I can tell you Brooklyn alone is not a city. It is a borough. One of five constituting the City of New York. Brooklyn Nets? That is like saying the Queens Mets or Bronx Yankees. Doesn’t work for me. That almost cost me the answer!
“I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashions”. Lillian Hellman
Softie
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#354

Post by Softie »

JeanneC wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 12:58 am ...Brooklyn Nets? That is like saying the Queens Mets or Bronx Yankees. Doesn’t work for me...
Brooklyn Dodgers, perhaps?
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haari
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#355

Post by haari »

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 did the same...
an it harm none, do as thou wilt... :D :D :D
PQ63
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Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2020 4:17 pm

#356

Post by PQ63 »

On my first pass I came up with NASIC. Doh! I eventually figured it out.
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anaerobe
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#357

Post by anaerobe »

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.
Did the very same thing. Not sure how long it took me but I eventually saw it and changed the KNOT to KNOB.....I'm such a 58D sometimes.
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Joepickett
Posts: 174
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#358

Post by Joepickett »

For once I could instantly see where a puzzle was going. From the title I figured it was basketball and the last across answer confirmed for me. Common Shenkism.
The "Back" in the title had me looking for words in reverse in the theme answers.. Once I had HAWK, I went to the first answer and saw NET and then BA became BASIC in a flash.

My lifelong love of basketball paid off.
ChrisWill
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:53 am

#359

Post by ChrisWill »

TPS wrote: Mon May 03, 2021 12:09 am While on the surface this appeared to be a relatively simple puzzle - it was a NEVER for me for a couple reasons. First, the KWAH and LARR plus NBA had me fixated on Kawhi Leonard and Larry Bird both small forwards and Finals MVPs - I was never getting out of that rabbit hole. But even after a nudge I didn’t solve it because I still call the Nets the New Jersey Nets - so I got to NASIC and figured I was using the wrong mechanism.

I’m glad I didn’t fret over it too much this weekend in addition to watching the Draft and Derby I got 200 pages of The Grapes of Wrath read - I was never was a Steinbeck fan and in fact hated TGOW when I read it in high school but I actually am really enjoying it this go around.
I went down the same rabbit hole - stared at the the letters KWAH for a long time thinking of Kawhi Leonard along with Larry Bird and tried replacing letters in other clues to get other names. It never panned out. Of course I was staring at the answer all along, but I wasn't reading it properly.

I told my wife (she's still new to these puzzles) when we started this one that when there are strange starred clues that involve the combinations of at best loosely related words, the answer is typically somewhere in the space where the words connect. We started in the right spot but it took us several hours, and detours into basketball names, basketball terms, and one hard right into the judicial system (managed to find "Scalia" and "Alito" mixed into two of the starred answers) before we came back around and "Spur" and "Hawk" finally jumped out at me.
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Commodore
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#360

Post by Commodore »

"OK, ten minutes of larrup drills!"
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