Getting Up Close With Sports

By now, frequent readers of these pages are familiar with our photo puzzlers. This time, Monitor photographer Melanie Stetson Freeman and an editor visited a sports-equipment store. With the store's consent, they stuffed three shopping bags full of things to photograph - and return. We didn't use every item, but we hope we chose the most baffling ones. Read the hints carefully: Several of the photos look like more than one thing. (You'll see what we mean.) If you're stuck, the answers are printed below.

1. If you see these ahead, then you've got some catching up to do.

2. It means 'to shift or veer about,' which is what this does, if you handle it right.

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3. Out on the pitch, it may be mauled or tossed in a scrum.

4. Some knives have sheaths; other blades have these.

5. If not for these knots, we might still be using peach baskets.

6. Watch the birdie if you want to play the truly 'bad' sport in which this is used.

7. If you're on a roll, use your head and strap on one of these.

8. As apparel, they're fairly exclusive: Only one player in 11 wears them.

9. We could go around and around on this, and we still wouldn't be out of line.

10. Fans get a kick out of the game, but players wear these so they won't.

Answers: (1) soles of three athletic shoes; (2) Whiffle ball;

(3) rugby football; (4) skate guards; (5) basketball net; (6) badminton racket; (7) in-line skating/bicycle helmet; (8) soccer-goalie gloves; (9) in-line skate wheels; (10) soccer shin guards.

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