Word of the Day – Wednesday, June 15th



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Jai Alai (HY-lye): Game played in a court with a ball and a wickerwork racket

Common clues: Jai ______; Half a Basque game; Jai follower; Game ending?; Jai tail?; Betting game ending

Related crosswordese: JAI

Crossword puzzle frequency: once a month

Video: Jai-alai Documentary

Jai-Alai means "Merry Festival" in the Basque language. The term is used to denote a fronton (or open-walled arena) used to play a variety of Pelota called Cesta Punta, and, more broadly, to the game itself. The game is characterized by the fast pace of play, in which a 125g ball (or pelota) covered with parchment skin can travel faster than 180 mph. The ball is placed into play and volleyed by players wearing a wicker basket glove approximately 63 to 70 cm long. The glove, Cesta-punta (in Spanish) or xistera (Basque) was invented by the French Basque Gantchiqui Diturbide (also Gantxiki Iturbide) in the 19th century.

[Courtesy of Florida Gaming Corporation]

In countries such as France, Spain and Mexico the game of jai-alai is popular where, in some regions, the game is played in almost every town and city. In the United States, jai-alai enjoyed some popularity as a gambling alternative to horse racing and remains popular among gamblers in Florida, where the game is used as a basis for pari-mutuel gambling.

In contrast, the popularity of jai-alai in the north-eastern and western United States waned as other gambling options became available. As a result frontons in the Connecticut towns of Hartford and Milford permanently closed while the fronton in Bridgeport was converted to a Greyhound race track; and a fronton in Newport, Rhode Island had been converted to a main stream gambling facility replacing the fronton. Jai-Alai enjoyed a brief and popular stint in the western United States with the opening of a fronton at the MGM Grand Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada however by the early 1980s the fronton was losing money and popularity and as a result MGM Grand owner Kirk Kerkorian decided to close the fronton and replace it with a more profitable entity.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jai alai".

ALAI (621) 436 Tu+ >1 05 Jai ___

16 Th+ NYT 92 Turkish regiment

15 Th- >1 08 Kyrgyzstan range

14 We- NYT 91 Jai ——

12 Th- >1 08 Kyrgyzstan's ___ Mountains

11 Mo+ >1 04 Jai follower

9 We- >1 96 Jai___

5 We+ >1 03 Half court game?

5 Tu- >1 02 Jai ___ (Basque sport)

5 We >1 96 Kirghiz range

4 Fr- >1 99 Jai --

4 We+ >1 87 Russian range URAL

3 Th >1 98 Game ending? STER

3 Tu+ >1 05 Half a Basque game

07 Jai follower?

3 We+ >1 03 Jai tail?

3 We+ >1 07 Jai-___

3 Fr NYT 99 Kyrgyz range

2 Th NYT 07 Asia's Trans ___ mountains

2 Fr- >1 03 Asia's Trans ___ range

2 Tu LAT 97 Asian range URAL

2 Th- >1 00 Ball game finale?

2 Tu >1 96 Betting game ending

00 Jai ___ (fast-moving sport)

2 Tu- >1 01 Jai ___ (pelota)