If you are a fan of crossword puzzles and baseball, you might have encountered a clue that stumped you: No longer on deck. This clue appeared in the New York Times crossword puzzle on October 5, 2022, created by Jason Reich and edited by Will Shortz. The answer is four letters long and starts with A. Do you know what it is?
The meaning of no longer on deck
The phrase no longer on deck is a baseball term that refers to a situation when a batter is no longer waiting to hit next, but is already at the plate facing the pitcher. The batter who is on deck is the one who is next in line to bat, and usually warms up by swinging a bat or a weighted donut near the dugout. When the previous batter is out or reaches a base, the on-deck batter becomes the current batter and is no longer on deck.
The answer to the clue
The answer to the clue no longer on deck is ATBAT. This is an abbreviation for at bat, which is another way of saying that a batter is facing the pitcher. The term at bat can also refer to the number of times a batter has come to the plate in a game or a season, excluding walks, sacrifices, and other situations that do not count as official at bats. For example, a batter who has two hits and two walks in five plate appearances has a batting average of .500 (two hits divided by four at bats).
The difficulty of the clue
The clue no longer on deck is a tricky one because it requires some knowledge of baseball terminology and abbreviations. It is also a bit misleading because it suggests that the answer is a past tense verb, such as batted or hit, rather than a noun. However, crossword solvers who are familiar with baseball lingo and the New York Times crossword style might have recognized the clue as a clever wordplay and figured out the answer quickly.
According to Levels Answers, the solution is quite difficult, and they have been there like you, and they used their database to provide you the needed solution to pass to the next clue. If you are still struggling, you can also check out other websites that offer crossword clues and answers, such as NYT Crossword Answers and Try Hard Guides.