11
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Sometimes I like to be part of the game;
Sometimes I'm part of an exercise name.
I'm in lips or in hair;
I'm afield so beware;
I'm in many a place but direct is never my aim.

What am I?

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12
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This looks like a

curl

Sometimes I like to be part of the game;

curling - a sport where players slide granite stones down a sheet of ice

Sometimes I'm part of an exercise name.

arm or leg curls against resistance

I'm in lips or in hair;

curl one's lips and hair ringlets

I'm afield so beware;

beware of a curve ball, caused by spin on an object as in baseball or cricket

I'm in many a place but direct is never my aim.

curl - a curved shape as is common in nature and design

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  • $\begingroup$ In that case, I'm disappointed that the puzzle didn't include a line referring to vector calculus :-) $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Mar 11 at 15:06
  • $\begingroup$ Tom, that's it, great job again!! My intent for line 4 will probably satisfy @Rand al'Thor, though: the math curl is "afield" - a vector field, that is. :) $\endgroup$ – anodyne Mar 11 at 15:12
  • $\begingroup$ After reading about the curl more I think my interpretation is wrong. A curl is not a vector field, only an operator on a vector field. My attempt to be cute failed, oops $\endgroup$ – anodyne Mar 11 at 15:15

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