Once upon a time, in a basketball game, there was a heated competition between the two teams. The score was tied at the end of regulation play, and so the teams entered overtime. The overtime period was thrilling, but as the clock wound down, one team had a slim lead.
Suddenly, the buzzer sounded, signaling the end of overtime play. But one zealous player from the losing team couldn’t let go of the game just yet. He picked up the ball and continued to dribble it around the court, shooting and jumping as if to extend the game even longer.
His teammates and the coach urged him to stop, pointing out that the game was over. But the player insisted, declaring that he was playing during the Overtime Stoppage, or ‘OTS’ for short. Eventually, the referee had to intervene and convince the player to stop play.
From that day on, ‘OTS’ became a term used informally by basketball players and fans alike to refer to the period after the buzzer has sounded, when a player continues to play on even though the game is officially over. And so, the crossword clue ‘Play periods after the buzzer, informally’ rightfully corresponds to the answer ‘OTS’.