I think it's ridiculous that this form of the possessive is not accepted. Yes, it's a bit awkward, but it's also a completely valid translation -- and we're here to practice our French, not to have our English corrected by a pedantic bird.
Beyond that, if anyone watches football/soccer they will know that it is completely standard among commentators (English and American alike) to use the "x of the y" formulation -- the pass of Firmino, the header of Salah, the deflection of the goalkeeper... you get my point. Does it sound a little unnatural? Yup. Is it still correct English and "usual" in this widely watched arena? Yup.
Duo doesn't "like" literal translations unless you can't come up with a natural expression in standard English. While "the ties of the men" is literal and it is grammatically correct, it is not standard in this instance although it is allowed. Note that there are obviously variations where one may indicate possession by saying "of the xxx" and there may be expressions where that is even preferred. But these two variations are not equally used. One or the other of them will always be more idiomatic (natural) based on the circumstance. Non-native speakers may not be aware of what is natural in everyday discourse.
It might depend on one's age. When I was in grade school the teachers discouraged using the apostrophe s as being a bit low class. By now it is standard and the way I was taught and Duo likes is a touch pretentious. As several have pointed out, both are correct and both should be accepted. As should my translation of cravates as "neckties."
The position of the apostrophe depends on the noun, whether it is singular or plural.
- le livre du garçon = the boy's book (boy is singular)
- les livres des garçons = the boys' books (boys is plural, so the apostrophe follows the "s").
- le cravate d'homme = the man's tie (man is singular)
- les cravates des hommes = the men's ties (men is plural, so the apostrophe comes before the "s").
But it is not "... of some men". You may have the impression that "des" is "some". That is often not correct and it is not correct here. "Des hommes" (here) indicates something that is possessed by men (plural). Don't confuse this "des" with the "des" which represents the plural of "un/une". In that case, there is no counterpart in English: un homme = a man, des hommes = men.
- les cravates des hommes = the men's ties
My issue here is with the pronunciation of the word "cravates" the men's voice sounds like CRA-va-tes (three syllables and the first syllable sounds stronger) while the female voice sounds like cra-VATES (only two syllables -and stresses the second syllable)..??? Which one is correct?