Puzzles five and six today were as polar as you can get in the tournament. Will Shortz had his 29-year competitor tell him that the fifth Byron Walden puzzle was the hardest puzzle ever in the tournament, trumping even Jack Luzzatto's Year One Opus and Henry Hook's tribute to klabberjaas. More details later on why this puzzle left nearly 470 of the year's 500 competitors still pumping their pencils at the end of the time.
Puzzle six was the traditional Maura moment, a cute 19x19 in her inimitable comic style.
Now comes some serious downtime, before a 7PM reception hosted by "Wordplay" distributor IFC films. Hot dogs and beer will be consumed copiously. Then comes a screening of "Wordplay"...but wouldn't it have made more sense for them to hijack the Loews theaters across the street and cancel one of their 18 daily showing of "Aquamarine" to put it on a big screen?
Next post: more on the movie from both of us, Ebert and Roeper-style.