Sunday, March 26, 2006

Sunday, B Division Finals

The room is still abuzz with Ken's C Division win. "Let's see him win 75 of these in a row," quipped Will Shortz. Ken is also assured of the top rookie prize, previously won by the likes of Bob.

Beginning with the B finals, "our old pal" Merl Reagle and NPR's Neal Conan are at the mike giving their patented play-by-play.

Will tells us the sounds in the headphones are actually old tapes of U.N. proceedings in many different languages. "Sounds like you're going into a party, very nice feeling."

Adam starts 9 seconds ahead, Thomas starts 5 seconds ahead. Brian starts at 15:00. Neal and Merl open with their soon-to-be-famous lines from "Wordplay" - "It's a beautiful day for a crossword tournament!" "LET'S PLAY TWO!"

Bob has just finished the finals puzzle. It looks like it was a toughie. As I've been blogging, I haven't done the puzzle yet, and it's too far away to see the words.

Merl's discussing a "two-pun corner" in the puzzle. What they're saying is very funny; to give their gags away would give the puzzle away (although there is some talk of a "bacon freeway"). You really had to be there.

Adam's finished the bottom of the puzzle first and is making great progress. But he's got some things up top to fix. Adam has just one corner left but still has a mistake, and Thomas has only finished the bottom left.

Adam is finished and is declaring himself done.

Thomas has the bottom left, and Brian hasn't even scratched the upper part of the puzzle. Thomas finishes, then Brian.

3rd place, 8:49 - Brian Olewnick
2nd place, 8:33 - Thomas Weisswange
1st place, 7:27 - Adam Cohen


Ellen said...

When they first introduced the commentary and headphones, I was concerned about solving with noise since I normally cannot work with music or other distractions.

However, the UN babble of languages in the headphones IS truly relaxing and not a problem at all. Through it, you sense large bursts of applause or laughter, but cannot hear any specific commentary.

Dave said...

You know, Ellen, I was thinking much the same thing. Some of the stuff that Merl and Neal say up there is quite rip-roaring and you wonder what the heck they said later. I'll want someone to tape it for me if I ever get up on stage.

Dave said...

P.S. to above, and note to all: the audio commentary of A and B is now available on the ACPT website.

WARNING: Do not listen if you want your post-tournament solving experience spoiled.