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